Yarrow - Achilles herb
The culture uses 30 species of yarrow. We list the most common of them. Yarrow agarist (Achillea ageratifolia) up to 15 cm high, with gray-white leaves, it is grown as a groundcover on poor, stony, but well-drained soils. Noble yarrow (Achillea nobilis) up to 50 cm high, with double-pinnate leaves and yellowish-white flowers. Yarrow meadowsweet (Achillea filipendulina), forming powerful compact bushes up to 1 m high, with rigid stems covered with blue-green feathery leaves and crowned with large, very dense inflorescences consisting of yellow flowers from mid-summer to autumn; This species is popular in mixborders.
Yarrow ptarmika (Achillea ptarmica), or quixote grass, with narrow whole lanceolate leaves and faded white flowers collected in loose inflorescences, has long been cultivated; the decorative form is suitable for mixborders, a significant drawback of this type is the tendency to grow very actively in width. All these species are extremely unpretentious: frost-resistant, drought-resistant, undemanding to soils, easily tolerate transplantation and division. They can be grown and aquatic groups, and in mixed plantings, low forms are suitable for rockeries.
The most common species in nature is the yarrow (Achillea vulgaris), a perennial herb of the family Asteraceae with creeping rhizome. Growing, it forms lush voluminous thickets up to 70 cm high, consisting of thin dense stems densely covered with leaves. It is because of the structure of the leaves, as if dissected into thousands of shares, that the plant is called a yarrow. And his Latin name came from the name of the hero of the Trojan War, Achilles, to whom, according to legend, his mentor Charon healed wounds with this plant.
Yarrow grows mainly in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere, distributed throughout Europe, in Western and Eastern Siberia. It is found in nature in dry meadows, forest edges, along the boundaries and edges of roads.
The color of the flower in yarrows is very diverse - from white, as in a wild-growing species, to red, purple, raspberry, burgundy in clones of cultivated species. Currently, mainly garden, brightly colored forms of yarrow are grown.
Yarrow prefers sunny places. Propagate it by seeds or division of the rhizome. Sowing is carried out in the spring or before winter. Seeds are very small, so they are sown without seeding or sprinkled with a thin layer of earth. After the appearance of three or four pairs of leaves, the plant can be transplanted to a permanent place according to the scheme of 25 × 60 cm. Subsequently, the soil is loosened, weeds are weeded out and the plants watered as necessary.
In the second and subsequent years, in early spring, at the beginning of the yarrow vegetation, the aisles were loosened and ammonium nitrate was introduced at the same time. In the fall, row-spacings are also loosened with superphosphate (20-30 g / m2) and potassium salt (10-15 g / m2) Yarrow blooms in late June and blooms until mid-August, and some forms longer. He lives in one place for more than 10 years.
Yarrow is usually collected during flowering, when its aromatic properties are most pronounced. The most important thing is not to uproot the plant. It is enough to cut off the upper part, and then the next year the yarrow will bloom again. Store dried raw materials in canvas bags or paper bags in a cool, dry place.
As medicinal raw materials, flowers or the tops of the leafy part of flowering plants with stem remains no longer than 15 cm are used. In modern medicine, preparations from the aerial part are used as a hemostatic agent for local bleeding - nasal, dental, from small wounds; with pulmonary and uterine bleeding, fibromyomas, inflammatory processes; with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract - colitis, peptic ulcer; also recommended for inflammation of the urinary tract.
Yarrow herb is a part of gastric, appetizing medicines and teas; in folk medicine, the juice of this plant is used for cardiac arrhythmias (20-30 drops taken together with 20-25 drops of ruta juice, on grape wine).
Achillein alkaloid, essential oil, bitter and tannins, resins, alkaloids, organic acids, inulin, vitamins C and K, carotene, volatile, mineral salts are contained in the yarrow leaves. The seeds contain 21% fatty oil. Brightly colored yarrow forms contain more essential oil than plants with white flowers.
All the aboveground mass of yarrow has a spicy unobtrusive smell and tart, spicy, bitter taste, so the plant is part of bitter tinctures and liquors.
- L. Shilo, candidate of agricultural sciences, VNIISSOK