Yarrow is a hardy plant, which is native to certain regions of North America, Europe and Asia. The botanical name of the yarrow herb is Achillea millefolium. This herb belongs to the Compositae or Asteraceae family. This herb can be seen growing in meadows, pastures and wastelands. It gets its name from the Greek hero, Achilles. It is believed that Achilles used this medicinal herb to treat the battle wounds of his soldiers during the Trojan war. Since the leaves of this plant can be used to stop nosebleeds, it is also called nosebleed. References of this herb date back to thousands of years, indicating that people were aware of its medicinal properties in ancient times. It is considered to be a sacred plant by Chinese. They believed that it represented the balance between the yin and yang. The stalk, leaves as well as flowers of this plant are used in herbal remedies. The root of this plant is also used by herbalists for treating certain ailments.
The presence of alkaloids, coumarins, flavonoids, salicylic acid, chamazulene, polyacetylenes and tannin is responsible for the medicinal properties of this herb. This plant contains antiseptic oils as well as astringent tannins. Since it contains silica, the damaged and worn out tissues in the body can be repaired by the application of this herb. This herb has been used to heal cuts, wounds, ulcers and burns for generations. Due to its ability to facilitate blood clotting, it is very effective for treating nosebleeds. It is also believed to help in reducing heavy menstrual flow. It is also known for its diaphoretic properties. Since it increases perspiration, it can help in curing cold and fever.
Besides the topical application, this herb can also be used to make tea. For making tea, you need to add two or three fresh or dried leaves to a cup and pour boiling water into it. You must let it brew for 5 minutes. You can also add honey to sweeten this herbal tea. Consumption of this tea will help those suffering from a lack of appetite. It also aids in digestion and facilitates the absorption of nutrients by the body. This plant also contains azulenes and salicylic acid. These have anti-spasmodic properties, therefore, this herb can also be used to treat cramps and muscle spasms. The alkaloid that is obtained from this plant is called achilletin. It is achilletin that helps to stop bleeding. This plant can be used to stop internal bleeding. It is therefore beneficial in curbing hemorrhage. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it also provides relief to those suffering from rheumatism.
Uses and Side Effects
If you are suffering from a cold, chewing the yarrow root will certainly prove beneficial. It will have a beneficial effect on the mucous membranes. The root also acts as an astringent, tonic, stimulant, antipyretic and a mild aromatic. It can also be made into a decoction and applied on sores and skin eruptions. One can also chew the dried root. It acts like a stimulant. It is also supposed to act like an anesthetic. Its root is also supposed to provide relief from toothache. This medicinal herb is also used in aromatherapy.
Though the benefits of this herb are numerous, you also need to pay attention to the side effects. An overdose could also lead to diarrhea and drowsiness. It has been seen that prolonged use of this herb might make the skin photosensitive. If you see any allergic reaction on your skin, you must discontinue using it. Allergic reactions could include itching, rashes and small skin blisters. Since this herb can have a stimulant effect on the uterus, pregnant women must not use this herb. Even nursing mothers should avoid using this herb.
If you are planning to use this herb for medicinal purposes, it would be better to consult a herbal therapist. Discontinue its use, if you experience an allergic reaction or any of the aforementioned side effects.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.