Part Used: Dried flowering umbel
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a perennial upright aromatic herb ranging from 8 inches to 3 feet tall. It is with tough, erect, furrowed woody stems, growing from a creeping rhizome. It has been used as remedy for appetite loss, gallbladder disorders, indigestion, and liver disorders. Although Yarrow's effectiveness has been thoroughly documented for only the four problems listed above, it has long been used externally to stanch bleeding and relieve skin inflammation, bruises, and burns. It has also been employed as a remedy for menstrual problems and pelvic cramps.
Yarrow is used to stimulate and regulate the liver. It acts as a blood purifier and heals the glandular system. It has been used as a contraceptive, and as a part of diabetes treatment, as well as treating gum ailments and toothache. It stops internal and external bleeding during childbirth. It is used to stop the bleeding of external wounds. It is one of the valuable diaphoretic herbs and is the central ingredient in any fever-management programme. It prevents the body temperature from rising too high but has a minimal suppressant effect on the course of the fever. The flowers are rich in chemicals that are converted by steam distillation into anti-allergenic compounds, of use in the treatment of allergic catarrhal problems such as hayfever. The dark blue essential oil, azulene, is generally used as an anti-inflammatory, or in chest rubs for colds and influenza. Yarrow also lowers high blood pressure by dilating the peripheral vessels, and it also tones the blood vessels. It is considered to be a specific in thrombotic conditions associated with high blood pressure. Used externally, its astringent properties will aid in the healing of wounds, and it has been used to treat haemorrhoids and varicose veins. It has also been used in the treatment of heavy and painful periods, and the presence of steroidal constituents may help to explain this activity. The spasmolytic action of Yarrow is attributed to its flavonoid content. The flavonoids help to dilate the peripheral arteries and are also believed to help clear blood clots. The flavonoid apigenin is anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic and anti-platelet; salicylic acid is anti-inflammatory, as is azulene, which also stimulates the formation of granulation tissue in wound healing. The volatile oil eugenol has local anaesthetic activity, while cineol has antiseptic and expectorant properties. The alkaloid achilleine has been shown to be haemostatic, reducing clotting time without toxic side-effects. It has also been reported to lower blood pressure.
PDR Health. http://www.pdrhealth.com/drug_info/nmdrugprofiles/herbaldrugs/102990.shtml
All Natural. http://www.allnatural.net/herbpages/yarrow.shtml
Purple Sage Botanicals. http://www.purplesage.org.uk/profiles/yarrow.htm