Herb Reference Guide

Yarrow

History

Yarrow is a member of the aster family, and is closely related to both chrysanthemums and chamomile. It grows best in a sunny and warm habitat, and is frequently found in meadows and along roadsides. It is native to Europe and western Asia, but has been naturalized in North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Herbal legend has described that yarrow (Achillea millefolium) was named after Achilles, the Greek mythical hero who used it to stop the bleeding wounds of his soldiers during the Trojan War in 1200 BC. In Medieval times, yarrow leaves were rolled up and stuffed in the nose to stop bleeding. The Anglo-Saxons named yarrow, “gaeruwe”, from “gearwian”, meaning "to prepare" or "to treat" referring primarily to its traditional use as being curative.

For centuries, yarrow has been popular in European folk medicine, in part because yarrow contains flavonoids (plant-based chemicals) that normalize saliva secretion and stomach acid, helping to support healthy digestion.

Function

Yarrow helps to support healthy blood flow by normalizing circulation. It has also been shown to support healthy digestion by support healthy secretions of fluids in both the mouth and stomach.

Uses of Yarrow

Disclaimer

This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

Essential oils (including azulene), camphor, cineole, terpineol, eugenol, lactones, flavonoids, tannins, coumarins, saponins, sterols, and salicylic acid.

Parts Used

  • Flowers, leaves, and stems

Important precautions

This herb should be avoided in pregnancy. Fresh yarrow can cause seasonal skin reactions and sneezing.

Additional Resources