Achillea millefolium

  • Latin Name : Achillea millefolium
  • English Name : Common Yarrow
  • Hindi Name : Brinjasif
  • Part Used : Whole Plant

Yarrow is a very hardy perennial that’s native to Eurasia, but is widely naturalized in the United States. Yarrow has been used as a medicine for ages. The genus name, Achillea, honors the Greek hero Achilles, who is said to have used yarrow on the battlefield to staunch the bleeding of his men’s wounds. Yarrow is also a traditional women’s herb, used to ease menstruation.

Externally, yarrow is styptic (stops bleeding), astringent (makes tissue contract), antiseptic (inhibits bacterial growth), vulnerary (helps tissue heal), anti-inflammatory, and possibly anesthetic. For external use, generally either the fresh or dried plant material is used as a poultice, or a tea made from the plant is used in compresses or as a wash. It’s also sometimes used in ointments. Modern science has identified well over a hundred active biological compounds in this plant. Among the more notable are achilleine (hemostatic), apigenin, azulene (anti-inflammatory), camphor, coumarin, inulin, menthol, quercetin, rutin, salicylic acid, and thujone.

Yarrow has also been used as food. The tea is consumed as a beverage, and the plant has been used to flavor beer, wine, and soft drinks. Internally, the tea is a very good diaphoretic (raises the body temperature and makes you sweat). It also makes a bitter tonic which stimulates digestion. Additionally, it’s expectorant, carminative (dispels gas), hemostatic (another way of saying it stops bleeding), astringent, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, analgesic, stimulant, and emmenagogue. Yarrow is a general tonic for the cardio-vascular system, lowers blood pressure, and slows heartbeat.