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Herb Information
Name: Yarrow
Biological Name: Achillea millefolium

Compositae

Other Names: Yarrow, Milfoil, nosebleed, herb militaris, soldier's woundwort, thousand leaf, thousand seal, field hop, millefolium, old man's pepper, thousand seal, ladies' mantle
Parts Used: Aerial parts
Active Compounds:
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Volatile oil, containing a- and b-pinenes, borneol, bornyl acetate, camphor, caryophyllene, eugenol, farnesene, myrcene, sabinene, salicylic acid, terpineol, thujone and many others, and including the sesquiterpene lactones. Many samples contain high concentrations of azulenes, up to about 50%, including chamazulene and guajazulene.

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Sesquiterpene lactones; achillin, achillicin, hydroxyachillin, balchanolide, leucodin, millifin, millifolide and many others.

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Alkaloids and bases; betonicine (= achilleine), stachydrine, achiceine, moschatine, trigonelline and others.

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Miscellaneous; acetylenes, aldehydes, cyclitols, plant acids etc. The volatile oil, which is rich in sesquiterpene lactones, gives yarrow its anti-inflammatory activity. Alkamides (which are also found in echinacea) may further reduce inflammation.

History: 

Traditional herbalists in Europe, China, and India have used yarrow in three broad categories.

1. To help stop minor bleeding and to treat wounds.

2. To treat inflammation in a number of conditions, especially in the intestinal and female reproductive tracts.

As a mild sedative.

Remedies For

Diaphoretic, hypotensive, astringent, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, anti-microbial, bitter, hepatic, tonic, alterative, vulnerary.

Useful for:

common cold/sore throat
indigestion and heartburn
inflammation
menstruation, painful (dysmenorrhea)
minor injuries

Yarrow is one of the best diaphoretic herbs and is a standard remedy for aiding the body to deal with fevers. It lowers blood pressure due to a dilation of the peripheral vessels. It stimulates the digestion and tones the blood vessels. As a urinary antiseptic it is indicated in infections such as cystitis. Used externally it will aid in the healing of wounds. It is considered to be a specific in thrombotic conditions associated with hypertension.

Animal studies have shown that this herb can reduce smooth muscle spasms, which might explain its usefulness in gastrointestinal conditions. The alkaloid obtained from yarrow, known as achilletin, reportedly stops bleeding in animals.

Traditional herbalists recommends this herb for applications such as: hot, dry burning skin, at the beginning of acute asthenic fevers, with suppressed secretion; deficient renal action, with renal or urethral irritation; acute or chronic Bright's disease in its incipient stage. Leucorrhoea with relaxed vaginal walls. Menorrhagia and amenorrhoea; hemorrhoids with bloody discharge, atonic gastric and intestinal dyspepsia; passive hemorrhages. In addition he recommends it for the following patholgies : haematuria, uterine hemorrhage, intestinal irritation, leucorrhoea, fevers, ureamia, oedema, tonsillitis, epididymitis.

Combinations : For fevers it will combine well with Elder Flower, Peppermint, Boneset and with Cayenne and Ginger. For raised blood pressure it may be used with Hawthorn, Linden Flowers and European Mistletoe.

Description:

This herb grows in Europe, North America, and Asia. It is a hardy herbaceous pungent perennial, 6-24 in. Finely feathered, bright gray-green leaves and flat heads of small white, pink or red flowers midsummer to autumn. Grows in grassy places, including lawns.

Dosage: 

Infusion: Pour a cup of boiling water onto l-2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and leave to infuse for l0-l5 minutes. This should be drunk hot three times a day. When feverish it should be drunk hourly.

Tincture: take 2-4ml of the tincture three times a day.

Safety:

Some people who take yarrow may occasionally develop an allergy or rash. Yarrow might increase sensitivity to sunlight. Yarrow should not be used to treat large, deep, or infected wounds, all of which require medical attention. There are no known reasons to avoid yarrow during pregnancy or lactation.

Please note that some herbs are known to react with your medication. Please consult your physician before starting on any herb.

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