Yarrow: The plant that Achilles' soldiers used to treat wounds
Updated 13:24, 23-Oct-2019

Yarrow, scientifically known as Achillea millefolium, is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. The genus Achillea was named after Achilles, the greatest of all the Greek warriors and a hero of the Trojan War in Greek mythology. In the story, Achilles' soldiers used yarrow to treat their wounds, so the plant is also called allheal and soldier's woundwort. 

This legend about yarrow is not groundless. The plant has been used as a medical herb traditionally to stanch the flow of blood from wounds.

Achilles in Greek mythology. /VCG Photo

Achilles in Greek mythology. /VCG Photo

Apart from the Greek mythology, the dried stalks of yarrow are employed as randomizing agents in the I Ching or Book of Changes, an ancient Chinese divination text.

Yarrow. /CGTN Photo

Yarrow. /CGTN Photo

Yarrow has a sweet scent, which attracts many insects, and it's widely distributed. You can find it thriving in Europe and Asia, for example.

Yarrow. /CGTN Photo

Yarrow. /CGTN Photo

But be careful, the plant is toxic to cats, dogs, and horses.

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