You’ve probably never heard of Yarrow before, but back in the 17th century, this herb was a sizzling hot topic. It was once a popular vegetable for its leaves that were prepared and consumed like spinach. But, today, it is an underused medicinal and culinary herb.
Botanical Name and Family of Yarrow
The botanical name of yarrow is Achillea millefolium. It belongs to the Asteraceae or Daisy family and has been referred to as plumajillo, nosebleed plant, devil’s nettle and old man’s pepper.
What Is Yarrow?
Yarrow is an herb closely related to chamomile and chrysanthemums and is native to parts of North America, Europe and Asia. This herb has been used since the ancient times by cultures from all over the world.
The flowers and young leaves of this herb are used to prepare salads. It is also used in the manufacture of snuff and cosmetics such as shampoos. It was widely used in ancient times to stop bleeding from wounds — the legendary Achilles even used yarrow to help heal his soldier’s wounds during the Trojan War.
Once a staple in many herbal repositories is now nothing but a lawn weed, but there is no denying the many benefits this herb still possesses.
Active Ingredients Found in Yarrow
Yarrow contains flavonoids, salicylic acid, isovaleric acid, tannins, sterols and coumarins.
Health Benefits of Yarrow
Traditionally, yarrow was used in Native American medicine to treat earaches, headaches, toothaches, pain and colds. This herb was also used as a first-aid treatment for wounds and nosebleeds and as a circulatory remedy to help stop bleeding while preventing blood clots.
Yarrow has also been used for the following conditions:
- Hay fever
- Loss of appetite
- Bleeding from hemorrhoids
Women also used it to induce menstruation. Research shows yarrow to possess astringent, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
How to Use Yarrow
Dried yarrow was traditionally made into a paste to use topically to help heal wounds and reduce inflammation. The leaves and flowers of this herb are commonly used to make tinctures, teas and even poultice.
Side Effects of Yarrow
Even though yarrow possesses a variety of benefits that we can take advantage of, there are still side effects we must take into consideration. Yarrow is known to cause an increase in urination and drowsiness with over-consumption.
It may cause skin irritation in some people when applied externally. This herb must not be used by pregnant women and those who are sensitive to plants such as chrysanthemum, daisy, marigold and ragweed, which belong to the same family. Have a talk with your doctor to determine if adding yarrow into your daily lifestyle is beneficial for you.
The content of this Website is for informational purposes only, is general in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and does not constitute professional advice. The information on this Website should not be considered as complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or health care program and/or any of the beauty treatments.
Benedek B, Kopp B, Melzig MF. Achillea millefolium L. s.l. — is the anti-inflammatory activity mediated by protease inhibition? J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Sep 5;113(2):312-7. Epub 2007 Jul 3. PubMed PMID: 17689902.
Candan F, Unlu M, Tepe B, Daferera D, Polissiou M, Sökmen A, Akpulat HA. Antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of the essential oil and methanol extracts of Achillea millefolium subsp. millefolium Afan. (Asteraceae). J Ethnopharmacol.2003 Aug;87(2-3):215-20. PubMed PMID: 12860311.