Achillea is our flower of the week, but we’re gonna take a moment to draw attention to the leaves on this plant, curious things that they are. As much as we love their clusters of tiny flowers, we’re for some reason equally drawn to the hairy, frilly, aromatic leaves that sprout up a little further down the stems. There’s a whole host of traditional medicinal uses associated with these leaves, all with varying degrees of evidence to back up the claims (can’t see many people stuffing them up their nostrils to stop nosebleeds with their ‘natural clotting abilities’ for example). They’re definitely edible however, and were used for food in days gone by - those lucky enough to be born in the 17th century were very partial to eating the Achillea, summoning a spinach-like flavour from the young leaves of the plant.
In fact, if you really start looking into it, the Achillea is supposedly the cure for basically every ailment under the sun (shout out to any Native Americans who chewed the roots as protection, prior undertaking a fire-walking ceremony…). It’s therefore fitting that the Achillea takes its name from the mythology surrounding Greek character Achilles. Supposedly, his soldiers used the plant to treat their battle wounds. Just in case there’s anyone out there who’s still not getting it, don’t worry - the Achillea is also known by an even more what-you-see-is-what-you-get common name: the allheal.