Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)


Yarrow Overview:

Yarrow is one of the most important herbs in Western herbal medicine. It has a wide range of actions, some of which are broad enough to cover a range of seemingly unrelated conditions. The intensly bitter flavour of yarrow makes it hard to mask, but is also a source of its medicinal qualities.

Yarrow is used externally as a styptic. In WWII soldiers carried small sacks of powdered yarrow to place into gunshot wounds to stop the bleeding. In modern times, yarrow makes for a great emergency herb on hikes through the Rocky mountains of North America or by carrying some in a first aid pack when on the trail.

Internally yarrow is used for its bitter component, and to break a fever through its diaphoretic actions.

+ Indications

  • Kidney disorders
  • Urinary stones
  • Sores
  • Skin rashes
  • External bleeding of any kind
  • Fever
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Colds, especially in the commencement of fevers and cases with obstructed pirsperation
  • Influenza, especially with fevers
  • Weak appetite
  • Stomach cramps
  • Flatulence
  • Gastritis
  • Enteritis
  • Wounds

+ Contraindications

Still compiling research.

Herbal Actions:

  • Bitter
  • Antioxidant
  • Emmenagogue
  • Diaphoretic
  • Astringent
  • CNS stimulant (Mild)
  • Hypoglycemic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antinociceptive
  • Antinflammatory
  • Vulnerary
  • Hemolytic
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Antilithic

Main Uses:

Yarrow is used topically to treat wounds and stop bleeding through hemostatic chemicals contained in the leaves. It is used on skin rashes and eruptions.

Internally, yarrow is useful for breaking fevers, inducing sweating, treating kidney disorders, stomach cramps and indigestion, enteritis, hyperglycemia, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, poor appetite, and infection of influenza.


Daily Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

2-6 mL

Weekly Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

15-40 mL


Part Used

Whole herb

Family Name



North America


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Constituents of Interest

  • Sesquiterpene lactones
  • A volatile oil
  • Achilleic acid

Common Names

  • Yarrow
  • Nosebleed
  • Soldiers woundwort
  • Kights milfoil
  • Herbe militaris
  • Thousand weed
  • Bloodwort
  • Devils nettle
  • Staunchweed
  • Devils plaything
  • Plumajillo

Botanical Info:

As part of the Asteraceae family of plants, Achillea is just one of 1911 genera of plants. It's contained within the Anthemideae tribe which includes other such members as mugwort, wormwood, tarragon, Roman chamomile, and gonospermum.


Research Overview:

Level Of Research:


Clinical Applications Of Yarrow:

Yarrows intensely bitter principles make it useful for any applications of a standard bitter, including indigestion, hepatobiliary stimulation, stimulating appetite, and treating a range of skin conditions.

Yarrow is also useful as a diaphoretic in the treatment of viral or bacterial infection to break a high fever. It is a popular herb for some viral infections such a influenza by direct antiviral effect. It is also a popular herb for muscle tightness and spasms for its antispasmodica activity.



Non-toxic and non-irritating. Some reports of hypersensitivity and skin inflammations after using yarrow.


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For a list of references, visit the full yarrow monograph.