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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

(Achillea millefolium)

CAUTION! Allergies to yarrow are common and sensitivity increases with use; even simple teas can increase photosensitivity and allergic reaction. NOT to be used in pregnancy (causes uterine contractions). Is TOXIC in excess - symptoms can be headache and vertigo.

CONTAINS: Alkaloid (achilleine) responsible for staunching blood.

PROPAGATION: By seed and division. Seeds require light to germinate. Perennial.
NEEDS: Full sun and average, well-drained soil.
HARVEST: Pick flowers when at height of full bloom for drying; whole plant is useful.
FLOWER: Appear mid-July onward. Generally white with some shades of pink. Many cultivated varieties available for the cottage garden. The variety known as The Pearl (Achillea ptarmica plena) was once used as a substitute for snuff.


Has been used mainly for digestion and cirulation, especially the veins.
Opens circulation to the skin, slows fast heart rate; has been used for stress related hypertension; works on fever by supporting other body functions rather than lowering the fever; is cleansing of the body for digestive and kidney related purposes.
For fevers of the respiratory system it has been combined with elderflowers. Garlic has been added for cleansing and when used very early in the course of a fever or when the peak has been reached and during convalescence (NOT during the rising heat of the fever).
Once used as a cure-all.
Reduces blood flow and inflammation.
Most noted as an herb for varicose veins.
Has been used as a bitter.
Has some hormonal action.
Leaves have been used for wounds and staunching the flow of blood.. Locally astringent.
A decoction has been used for wounds, sores, and chapped hands.
Has been used for acne.
Has been used as a styptic.
Has been used for asthma, fits, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, hypertension, fever, intermittent fever, to promote sweating, vaginal discharge, for its hormonal action in relation to periods, colic, nervous tension and spasms, dandruff and falling hair (combined with rosemary and peppermint), internal bleeding, for healing old wounds, catarrh, enteritis, diarrhea, excessive or scanty or painful menses, gastritis, dyspepsia, to improve the appetite, intestinal colic, nervous dyspepsia, and palpitations.
Has been used to improve the appetite.
Has central nervous system effects (stimulant) and used to treat melancholy and moodiness.
Has been used where there is risk of thrombosis.
Promotes excretion at the kidney.

Astringent and cleansing.
Used in skin lotions. An infusion of the flowers is used as a cleansing skin lotion.
Mildly aromatic. Flowers used in the herbal bath for their astringency.
Good for very oily skin as a wash in the form of herb water.

Excellent everlasting material for dried flower arrangements.

Flowers produce various shades of white; yellow with an alum mordant. The whole plant produces shades of gray to black; whole plant produces olive-green with iron mordant.

©2001 by Ernestina Parziale, CH