Over 85 species of quite hardy, often aromatic, commonly mat-forming perennials make up this genus, which occurs in northern temperate regions. Some are semi-evergreen. Achilleas make attractive plants for the border or rock garden, with long-lived floers that last well in water. Most have a number of cultivars in a range of colors for ornamental plantings. Achillea was named after Achilles, who used it to heal his soldier's wounds after the siege of Troy. Yarrow (A. millefolium) is closely linked to divination, giving rise to sayings and verses in many parts of the world. In China, yarrow stalks are used in consulting the I Ching (Book of Changes). Over 40 diferent constituents have been isolated from yarrow. These include an essential oil, which has anti-inflammatory azulene. The azulene content varies between plants, even in the same habitat. English or garden mace (A ageratum syn. A. decolorans), also known as maudlin or sweet milfoil, was once used medicinally in similar ways to alecost (Tanacetum balsamita see alecost). The aromatic leaves are good in soups and potato salad. Achillea erba-rotta subsp. moschata (musk yarrow) is used in perfumery and in the making of iva liqueur, wine and bitters. Sneezewort (A. ptarmica) was once used medicinally and , as the common name suggests, for making snuff.

A major healing herb during medieval times, yarrow was carried in pouches by doctors and common people alike as a sort of first-aid kit to treat wounds and ward off infections. Yarrow is used today to treat problems with the gastrointestinal, respiratory, urinary, and reproductive tracts.

Aromatic perennial with tough stems, and feathery leaves, 5-15cm (2-6in) long. White to pink flowers, about 6mm (¼in)across are produced in flat corymbs from early summer to late autumn.

This unassuming plant conceals great powers. One small leaf will speed decomposition of a wheelbarrow full of raw compost; yarrow's root secretions will activate the disease resistance of nearby plants; and it intensifies the medicinal action of other herbs. Yarrow is also a potent healer. The name Achillea may stem from the battle of Troy, when Achilles healed many of his warriors after being instructed in yarrow's ability to stauch the flow of blood.I Ching (the Book of Changes or Yarrow Stalk Oracle).

Common Name:
Other Names:
Bloodwort, Carpenter's Weed, Devil's Plaything, Milfoil, Noble Yarrow, Nosebleed, Old Man's Pepper, Sanguinary, Soldier's Woundwort, Staunchgrass, Thousandleaf
Botanical Name:
Achillea millefolium
Northern Temperate regions
Well-drained soil in full sun. Yarrow is prone to mildew in hot, dry conditions. It tends to be invasive if not confined in a container. The flowers attract beneficial insects, including hoverflies, ladybugs, and parasitic wasps that prey on garden pests, notable aphids.
By division in spring; by seed sown in spring. Variants do not come true from seed.
Flowering plants are cut in summer and dried for use in infusions, liquid extracts, lotions, and tinctures.
5-30cm (2-12in)
5-20cm (2-8in)
Cerise Queen
Magenta-pink flowers
Height: 60cm (24in)
Width: 60cm (24in)
Lilac Beauty syn Lavender Beauty
Lilac pink flowers
Height: 80cm (32in)
is a clump forming yarrow with striking silver-green foliage and flat clusters of pleasant yellow flowers from June through September. The flowers are very long lasting and are wonderful for cutting and drying. Deadhead the flowers for re-bloom and cut back to the basil leaf after bloom has finished. This is a compact variety of Yarrow with a 2´ height and spread making it a great plant for front borders. Moonshine needs good drainage and can take poor to moderate soils, but avoid clay and rich soils. Achillea millefolium 'Moonshine' is deer and rabbit resistant.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 3-9
Plant Use: Flowering Perennial
Exposure: Full Sun
Water Requirements: Medium to Low
Orange red flowers that fade with age
Height: 60cm (24in)
Width: 60cm (24in)
Dark Magenta flower heads
Width: 20cm (8in)
Height: 80cm (32in)
Note: Cultivars are less invasive than the species.
Summer Pastels
is is a less aggressive, compact grower than most yarrows. This Yarrow's narrow fern-like foliage will soften your perennial border. When deadheaded it will bloom from early summer to first frost. 'Summer Pastels' has a soft mix of pastel colored flowers, from pink, peach, purple, and white to yellow. Achillea millefolium 'Summer Pastels' can get 24-30" tall at maturity.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 3-9 AHS Zones 2-9
Plant Use: Flowering Perennial
Exposure: Full Sun
Water Requirements: Medium to Low
Hardy herbaceous perennial
Small, dull white, sometimes pink, flattish clusters with pungent scent appear from summer to autumn.
