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Medicinal Properties & Uses - Yarrow, Achillea millefolium

Updated on April 9, 2014


Yarrow, botanically known as Achillea millefolium has a very long history, and considered to be one of the few oldest herbs recorded for its medicinal use. Yarrow is commonly seen growing wild in the northeast along roadsides and in meadows and fields. Yarrow blooms from June-Sept and loves full sun and well drained soil.

Often time’s yarrow is misidentified. There is another plant that is still in bloom during the same time, that is very similar in appearance and that is Queen Ann’s Lace. Queen Ann’s Lace will have a black dot directly in the center of the white flower and yarrow does not. Yarrow has fern like leaves and displays a feathery top flower, filled with thousands of little white petals

Yarrow on the battlefield

Yarrow was said to have been very popular on the battlefield during ancient times which is most likely how it developed a few of its nicknames like, allheal, bloodwort, and nosebleed. It is said that the ancient Greek hero Achilles would use yarrow to staunch the flow of blood from his troops wound’s in the Trojan War. Yarrow was a common component in military first aid kits as it was famously known to staunch bleeding. Yarrow is also know to lower blood pressure, promote digestion, and improves blood circulation.

Greek Hero Achilles

More Cool Yarrow Facts

  1. Other Names: Milfoil, Old Man's Pepper, Soldier's Woundwort, Knight's Milfoil, Thousand Weed, Nose Bleed, Carpenter's Weed, Bloodwort, Staunchweed
  2. Yarrow is used to treat colds, cramps, fevers, kidney disorders, toothaches, skin irritations, and hemorrhages.
  3. Yarrow oil has been traditionally used in hair shampoos, but is not recommended for large or frequent doses for long periods of time. It may cause the skin to be more sensitive to sunlight.

Yarrow draws beneficial insects to your garden

Yarrow will attract a beneficial fly to the garden called the Syphid fly. This fly resembles the appearance of a yellow jacket which is harmless to us, but the worse nightmare for harmful insects such as aphids. Another great thing about having this fly around is that you get a much earlier start to natural insect control as this fly feeds much earlier in the season than many of the other beneficial insects do.


Yarrow has become a popular herb in skin care having anti inflammatory, antiseptic, and astringent properties. This herb is often used in shampoos, lotions, and salves.

Yarrow Remedy Recipe's

Yarrow facial steam for oily skin

  • One tablespoon of yarrow in a bowl filled halfway with boiling water.
  • Lean over the bowl with your head covered with a towel to keep the steam trapped, keep your face 12-18 inches from the water.
  • Once you have finished steaming, splash off with some cool water and pat dry. You can also add other stimulating, healing and soothing herbs for more added benefits such as, Rosemary, Sage, Mint, Comfrey, Thyme, Lavender and Chamomile.

Natural Insect Repellent

  • Cut up a bunch of yarrow flowers, stem, leaves, and place in glass jar.
  • Fill the jar with vodka and seal and let it sit for a few weeks in a sunny warm spot.
  • That’s it! When it has turned a darkish color, strain and pour it into a spray bottle, and now you have a natural insect repellent.

Yarrow Side Effects

  • Oral and topical applications can make unprotected skin photosensitive
  • Not recommended to use during pregnancy or breast feeding
  • Large doses many cause diarrhea, excessive urination, and drowsiness
  • May cause contact dermatitis for extreme sensitive skin

Remember to always consult with a clinical herbalist or qualified healthcare practitioner before treating yourself with natural and herbal remedies. All information mentioned in this hub is for general information and should not be considered as medical advice or consultation. Always contact a reputable healthcare practitioner if medical care is needed.

Yarrow herb: Achillea millefolium, herbs for fever

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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Interesting and a great resource for yarrow info. Thanks.

    • rpalulis profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from NY

      Thanks Darlene glad you enjoyed this hub on Yarrow and that your feeling better, its great to see you back on the hub! I can't blame ya for being scared of your room, hopefully that fear will not last long and you can get back to a good nights sleep in your nice comfortable bed.

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      8 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Oh my dear friend, you are so good, this is such a great hub, you know about things that many of never heard of...growing up in the country on a farm, you learn more about life then any other folks, fantastic rate this up up up love & peace darski, and thank you for your kind comment, I think I am back now as of this morning I am finally feeling better, still scared of my room though...

    • rpalulis profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from NY

      oceansnsunsets, thanks, glad you enjoyed this bit of history on Yarrow and yes the gardens and you would definitely benefit have this herb around.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image


      8 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      I was just reading up some on beneficial garden insects. I love herbs, and this is no exception. Thank you for sharing this, I will have to include it in my garden this year perhaps. :) I like the history as well.

    • rpalulis profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from NY

      amy jane, thanks for reading my hub on yarrow. I think it's wonderful when kids want to pick flowers, and great that you have those pictures, something to always remember those beautiful moments.

      Chatkath, so glad you found this hub on yarrow to be incredibly informative. Isn't great to discover so many wonderful things about a plant such as yarrow and then to realize you have it growing all around you! I made sure to keep a few of these plants in my greenhouse, I much rather use natural insect control than to have to spray, bring in those beneficial insects.

    • Chatkath profile image


      8 years ago from California

      Thank you as always for your incredibly informative hubs! I have seen and had Yarrow growing but never realized how many uses there are for it! I better get busy - Anything to get rid of aphids!

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 

      8 years ago from Connecticut

      This was so interesting! I think I have yarrow growing in my front yard in the summer months, but I never knew what it was. My youngest daughter likes to wander through it, picking flowers for the kitchen table - I have many pictures of her doing this because I know I'll want to remember it! I had no idea it had so many healing properties.

    • rpalulis profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from NY

      Thanks Katie, and yes and Amen to that, God does provide all that we need! So glad you enjoyed reading this hub on Yarrow. I just love these plants!

    • katiem2 profile image

      Katie McMurray 

      8 years ago from Westerville

      Very cool, I instantly thought of Grandma's lace (that's what we called it) while reading this. I'm glad to know how to identify the difference.

      How amazing that Yarrow Arhiliea milefolium was available to those wounded and bleeding soldiers. Awesome, God does provide us with everything we need, Amazing!

      Inflamation is also a problem we should take every opportunity to avoid as it creates a host of health issues. I watched a documentary which researched the impact inflamation has on the body leading to life threatening conditions.

      Sounds like Yarrow may be a big factor ridding our lives of such issues.

      Great read and thank you for all the great tips and facts on Medicinal Properties of Yarrow. :) Katie

    • rpalulis profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from NY

      Micky Dee, thanks for stopping by, and yes sir, very true you can't lead a horticulture. Hope your having a blessed day!- Rob

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Awesomely useful rpalulis! I never knew. Thank you sir! About "exploring farming" - is it true that you can't lead a horticulture?

    • rpalulis profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from NY

      I went out and thought I was harvesting yarrow one day but it was Queen Ann's Lace, now I laugh as it is very easy for me to distinguish the difference between the two now. Yarrow is great we started harvesting some last year and have been experimenting with some different remedies.

      Thanks for the vote, take care- Rob

    • cheapsk8chick profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow! I didn't know you could use any part of yarrow besides the root. That is great! We had yarrow in Virginia, but we had lots of queen anne's lace too. We treated both like pesty weeds. Wish I had known then what I know now! Thanks for another great hub. Voted & ranked!


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