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What is yarrow? What is it used for?
Yarrow is a small but very adaptable plant found throughout
Europe, Asia and North America. Many species and subspecies
have categorized; however, many of these are used as ornamental
plants for gardens and do not contain much in the way of medicinal
properties. The above-ground parts (leaves, stems and flowers)
are used in herbal remedies.
Yarrow has been used by many cultures for hundreds of years.
Native Americans used yarrow to treat fevers and colds, and
to reduce swelling and bruising. Other cultures have used
it to improve digestion, treat inflammation and reduce reproductive
Several compounds contained in yarrow give the plant its
healing properties. Its volatile oil has been shown to be
a potent anti-inflammatory. Animal studies have found that
yarrow can reduce muscle spasms, easing some gastrointestinal
conditions. Another substance found in yarrow, achilletin,
reportedly stops minor bleeding in animals; however, this
effect has yet to be duplicated in humans.
How much yarrow should I take?
The German Commission E recommends 4.5 grams of fresh cut
yarrow daily, or three teaspoons of fresh pressed yarrow juice.
A tea can be made by steeping 1-2 teaspoons of cut yarrow
in one cup of boiling water for 10-15 minutes; up to three
cups a day can be drunk.
What forms of yarrow are available?
Many Asian markets and specialty stores sell fresh cut yarrow
or dried harrow. It is also available as a tincture, extract
What can happen if I take too much
yarrow? Are there any interactions I should be aware
of? What precautions should I take?
Some people may develop an allergy or rash to yarrow; if
this happens, you should stop taking the product immediately.
It should not be used to treat large, deep or infected wounds
that require medical attention, and it should not be taken
by women who are pregnant or lactating. At the time of this
writing, there are no know drug interactions with yarrow.
Other Resources :
More You Know About Minerals
More You Know About Nutrition
- Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et
al (eds). The Complete Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic
Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine
- McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg
A. American Herbal Products Associations Botanical
Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1997:3.
- Muller-Jakic B, Breu W, Probstle A, et
al. In vitro inhibition of cyclooxygenase and 5-lipoxygenase
by alkamides from echinacea and achillea species.
Planta Med 1994;60(1):3740.
- Tewari JP, Srivastava MC, Bajpai JL. Pharmacologic
studies of achillea millefolium linn. Indian J Med Sci
- Zitterl-Eglseer K, Jurenitsch J, et al.
Sesquiterpene lactones of achillea setacea with antiphlogistic
activity. Planta Med 1991;57(5):4446.