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Scientific Name: Achillea millefolium
Other names: Milfoil, Thousand-leaf, Arrow-root, Bloodwort, Greenarrow, Soldier's Woundwort, Nosebleed Weed, Devil's Nettle
Family: Asteraceae

Perennial, spreading by seed and shallow, branched underground stems. Difficult to control in lawns, producing large drought-resistant patches, usually indicating poor lawn condition. Frequent close cutting will encourage it as the grass cannot compete.
Feathery foliage is fragrant when crushed and has a sharp peppery flavour if added to salads. If rolled into a ball and crushed to release the oils, a bunch of leaves can be used as an insect repellant; although cultivated varieties are used as companion plants to attract hover flies and other predatory insects which eat aphids.
It is said to have been used by Achilles to stem the bleeding when he was wounded - hence the origin of the Generic name and some of the common names.
Its astringent properties make it useful for drying bodily fluids , so it will relieve catarrh and diarrhoea as well as stemming bleeding. An infusion taken two to three times daily is a digestive tonic or can be used externally to wash wounds as it has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is contraindicated in pregnancy.
Other common names such as Devil's Nettle, Devil's Plaything, Bad Man's Plaything, arose in the past as it was used for divination in spells to summon a vision of a future spouse.

It flowers from June to October - small white to pale pink, in flat-topped clusters.
Height - up to 60 cm.

Dig out, removing creeping stems. Nitrogen-rich fertilizer and liming in the spring will discourage it. Allow the grass to grow to out-compete it. In pasture, close grazing by sheep in spring and early summer can help to control it, as they like the young growth which is said to prevent diarrhoea in the sheep as well.
Weedkillers to use:-
Glyphosate, systemic action killing the whole plant.
Dicamba, Mecoprop, with selective action for use in lawn. Use a product with two or three in combination, more than one application will be needed.

picture of YARROW

picture of YARROW ROOT

Nicholas Culpepper
(17th century astrologer-physician)
"A decoction of it boiled with white wine is good to stop the running of the reins in men and whites in women. It restrains violent bleedings and is excellent for piles. A strong tea is made of the leaves and drunk frequently. In addition, a poultice made of equal parts of Yarrow and toadflax is applied outwardly. This induces sleep, eases pain and reduces bleeding."

Reins - the kidneys, loins.
Whites - discharges.

Follow these links for further details on Weeds, Weed Removal and Weed Prevention.
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