Dried Leaves:
These exude a mild sage-like flavor for use as a medicinal and cosmetic tea.
Small, gray-brown, flat and tear shaped.
Hollow, ridged, branching near top, and green.
Dried Stems:
50 straight stems of even lengths are "thrown" by masters of the I Ching before consulting this ancient oriental guide to the future.
Narrow, aromatic, feathery, deeply cut and dark grayish green; rich in vitamins and minerals.
Yarrow's botanical name pays homage to Achilles, the Greek hero of the Trojan war, who was believed to have healed his soldiers' wounds with the yarrow plant. (A practice taught to Achilles by the great centaur Chiron, who would himself be immortalized in astrology and astronomy.) Among Native Americans yarrow was also a prized wound healer and blood stauncher (as well as a muscle strengthener and a cure for baldness), and the herb was later used extensively on the battlefields of the Revolutionary and American Civil Wars. Through the centuries, yarrow was also strongly associated with mysticism and magic. Among the ancient Chinese, it was revered as a sacred plant with prognosticating flowers. Fifty dried yarrow stalks were used to "cast" the questions posed to the I Ching, China's oldest system of divination. Among the early Christians, yarrow, like St. Johnswort, was dedicated to the martyred St. John the Baptist, and on the eve of his saint's day (June 23rd), yarrow sprigs were placed under pillows and hung in homes and churches to chase away demons. Yarrow was also curiously associated with both witches and virginal brides. A sprig of yarrow flowers in a young woman's bridal bouquet would ensure seven years of love and happiness; but any unmarried woman caught gathering yarrow was considered a witch. The Irish believed yarrow was the first herb ever picked by the young Jesus, and considered the plant as lucky as the shamrock.
LEAF: Finely chop slightly bitter, peppery young leaves into salads and cheese dips.
WHOLE PLANT: Helps nearby plants to resist disease.
LEAF: Speed decomposition by adding one chopped fresh leaf to each wheelbarrow-load of compost.
FLOWER: Infuse flowers for a facial steam and tonic lotion.
LEAF: Infuse as a tea for digestive problems.
Extended use may make the skin light-sensitive.
Parts Used:
Whole Plant, flower, above ground parts, berries, fruits, leaves.
Chemical Constituents:
  • Achilleine
  • Coumarins
  • Polyacetylenes
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Tannins
  • Triterpenes
  • Volatile oils
  • Properties:
    An aromatic, bitter, astringent herb that reduces inflammation, promotes perspiration, relieves indigestion, and is a diuretic. It is also effective in lowering blood pressure, relaxing spasms, and arresting hemorrhage.
    Vitamin Content:
    Known Effects:
  • Reduces blood-clotting time
  • Reduces pain
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Possible Side Effects:
  • Potential mild sedative
  • May help reduce menstrual cramps
  • May help reduce blood pressure
  • Medicinal Uses:
    Internally for feverish illnesses (especially colds, influenza, and measles), mucus, diarrhea, dyspepsia, rheumatism, arthritis, menstrual and menopausal complaints, hypertension, and to protect against thrombosis after stroke or heart attack. Externally for wounds, nosebleeds, ulcers, inflamed eyes, and hemorrhoids. Combines well with Sambucus nigra (see elder) and Mentha x. piperita (see peppermint) for fevers, with Tilia (see linden) for high blood pressure, and Chamaemelum nobile (see Roman chamomile) for digestive disorders. Used similarly in Ayurvedic medicine and also as a tonic (often combined with Salvia officinalis, see sage) for the nervous system. Prolonged use of yarrow may cause allergic rashes and make the skin more sensitive to sunlight.
    To treat mild spasms of the gastrointestinal tract, loss of appetite, wounds, uterine/pelvic complaints, and bleeding hemorrhoids. Germany's Commission E has a approved the use of yarrow to treat gastrointestinal discomfort and complaints, loss of appetite, and female abdominal complaints.
    Yarrow has alterative, antiflatulence, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic, fever-reducing, stomach-soothing, sweat-promoting, tonic, uterine-stimulating, and wound-healing properties. It also helps to stop intern and external bleeding, and it increases the flow of bile to the intestines, thus helping rid the body of toxins. It is taken internally as a general tonic and for arthritis, colds, diarrhea, fever, flu, indigestion, internal bleeding, high blood pressure, measles, menstrual irregularities, and rheumatism. It is used externally for cuts, minor wounds, nosebleeds, and hemorrhoids.
    To make a tea, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of dried herb and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and drink up to 3 cups a day. To make a decoction for external use—to rub on the skin or use in a compress—boil 2 teaspoons of dried herb in 1 cup of water for 10 minutes. Strain and allow to cool before applying to the skin.
