- Botanical: Achillea millefolium
- Family: Asteroideae
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Known asCommon Yarrow, Achillea millefolium, Schafgarbe, Bauchwehkraut, Blutkraut, Blutstillkraut, Frauenkraut, Frauendank, Gotteshand, Grillengras, Katzenkraut, Margaretenkraut, Katzenschwanz, Lämmerzunge, Schafrippen, Schafzunge, Tausendblatt
Old Useculinary; medicinal
Collection TimesJuly to September
Parts Usedflowers, leaves
Aromaherbaceius, spicy, sweet
Medicinalacne, angina, angina, anorexia, bleeding, blood cleansing, chapped skin, circulation, colds, constipation, diabetes, diarrhea, dry skin, eczema, flatulence, gastritis, gout, headache, hemorrhoids, high blood preasure, indigestion, itching, kidney weakness, menstrual problems, menopausal symptom, neuralgia, psoriasis, rheumatism, skin rashes, sunburn, ulcers, vascular, varicose veins, wounds, erysipelas, estrogen dominance, gynecological issues, shingles, open sores
Heart & Circulationangina, bleeding, blood cleansing, circulation, hemorrhoids, high blood pressure, vascular, varicose veins
Hormone & Sexual Organsestrogen dominance, gynecological issues, menstrual problems, menopausal symptom
Muscle & Jointsgout, rheumatism
Mind & Nervesheadache, loss of appetite, neuralgia
Stomach & Intestinalconstipation, diabetes, diarrhea, flatulence, gastritis, indigestion, kidney weakness, ulcers
Skin & Hairacne, chapped skin, dry skin, eczema, erysipelas, itching, psoriasis, shingles, skin rashes, sunburn, open sores, wounds
The stem is angular and rough, the leaves alternate, 3 to 4 inches long and 1 inch broad, clasping the stem at the base, bipinnatifid, the segments very finely cut, giving the leaves a feathery appearance.
It flowers from June to September, the flowers, white or pale lilac, being like minute daisies, in flattened, terminal, loose heads, or cymes. The whole plant is more or less hairy, with white, silky appressed hairs.
Properties & Uses
Yarrow has a high reputation and is widely employed in herbal medicine, administered both internally and externally. It is used in the treatment of a very wide range of disorders but is particularly valuable for treating wounds, stopping the flow of blood, treating colds, fevers, kidney diseases, menstrual pain etc. The whole plant is used, both fresh and dried, and is best harvested when in flower. Some caution should be exercised in the use of this herb since large or frequent doses taken over a long period may be potentially harmful, causing allergic rashes and making the skin more sensitive to sunlight. The herb combines well with Sambucus nigra flowers (Elder) and Mentha x piperita vulgaris (Peppermint) for treating colds and influenza. The herb is antiseptic, antispasmodic, mildly aromatic, astringent, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, digestive, emmenagogue, odontalgic, stimulant, bitter tonic, vasodilator and vulnerary. It also contains the anti-inflammatory agent azulene, though the content of this varies even between plants in the same habitat. The herb is harvested in the summer when in flower and can be dried for later use. The fresh leaf can be applied direct to an aching tooth in order to relieve the pain.
The growing plant repels beetles, ants and flies. The plant has been burnt in order to ward off mosquitoes. A liquid plant feed can be made from the leaves. You fill a container with the leaves and then add some water. Leave it to soak for a week or two and then dilute the rather smelly dark liquid, perhaps 10 - 1 with water though this figure is not crucial. This plant is an essential ingredient of 'Quick Return' herbal compost activator. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost. The fragrant seeds have been used to impart a pleasant smell indoors. An essential oil obtained from the leaves is used medicinally. The leaves contain from 0.6 to 0.85% essential oil. The leaves have been used as a cosmetic cleanser for greasy skin. Yellow and green dyes are obtained from the flowers. A good ground cover plant, spreading quickly by its roots.
Extended use of this plant, either medicinally or in the diet, can cause allergic skin rashes or lead to photosensitivity in some people. Theoretically yarrow can enhance the sedative effects of other herbs (e.g. valerian, kava, German chamomile, hops) & sedative drugs. Possible sedative & diuretic effects from ingesting large amounts
Europe, including Britain, north to 71°, and east to western Asia.
Yarrow contains 3-4% condensed and hydrolysable tannins; 0.3-1.4% volatile oils, mostly linalool, borneol, camphor, β-caryophyllene, 1.8-cineole, and sesquiterpene lactones composed of guaianolides, mainly achillicin (a proazulene), achillin, leucodin, and germacranolides (dihydroparthenolide, achillifolin, millefin); flavonoids (apigenin, luteolin, isorhamnetin, rutin); amino acids (alanine, histidine, leucine, lysine); fatty acids (linoleic, palmitic, oleic); phenolic acids (caffeic, salicylic); vitamins (ascorbic acid, folic acid); alkaloids and bases (achiceine, achilleine, betaine, choline); alkanes (tricosane); polyacetylenes; saponins; sterols (β-sitosterol); sugars (dextrose, glucose, mannitol, sucrose); and coumarins.