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Legend has it that yarrow (Achillea millefolium) was named after Achilles, the Greek mythical figure who used it to staunch the bleeding wounds of his soldiers. Popular in European folk medicine, yarrow has traditionally been used to treat menstrual ailments and bleeding hemorrhoids. Like chamomile, its distant botanical relative, yarrow is also a common herbal remedy for bloating, flatulence, and mild gastrointestinal cramping.
Yarrow flourishes in a sunny and warm habitat, and is frequently found along meadows and roadsides, as well as on dry, sunny slopes. It grows as a simple, erect, and hairy stem that reaches a height of 0.1 to 1.5 meters. The entire plant (with the exception of the fruit) is draped in white, silky hairs. Growing from underground runners are tough, angular, horizontal stems that bear flowers.
Yarrow blooms between June and September. The flowers are typically white, but either pink or pale purple flowers are common in mountain areas. The petals are densely arranged in flattened clusters, and the leaves look like feathers.
The following parts of yarrow are used for medicinal purposes.
Yarrow is used to treat the following conditions and symptoms.
Yarrow is also used to produce sweat, reduce fever, prevent hemorrhaging, induce menstruation, stimulate the liver's production of bile, stimulate flow of bile to the duodenum (part of the small intestine), and as an antibacterial astringent. Traditional uses of yarrow also include external applications for wound healing and skin inflammations, and as a sitz bath for pain and cramps in the lower female pelvis and for liver ailments.
Yarrow is available in the following forms.
How to Take It
The following are recommended doses for yarrow.
While yarrow is considered free of adverse side effects when administered in recommended therapeutic doses, some people have allergic reactions to this plant. If you are pregnant, do not use yarrow. If you are breastfeeding, be sure to avoid excessive use.
No harmful drug interactions have been reported.
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