Achillea millefolium, commonly known as yarrow or common yarrow, is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. It is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Asia, Europe, and North America. It has been introduced as a feed for livestock in places like New Zealand and Australia, where it is a common herb of both wet and dry areas, such as roadsides, meadows, fields and coastal places
HISTORICAL AND MYTHOLOGICAL REVIEW:
Yarrow and tortoiseshell are considered to be lucky in Chinese tradition.
In classical Greece, Homer tells of the centaur Chiron, who conveyed herbal secrets to his human pupils, and taught Achilles to use yarrow on the battle grounds of Troy.
In the Hebrides a leaf held against the eyes was believed to give second sight.
A bunch of 50 yarrow Achillea millefolium subsp. millefolium var. millefolium stalks, used for I Ching divination.
The stalks are dried and used as a randomising agent in I Ching divination.
Native American uses
Yarrow and its North American varieties were traditionally used by many Native American nations across the continent. The Navajo historically considered it a "life medicine" and chewed the plant for toothaches and used its infusions for earaches. The Miwok in California use the plant as an analgesic and head cold remedy.
Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Species: Achillea millefolium
A. millefolium subsp. chitralensis - western Himalaya
A. millefolium subsp. sudetica - Alps, Carpathians
Achillea millefolium var. alpicola — Western United States, Alaska
Achillea millefolium var. californica — California, Pacific Northwest
Achillea millefolium var. occidentalis — North America
Achillea millefolium var. pacifica — west coast of North America, Alaska
Achillea millefolium var. puberula — endemic to California
English: bloodwort, yarrow , common yarrow, milenrama, milfoil, western yarrow, bloodwort, carpenters weed, hierba de las cortaduras, plumajillo
Hindi: Gandrain, Puthkanda, भूतकॆशी Bhut Kesi
Urdu: Tukhm gandana, Buiranjasif, Brinjasuf
Telugu: యారో Yārō
Bengali: উগ্রগন্ধ ফুল Ugragandha phula
Gujarathi: યારો Yārō
Punjabi: ਯਾਰਰੋ Yārarō
Arabic: حزنبل, الألفية (نبات) , Om alf waraka, Suila, Fafor
Spanish: milenrama, planta del género de las aquileas
Japanese: ノコギリソウ Seiyou no kogirisou, Yaroo.
Chinese: 亚罗 Yà luō , Tu Yi Zhi Hao
French: achillée (plante), mille- feuille, plante de la famille des composées dont les feuilles sont très découpées.
German: Schafgarbe, Pflanze aus der Achilleafamilie , Gemeine schafgarbe, Tausendblatt, Wiesen-Schafgarb.
A. m. subsp. m. var. millefolium - Europe, Asia
A. m. subsp. m. var. borealis - Arctic regions
A. m. subsp. m. var. rubra - Southern Appalachians
Synonyms in Ayurveda: Biranjasipha
In New Mexico and southern Colorado, it is calledplumajillo(Spanish for little feather) from its leaf shape and texture
The English name yarrow comes from the Saxon (Old English) word gearwe, which is related to both the Dutch word gerw and the Old High German word garawa
The word “Achillea” refers to the Greek hero Achilles, who is believed to have carried the plant to treat the wounds of the soldiers, while the word millefolium meaning thousand-leaf, refers to the multipinnate leaves.
Decoctions have beenused to treat inflammations, such as hemorrhoids, andheadaches. The most medicinally active part of the plantis the flowering tops. They also have a mild stimulanteffect, and have been used as a snuff. Popular inEuropean folk medicine, yarrow contains flavonoids(plant-based chemicals) that increase saliva and stomachacid, helping to improve digestion. Yarrow may also relaxsmooth muscle in the intestine and uterus, which canrelieve stomach and menstrual cramps. The flowers areused to treat various allergic mucus problems, includinghay fever The dark blue essential oil, extracted by steamdistillation of the flowers, is generally used as an antiinflammatory3or in chest rubs for colds and influenza.The leaves encourage clotting, so it can be used fresh fornosebleeds.4The aerial parts of the plant are used forphlegm conditions, as a bitter digestive tonic toencourage bile flow, and as a diuretic.