    Typical Dose:
    A typical dose of yarrow is approximately 2 gm of finely cut herb mixed with 150 ml boiling water, steeped for 10 to 15 minutes, strained and taken as a tea three to four times daily between meals.
    Warnings and Precautions:
    Do not take yarrow if you are pregnant or are trying to conceive. Overuse of yarrow may cause photosensitivity (oversensitivity of the skin to sunlight). Yarrow may also interfere with the absorption of iron. Sensitive individuals may experience an allergic reaction to yarrow. Overconsumption of the herb may be toxic.

    Don't take if you :
    Are pregnant, think you may be pregnant, or plan pregnancy in the near future.
    Consult your doctor if you:
  • Take this herb for any medical problem that doesn't improve in 2 weeks (There may be safer, more effective treatments.)
  • Take any medicinal drugs or herbs including aspirin, laxatives, cold and cough remedies, antacids, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, supplements, other prescription or non-prescription drugs.
  • Have ragweed allergy—a rash may occur

  • Pregnancy:
    Don't use unless prescribed by your doctor.
    Don't use unless prescribed by your doctor.
    Infants and Children
    Treating infants and children under 2 with any herbal preparation is hazardous.
    None are expected if you are beyond childhood, under 45, not pregnant, basically healthy, take it only for a short period of time and do not exceed manufacturer's recommended dose.
  • Store in cool, dry area away from direct light, but don't freeze
  • Store safely out of reach of children
  • Don't store in bathroom medicine cabinet. Heat and moisture may change the action of the herb.

  • Safe Dosage:
    Consult your doctor for the appropriate dose for your condition.
    Generally regarded as safe when taken in appropriate quantities for short periods of time.
    Possible Side Effects:
    Yarrow's side effects include drowsiness, uterine stimulation, and contact dermatitis.
    Drug Interactions:
    Taking yarrow with these drugs may interfere with the absorption of the drug:
    Ferric Gluconate, (Ferrlecit)
    Ferrous Fumarate, (Femiron, Feostat)
    Ferrous Gluconate, (Fergon, Novo-Ferrogluc)
    Ferrous Sulfate, (Feratab, Fer-Iron)
    Ferrous Sulfate and Ascorbic Acid, (Fero-Grad 500, Vitelle Irospan)
    Iron-Dextran Complex, (Dexferrum, INFeD)
    Polysaccharide-Iron Complex, (Hytinic, Niferex)
    Taking yarrow with these drugs may disrupt blood sugar control:
    Acarbose, (Prandase, Precose)
    Glipizide, (Glucotrol)
    Glyburide, (DiaBeta, Micronase)
    Insulin, (Humulin, Novolin R)
    Metformin, (Glucophage, Riomet)
    Miglitol, (Glyset)
    Pioglitazone, (Actos)
    Repaglinide, (GlucoNorm, Prandin)
    Rosiglitazone, (Avandia)
    Taking yarrow with these drugs may increase the risk of hypotension (excessively low blood pressure):
    Acebutolol, (Novo-Acebutolol, Sectral)
    Amlodipine, (Norvasc)
    Atenolol, (Apo-Atenol, Tenormin)
    Benazepril, (Lotensin)
    Betaxolol, (Betoptic S, Kerlone)
    Bisoprolol, (Monocor, Zebeta)
    Bumetanide, (Bumex, Burinex)
    Candesartan, (Atacand)
    Captopril, (Capoten, Novo-Captopril)
    Carteolol, (Cartrol, Ocupress)
    Carvedilol, (Coreg)
    Chlorothiazide, (Diuril)
    Chlorthalidone, (Apo-Chlorthalidone, Thalitone)
    Clonidine, (Catapres, Duraclon)
    Diazoxide, (Hyperstat, Proglycem)
    Diltiazem, (Cardizem, Tiazac)
    Doxazosin, (Alti-Doxazosin, Cardura)
