An herb entry from the Ancient Herbs and Modern Herbs book by James K. Sayre, Copyright, 2001. All rights reserved.


Yarrow - Achillea millefolium - Family: Asteraceae (Compositae) (Sunflower Family) (Composite Family).

This is a rhizome-based perennial plant that grows to about three feet high. It has finely-cut aromatic dark green leaves. In the spring, summer and fall produces flat clusters of tiny daisy-like whitish flowers with yellow disk centers. The flowers are followed by tiny grayish seeds (achenes). Its leaves have been traditionally used as a salad ingredient in parts of Europe. Traditional use of leaves as one of the ingredients of witches' brews in Europe in the Middle Ages. Traditional European folk use of leaves to stuff an herbal "sleep pillow." Traditional and modern European and American folk use of leaves as a poultice for burns, cuts, inflammations, rashes, sores, varicose veins and wounds. American folk use of leaves as a remedy for colds, diarrhea, fevers, flu, headaches, indigestion, obesity, tuberculosis and varicose veins. Approved by the German Commission E as a remedy for indigestion, gall bladder problems, liver problems and a loss of appetite. Under the name Rojmari, Yarrow has been used as an Ayurvedic medicinal herb. Leaves and flowers are the base for an herbal tea. Essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Note: long usage may cause skin rash. Note: best taken in small quantities. Note: prolonged use may cause sensitization to sunlight. Note: do not use if pregnant or nursing. Note: in quantity, foliage may be toxic to livestock. Listed in the United States Pharmacopoeias from 1860 to 1870. Native to Europe and Asia. Naturalized in eastern, central and western North America. Naturalized in California. Cultivated as an ornamental in North America. It has at least six cultivars.



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Web page last updated on 25 May 2003.