Achillea millefoliumis cultivated as anornamental plantby manyplant nurseries. It is planted ingardensandnatural landscapingsettings of diverse climates and styles. They includenative plant,drought-tolerant, andwildlife gardens. The plant is a frequent component ofbutterfly gardens. The plant prefers well-drained soil in full sun, but can be grown in less ideal conditions.
Forpropagation, seeds require light for germination, so optimal germination occurs when planted no deeper than one-quarter inch (6mm). Seeds also require a germination temperature of 18–24°C (64–75°F). It has a relatively short life in some situations, but may be prolonged by division in the spring every other year, and planting 12to 18in (30–46cm) apart. It can becomeinvasive
Flowering late Apr–early Jul (south), mid Jul–mid Sep (north)
Phytochemical constituents of Yarrow (Achilleamillefolium)
Alkaloids (betonicine, stachydrine, trigonelline)
Flavonoids (apigenin, luteolin, quercitin)
Sesquiterpene lactones (achillin, achillicin)
Volatile oil with variable content (linalool,camphor, sabinene, chamazulene)
Sterols and plant acids.
- Liv 52
Parts used for medicinal purpose
Flower, Leaves, ,
3 to 5 g
~Yarrow flowers or equal preparations: 3g in one day as tea or infusion ~Extract (1:1, 25 ethanol): 1-4 ml three times in a day ~Dried herb: 2-4 g of infusion or capsules three times in a day ~Tincture (1:5; 40 ethanol): 2-4 three times in a day
~Yarrow flowers or equal preparations: 3g in one day as tea or infusion
~Extract (1:1, 25 ethanol): 1-4 ml three times in a day
~Dried herb: 2-4 g of infusion or capsules three times in a day
~Tincture (1:5; 40 ethanol): 2-4 three times in a day
A. millefolium can be planted to combat soil erosion due to the plants resistance to drought. Before the arrival of monocultures of ryegrass, both grass leys and permanent pasture always contained A. millefolium at a rate of about 0.3 kg/ha. At least one of the reasons for its inclusion in grass mixtures was its deep roots, with leaves rich in minerals. Thus its inclusion helped to prevent mineral deficiencies in the ruminants to which it was fed.
It was introduced into New Zealand as a drought-tolerant pasture. It is very prevalent
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is an erectherbaceousperennial plant that produces one to severalstems (0.2 to 1m tall) and has a rhizomatous growth form.Leaves are evenly distributed along the stem, with theleaves near the middle and bottom of the stem being thelargest. The leaves have varying degrees of hairiness(pubescence). The leaves are 5–20 cm long, bipinnate ortripinnate, almost feathery, and arranged spirally on thestems. Yarrow grows up to 3500m above sea level. Theplant commonly flowers from May through June, and is afrequent component in butterfly gardens. Commonyarrow is frequently found in the mildly disturbed soil ofgrasslands and open forests. Active growth occurs in thespring. In North America, there are both native andintroduced genotypes, and both diploid and polyploidplants.
Yarrow grows from sea level to 3,500 metres (11,500 ft) in elevation. The plant commonly flowers from May to July. Common yarrow is frequently found in the mildly disturbed soil of grasslands and open forests. Active growth occurs in the spring.
The plant is native to Eurasia and is found widely from the UK to China.
In North America, both native and introduced genotypes, and both diploid and polyploid plants are found. It is found in every habitat throughout California except the Colorado and Mojave Deserts.Common yarrow produces an average yield of 43,000 plants per acre, with a total dry weight of 10,500 lbs.
The plant is found in Australia as an introduction.
Several cavity-nesting birds, including thecommon starling, use yarrow to line their nests. Experiments conducted on thetree swallow, which does not use yarrow, suggest that adding yarrow to nests inhibits the growth ofparasites
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Least Concern
common cold/sore throat
• indigestion and heartburn
• menstruation, painful (dysmenorrhea)
• minor injuries
It has a specific action on the pelvic organs and is used in amenorrhoea, menorrhagia and leucorrhoea. Also given in dyspepsia, flatulence, diarrhoea and haemorrhoids. Externally used as an application to suppurating wounds. Active ingredients of Achillealike choline and achilleine are regarded as lipotropic and sudorific and effective in infectious hepatitis.
