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four herbs for detox yarrow

April 2024



Four Herbs 4 Detox

  • Red Clover
  • Stinging Nettle
  • Yarrow
  • Cayenne

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Support & Nourish Your Body Detox Channels

When it comes to detox, I am not one to advocate for pushing the body to eliminate toxins. The human body has over six million years of natural detoxing, and our role is to support its natural detox channels. 

Bitter tasting food and herbs

Bitter-tasting roots and leaves were a huge part of our diet until not so long ago. 

The bitter taste comes from plants’ phytochemicals, usually alkaloids, that, to some degree, are toxic. Plants developed these bitter compounds as a defense mechanism. The bitter taste alerts people and animals to their toxicity, so they either avoid grazing on these plants altogether or reduce the grazing to small amounts. 

Our body got the hint that bitter is toxic, and developed a variety of bitter receptors that are spread all over the body to track these poisonous compounds and immediately remove them.

yarrow for detox

The Liver

The liver is the body’s chemistry lab, which has several functions that help the body remove toxins.

The liver processes all harmful compounds, including “expired” hormones and medicines that have been overdue. It does this through a two-stage process. At the end of the second stage, the harmful compounds are water-soluble so that the kidneys can eliminate them with urine. 

Another way that the liver supports the detox process is by producing bile. Bile helps in fat digestion, but bile also helps emulsify excess cholesterol (LDL) and trap it in fiber so it can be eliminated in your poop.

Cholagogue herbs

Herbs that support liver health and bile production are called cholagogue. Yarrow is an example of a cholagogue herb. 


Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is named after Achilles, the hero of the Trojan War, who used the herb to staunch the blood of soldiers wounded in battle. Unfortunately, Achilles did not have Yarrow close by when he was wounded; otherwise, he would have survived his wounds. The legends say that Achilles learned about Yarrow from Chiron, “the wounded healer.” The story linked Yarrow to the archetype of the healer of the soul. 

Yarrow is a bitter, versatile herb that supports the liver in several ways. 

As a cholagogue herb, yarrow promotes the two stages of liver detoxification pathways, helping to ensure that harmful substances are removed,d effectively neutralized, and prepared for elimination.

Yarrow supports the liver in producing and releasing bile. Bile is crucial for digesting fats and eliminating waste products from the body. 

The liver, with its constant exposure to toxins, can experience oxidative stress. Yarrow provides antioxidant support. This helps safeguard liver cells from oxidative damage and ensures they remain healthy and functional.

A cooling and drying herb, Yarrow is beneficial for inflammatory conditions that are hot and damp by nature. 

Yarrow helps improve blood flow, ensuring nutrients and oxygen are delivered efficiently to the liver and waste products are removed promptly. 

By supporting the liver in these ways, Yarrow is an invaluable ally in maintaining its health and efficiency.

Many years ago, I cut the palm of my hand while caning jam. I immediately started bleeding profusely. Yarrow leaves from the garden, chewed and placed on the wound, immediately stopped the bleeding.

Yarrow is a strong, bitter herb. Therefore, taking it in as a tea is hard, but it is a great companion to other bitter herbs in a tincture. For wounds, you can use yarrow tea as a soak to clean the wound. 

When you go wildcrafting for Yarrow, you want to make sure that the place where you picked up your Yarrow is clean. Avoid wildcrafting if it’s too close to a road or the field is sprayed with chemicals.

It’s a lot!
But that is why I am here.
Need help to figure out the details? Do you need support figuring out how to use daily to support your body’s innate ability to detox?
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Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.

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