    Enalapril, (Vasotec)
    Eplerenone, (Inspra)
    Eprosartan, (Teveten)
    Esmolol, (Brevibloc)
    Felodipine, (Plendil, Renedil)
    Fenoldopam, (Corlopam)
    Fosinopril, (Monopril)
    Furosemide, (Apo-Furosemide, Lasix)
    Guanabenz, (Wytensin)
    Guanadrel, (Hylorel)
    Guanfacine, (Tenex)
    Hydralazine, (Apresoline, Novo-Hylazin)
    Hydrochlorothiazide, (Apo-Hydro, Microzide)
    Hydrochlorothiazide and Triamterene, (Dyazide, Maxzide)
    Indapamide, (Lozol, Nu-Indapamide)
    Irbesartan, (Avapro)
    Isradipine, (DynaCirc)
    Labetolol, (Normodyne, Trandate)
    Lisinopril, (Prinivil, Zestril)
    Losartan, (Cozaar)
    Mecamylamine, (Inversine)
    Mefruside, (Baycaron)
    Methyclothiazide, (Aquatensen, Enduron)
    Methyldopa, (Apo-Methyldopa, Nu-Medopa)
    Metolazone, (Mykrox, Zaroxolyn)
    Metoprolol, (Betaloc, Lopressor)
    Minoxidil, (Loniten, Rogaine)
    Moexipril, (Univasc)
    Nadolol, (Apo-Nadol, Corgard)
    Nicardipine, (Cardene)
    Nifedipine, (Adalat CC, Procardia)
    Nisoldipine, (Sular)
    Nitroglycerin, (Minitran, Nitro-Dur)
    Nitroprusside, (Nipride, Nitropress)
    Olmesartan, (Benicar)
    Oxprenolol, (Slow-Trasicor, Trasicor)
    Perindopril Erbumine, (Aceon, Coversyl)
    Phenoxybenzamine, (Dibenzyline)
    Phentolamine, (Regitine, Rogitine)
    Pindolol, (Apo-Pindol, Novo-Pindol)
    Polythiazide, (Renese)
    Prazosin, (Minipress, Nu-Prazo)
    Propranolol, (Inderal, InnoPran XL)
    Quinapril, (Accupril)
    Ramipril, (Altace)
    Reserpine, (Reserpine)
    Spironolactone, (Aldactone, Novo-Spiroton)
    Telmisartan, (Micardis)
    Terazosin, (Alti-Terazosin, Hytrin)
    Timolol, (Betimol, Timoptic)
    Torsemide, (Demedex)
    Trandolapril, (Mavik)
    Triamterene, (Dyrenium)
    Trichlormethiazide, (Metatensin, Naqua)
    Valsartan, (Diovan)
    Verapamil, (Calan, Isoptin SR)
    Taking yarrow with these drugs may increase the risk of bleeding or bruising:
    Abciximab, (ReoPro)
    Aminosalicylic Acid, (Nemasol Sodium, Paser)
    Antithrombin III, (Thrombate III)
    Argatroban, (Argatroban)
    Aspirin, (Bufferin, Ecotrin)
    Aspirin and Dipyridamole, (Aggrenox)
    Bivalirudin, (Angiomax)
    Choline Magnesium trisalicylate, (Trilisate)
    Choline Salicylate, (Teejel)
    Clopidogrel, (Plavix)
    Dalteparin, (Fragmin)
    Danaparoid, (Orgaran)
    Dipyridamole, (Novo-Dipiradol, Persantine)
    Enoxaparin, (Lovenox)
    Eptifibatide, (Integrillin)
    Fondaparinux, (Arixtra)
    Heparin, (Hepalean, Hep-Lock)
    Indobufen, (Ibustrin)
    Lepirudin, (Refludan)
    Salsalate, (Amgesic, Salflex)
    Ticlopidine, (Alti-Ticlopidine, Ticlid)
    Tinzaparin, (Innohep)
    Tirofiban, (Aggrastat)
    Warfarin, (Coumadin, Jantoven)
    Taking yarrow with these drugs may increase the risk of excessive sedation and mental depression and impairment:
    Acetaminophen and Codeine, (Capital and Codeine, Tylenol with Codeine)
    Alfentanil, (Alfenta)
    Alprazolam, (Apo-Alpraz, Xanax)
    Amobarbital, (Amytal)
    Amobarbital and Secobarbital, (Tuinal)
    Aspirin and Codeine, (Coryphen Codeine)
    Belladonna and Opium, (B&O Supprettes)
    Bromazepam, (Apo-Bromazepam, Gen-Bromazepam)
    Brotizolam, (Lendorm, Sintonal)
    Buprenorphine, (Buprenex, Subutex)
    Buprenorphine and Naloxone, (Suboxone)
    Butabarbital, (Butisol Sodium)
    Butalbital, Acetaminophen and Caffeine, (Esgic, Fioricet)
    Butalbital, Aspirin and Caffeine, (Fiorinal)
    Butorphanol, (Apo-Butorphanol, Stadol)
