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Yarrow

Parts Used & Where Grown

This prolific plant grows in Europe, North America, and Asia. A number of species are used as garden ornamentals. The flowering tops of yarrow are used in herbal medicine.

How It Works

A number of chemicals may contribute to yarrow’s actions. The volatile oil, which is rich in sesquiterpene lactones, and alkamides has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties in test tube studies.1,2 Animal studies have shown this herb can reduce smooth muscle spasms, which might further explain its usefulness in gastrointestinal conditions.3 The alkaloid obtained from yarrow, known as achilletin, reportedly stops bleeding in animals.4 No human clinical studies have confirmed the traditional uses of yarrow.

References

1. Zitterl-Eglseer K, Jurenitsch J, Korhammer S, et al. Sesquiterpene lactones of Achillea setacea with antiphlogistic activity. Planta Med 1991;57:444-6.

2. Muller-Jakic B, Breu W, Probstle A, et al. In vitro inhibition of cyclooxygenase and 5-lipoxygenase by alkamides from Echinacea and Achillea species. Planta Med 1994;60:37-40.

3. Tewari JP, Srivastava MC, Bajpai JL. Pharmacologic studies of Achillea millefolium Linn. Indian J Med Sci 1994;28:331-6.

4. Duke JA. CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1985, 10-1.

5. Schulz V, Hänsel R, Tyler VE. Rational Phytotherapy: A Physician's Guide to Herbal Medicine. 3rd ed, Berlin: Springer, 1998, 168-73.

6. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin: American Botanical Council and Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 425-6.

7. Tewari JP, Srivastava MC, Bajpai JL. Pharmacologic studies of Achillea millefolium Linn. Indian J Med Sci 1994;28(8):331-6.

8. Langmead L, Feakins RM, Goldthorpe S, et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral aloe vera gel for active ulcerative colitis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2004;19:739-47.

9. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Beaconsfield, UK: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1989, 114-5.

10. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Gothenburg, Sweden: Ab Arcanum and Beaconsfield, UK: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1988, 315.

11. Hudson T. Women's Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Lincolnwood, IL: Keats, 1999, 54.

12. Castleman M. The Healing Herbs. New York, Bantam Books, 1991, 550-4.

13. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Gothenburg, Sweden: Ab Arcanum and Beaconsfield, UK: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1988, 315.

14. Schilcher H. Phytotherapy in Paediatrics. Stuttgart: Medpharm Scientific Publishers, 1997, 80.

15. Castleman M. The Healing Herbs. New York, Bantam Books, 1991, 550-4.

16. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 233-4.

17. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A (eds). American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1997, 3.

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.

Copyright © 2020 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.