Achillea millefolium

Yarrow - Achillea millefolium (in the Asteraceae or Aster family)

Part used: Flowers, leaves.

Taste/smell: Bitter, aromatic, pungent.

Tendencies: Cooling, drying.

Dosage: Infusion: 1 teaspoon per cup of water; or 1:1 fresh strength liquid extract: 10-30 drops 1-4 times per day.

Mental picture and specifics: The individual has vertigo when moving slowly and feels as if something is forgotten. The head seems full of blood. Yarrow is specific for the urinary system and exerts a tonic influence on the venous system and mucous membranes. It is best for atonic and relaxed tissues where there is free discharge or massive bleeding of bright red blood, or diarrhea.

Use: (a) Bitter tonic, (b) Antiseptic, (c) Antifungal, (d) Astringent, (e) Styptic, (f) Stimulating diaphoretic, (g) Anti-inflammatory, (h) Anodyne.

A hot infusion of yarrow produces a stimulating diaphoretic effect and a col d infusion produces a diuretic effect or tones gastric organs. Some of the ability to relieve pain may be due to its prostaglandin-inhibiting action. It is used in the initial stages of colds or fevers, bleeding hemorrhoids, excessive menstrual flow with uterine atony or uterine spasms and vaginitis with vaginal atony. It contains achilletin and achilleine (hemostatics), B-iso-thujone, coumarin, chamazulene, apigenin and steroidal B-sitosterol.

Contraindications: The constituent, B-iso-thujone, can cause vomiting, stomach and intestinal cramps, retention of urine, and in serious cases, renal damage, vertigo, tremors, and convulsions. B-iso-thujone is alcohol soluble, but aqueous extracts contain less of it. Allergic contact dermatitis can occur with external use of yarrow on sensitive individuals. Discontinue if a rash occurs. It is contraindicated in pregnancy due to the emmenagogue and abortifacient effects.

Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.

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