phytochemicals Phytochemicals

More plants with phytochemicals

Common Yarrow

Common Yarrow

Achillea millefolium

What is common yarrow?

Common yarrow is a perennial herb with several angular stems. The leaves are alternate and are very finely cut, giving the common yarrow leaves a feathery appearance (hence the name milfoil). The flowers, which appear in summer, are white or pale lilac in colour.

Parts used

The whole plant (stems, leaves and flowers) or only the flowers are used. Common yarrow is harvested and dried when in flower.


These are typical phytochemicals found in common yarrow: triterpenes, salicylic acid, coumarins, tannins, betonicine, stachydrine, achillicin, flavonoids.

Benefits of common yarrow

Common yarrow is used to treat arthritis, colds and fevers. It is also used to treat hypertension and lack of appetite. Common yarrow is a general tonic for the cardio-vascular system and helps to lower blood pressure.
Because of its anti-bacterial properties, common yarrow is used to treat dysentary and diarrhoea. It is also used by women to ease menstruation.

Other facts

Common yarrow grown naturally in Europe and Western Asia. It can endure dry and impoverished soil and survive with little maintenance. It is also know as a weed in lawns. Common yarrow is one of the most popular of herbs used in herbal medicine.When the fresh plant is crushed it releases an unmistakable odour. When cows eat it, the milk produced will have an unpleasant taste.

Common yarrow has been used as a medicine for ages. Legend tells that Achilles used the herb to heal the wounds of his soldiers. Dioscorides, a Greek physician, recommended it to treat skin ulcers to reduce inflammation.

Other names

Milfoil, thousand weed, bloodwort, yarroway, woundwort, carpenter's weed, sanguinary.

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