Yarrow

Achillea millefolium

Yarrow grows up to 1 metre in height and it is commonly found in park meadows, overgrown gardens and along railway tracks.

It has downy ridged-stems, a creeping underground stem, and flat white flower heads. The feathery and pungent leaves are finely divided.

In the past Yarrow leaves have been useful for covering and healing open cuts and wounds.

Traditional uses
  • Gastrointestinal ailments, for example to help alleviate colics1
  • Wounds and bleeding 1
  • Skin conditions1
  • Respiratory infections1
Properties
  • Antibacterial activity1 (in vitro evidence)
  • Anti-inflammatory activity1 (in vitro, in vivo evidence)
  • Antispasmodic activity1 (in vitro evidence)
  • Gastroprotective activity1 (in vivo evidence)
Notes: no clinical trial data available
How it can be used
  • Leaves, flowers, and stem can be harvested when the plant is flowering and pressed to make a juice used orally to treat spastic discomforts of the digestive tract 2
Precautions
  • Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • It can cause allergic skin rashes3
  • It has been known to make the skin more sensitive to sunlight3
The information provided here is only intended to augment people's awareness and knowledge of the properties and uses of some plants. This information is not intended to substitute advice from a physician and is not a substitute for professional medical care. The authors do not recommend collecting and using wild plants from an urban environment as these can be contaminated by several types of pollutants that are harmful to human health. Although references are provided and information has been compiled with care, errors may be present. The remedies listed here should not be used without prior consultation with a qualified healthcare professional. The authors are not responsible for any adverse effect or consequences resulting from the use of the information published in this website.
References
  • In vitro evidence: evidence from studies using isolated components of living organisms such as cells or purified molecules
  • In vivo evidence: evidence from studies with whole living organisms
  • Clinical trial evidence: evidence from clinical trials conducted with humans
  1. Applequist, W. L. & Moerman, D. E. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium L.): A Neglected Panacea? A Review of Ethnobotany, Bioactivity, and Biomedical Research1. Econ. Bot. 65, 209–225 (2011).
  2. Blumenthal, M., Ph.D, W. R. B. & Goldberg, A. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. (Elsevier Health Sciences, 1999).
  3. Plants for a future website: http://www.pfaf.org
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