Achillea millefolium Linn., therefore, enters into many such compound preparations where indigestion, hepatic insufficiency or anaemic conditions are primary symptoms, or in nutrition-related complications
Yarrow was formerly used for medicinal purposes: to break a fever by increasing perspiration, to treat hemorrhaging and as a poultice for rashes. A tea used by Native Americans to cure stomach disorders was made by steeping the leaves.
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
Anti-inflammatory and carminative
The herb is described as stimulant, tonic, carminative, emmenagogue, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory.
- VARIABILITY OF CHAMAZULENE WITHIN ACHILLEA MILLEFOLIUM / A Belanger and L Dextreaze / ISHS Acta Horticulturae 330: WOCMAP I - Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Conference: part 4 of 4
- Comparison of Thymus vulgaris (Thyme), Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) and propolis hydroalcoholic extracts versus systemic glucantime in the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis in balb/c mice / M A Niforoushzadeh et al / J Vector Borne Dis 45, December 2008, pp. 301â€“306
- Choleretic effects of yarrow (Achillea millefolium s.l.) in the isolated perfused rat liver / Benedek, B et al / Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy & Phytopharmacology | November 1, 2006 |
- YARROW HEALTH BENEFITS AND SIDE EFFECTS / Zhion
- Antinociceptive peripheral effect of Achillea millefolium L. and Artemisia vulgaris L.: both plants known popularly by brand names of analgesic drugs / Julia Movilla Pires, Fulvio Mendes et al / Phytotherapy Research, Volume 23 Issue 2, Pages 212 - 219 / Publ OnLine 10 Oct 2008
- In vitro Anti-epimastigote Activity of some Iranian Medicinal Plants / Soodabeh Saeidnia, Ahmad Reza Gohari et al / Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (2005) 2: 101-103
- Aqueous extract of Achillea millefolium L. (Asteraceae) inflorescences suppresses lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory responses in RAW 264.7 murine macrophages / David Burke, Zbigniew Cichacz and Sasha Daskalova / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 4(3), pp. 225-234, 4 February, 2010
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Yarrow is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy as it can affect the menstrual cycle and might cause miscarriage. .
There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking yarrow if you are breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Bleeding disorder: Yarrow might slow blood clotting. In theory, taking yarrow might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.
Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Yarrow may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking yarrow.
Surgery: Yarrow might slow blood clotting so there is a concern that it might increase bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking yarrow at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Yarrow is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in food. However, yarrow products that contain a chemical called thujone might not be safe.
Yarrow is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts. In some people, when yarrow comes in contact with the skin, it might cause irritation.
Use in other system of medicine:
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 Brights 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.
A. millefolium has seen historical use as in traditional medicine, often because of its astringent effects. The herb is purported to be a diaphoretic, astringent,tonic, stimulant and mild aromatic. It contains isovaleric acid, salicylic acid, asparagin, sterols, and flavonoids. The genus name Achillea is derived from mythical Greek character, Achilles, who reportedly carried it with his army to treat battle wounds. This medicinal use is also reflected in some of the common names mentioned below, such as staunchweed and soldiers woundwort
Yarrow and tortoiseshell are considered to be lucky in Chinese tradition
Common yarrow is used be Plains Indigenous peoples, such as the Pawnee, who use the stalk for pain relief. The Cherokee drink a tea of common yarrow to reduce fever and aid in restful sleep
The Ojibwe people historically sprinkled a decoction of yarrow leaves on hot stones and inhaled it to treat headaches, as well as applied decoctions of the root onto skin for its stimulant effect
Yarrow, found in the Western Himalayas from Kashmir to Kumaon, is revered for its healing properties. It is said that the herb’s Latin name, Achillea millefolium dates back to the mythical figure Achilles, who used the herb for healing wounds.
Yarrow is a potent styptic, which stops bleeding and heals skin quickly. It is often used in herbal remedies designed to treat heavy bleeding from menstrual periods to bleeding ulcers. TheGerman Commission E recommends Yarrow in dyspeptic ailments like mild spasms and ailments of the gastrointestinal tract.
KEY WORDS: rajamari Scientific name: Achillea millifolia Linn
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