Looking for Soldier’s Herb
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Judith E. Davidson
Posted on: June 19, 2005

I am trying to locate a source of an herb called soldier’s herb. It is a common garden weed that has been used for gout, heart and liver diseases since the mid 1700s. It is supposed to be common, however, I am unable to find it. I would deeply appreciate any assistance in my search that you may offer.

"Soldier’s herb" is yarrow, a common herb found thoroughout the northern hemisphere. We carry several varieties of yarrow, but the one that is called "soldier’s herb" is Achillea millifolium. For more information about yarrow please see:


The herb got the name "soldier’s herb" because it makes an excellent wound dressing. The Romans planted it in camps and settlements wherever they went as they expanded their empire. The finely divided leaves are soft and absorbent which is part of the reason why it makes a good dressing for wounds; the other reason is it contains a mild blood clotting compound that helps to stop bleeding. Yarrow was such an useful military tool that I suspect the far-flung Roman conquests in Asia and Africa as well as Europe might not have been possible without yarrow.

Yarrow is also valuable herb for strenghtening digestion, circulation and the functions of the liver, gall bladder and kidneys. It is also a excellent herb for fevers.

Perhaps because the herb is so common we have overlooked it as a source of medicine. It is time we take another look at it as home remedy and as a dietary supplement.

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