    Chloral Hydrate, (Aquachloral Supprettes, Somnote)
    Chlordiazepoxide, (Apo-Chlordiazepoxide, Librium)
    Clobazam, (Alti-Clobazam, Frisium)
    Clonazepam, (Klonopin, Rivotril)
    Clorazepate, (Tranxene, T-Tab)
    Codeine, (Codeine Contin)
    Dexmedetomidine, (Precedex)
    Diazepam, (Apo-Diazepam, Valium)
    Dihydrocodeine, Aspirin, and Caffeine, (Synalgos-DC)
    Diphenhydramine, (Benadryl Allergy, Nytol)
    Estazolam, (ProSom)
    Fentanyl, (Actiq, Duragesic)
    Flurazepam, (Apo-Flurazepam, Dalmane)
    Glutethimide, (Glutethimide)
    Haloperidol, (Haldol, Novo-Peridol)
    Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen, (Vicodin, Zydone)
    Hydrocodone and Aspirin, (Damason-P)
    Hydrocodone and Ibuprofen, (Vicoprofen)
    Hydromorphone, (Dilaudid, PMS-Hydromorphone)
    Hydroxyzine, (Atarax, Vistaril)
    Levomethadyl Acetate Hydrochloride, (Levomethadyl Acetate Hydrochloride)
    Levorphanol, (LevoDromoran)
    Loprazolam, (Domonoct, Havlane)
    Lorazepam, (Ativan, Nu-Loraz)
    Meperidine, (Demerol, Meperitab)
    Meperidine and Promethazine, (Meperidine and Promethazine)
    Mephobarbital, (Mebaral)
    Methadone, (Dolophine, Methadose)
    Methohexital, (Brevital, Brevital Sodium)
    Midazolam, (Apo-Midazolam, Versed)
    Morphine Sulfate, (Kadian, MS Contin)
    Nalbuphine, (Nubain)
    Opium Tincture, (Opium Tincture)
    Oxycodone, (OxyContin, Roxicodone)
    Oxycodone and Acetaminophen, (Endocet, Percocet)
    Oxycodone and Aspirin, (Endodan, Percodan)
    Oxymorphone, (Numorphan)
    Paregoric, (Paregoric)
    Pentazocine, (Talwin)
    Pentobarbital, (Nembutal)
    Phenobarbital, (Luminal Sodium, PMS-Phenobarbital)
    Phenoperidine, (Phenoperidine)
    Prazepam, (Prazepam)
    Primidone, (Apo-Primidone, Mysoline)
    Promethazine, (Phenergan)
    Propofol, (Diprivan)
    Propoxyphene, (Darvon, Darvon-N)
    Propoxyphene and Acetaminophen, (Darvocet-N 50, Darvocet-N 100)
    Propoxyphene, Aspirin, and Caffeine, (Darvon Compound)
    Quazepam, (Doral)
    Remifentanil, (Ultiva)
    Secobarbital, (Seconal)
    Sufentanil, (Sufenta)
    S-Zopiclone, (Lunesta)
    Temazepam, (Novo-Temazepam, Restoril)
    Tetrazepam, (Mobiforton, Musapam)
    Thiopental, (Pentothal)
    Triazolam, (Apo-Triazo, Halcion)
    Zaleplon, (Sonata, Stamoc)
    Zolpidem, (Ambien)
    Zopiclone, (Alti-Zopiclone, Gen-Zopiclone)
    Taking yarrow with this drug may be harmful:
    Sucralfate, (Carafate, Sulcrate)—May interfere with the action of the drug.
    Supplement Interactions:
    Increased risk of thujone toxicity when taken with herbs containing thujone, such as Oak Moss, Oriental Arbor-Vitae, Sage, Tansy, and Tree Moss.
    Adverse Reactions, Side Effects, or Overdose Symptoms:
    Signs and Symptoms What to do

    Diarrhea Discontinue. Call doctor immediately.
    Encylopedia of Herbs by Deni Brown Copyright ©: 1995, 2001 Dorling Kindersley Limited pp.98-99
    The Essential Herb-Drug-Vitamin Interaction Guide by Geo. T. Grossberg,MD and Barry Fox,PhD Copyright©2007 Barry Fox,PhD. Pp.409-502
    Magnolia Gardens Nursery Copyright©2009 Magnolia Gardens Nursery.
    The Modern Herbal Primer by Nancy Burke Copyright©2000 Yankee Publishing, Inc. pp. 104-105
    Vitamins, Herbs, Minerals, & Supplements The Complete Guide by H. Winter Griffith, MD Copyright©1998 Fisher Books pp. 468-469
    Readers Digest Home Handbooks Herbs by Lesley Bremness, Contributing Editor Copyright ©1990 Dorling Kindersley Limited, London. pg. 14