Yarrow Plant: Introduction, Uses, and Side Effects

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a perennial plant that has been known for its medicinal properties for centuries. Originally found in Europe and Asia, this plant is grown around the world due to its health benefits. Here we’ll explore the different uses of yarrow, its possible side effects, and its properties.
Yarrow Plant: Introduction, Uses, and Side Effects
Table of Contents


Yarrow is also known as the “herb of the military.” It is a herbaceous perennial plant that benefits humans in many ways. It contains several active compounds such as flavonoids, sesquiterpene lactones, and volatile oils, further enhancing its therapeutic effects. These compounds have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and analgesic properties, making them valuable herbs in traditional and modern medicine.

Uses of Yarrow Plant

Yarrow has a long history of use in traditional medicine systems in various cultures. Due to its versatile nature, it has become an important herb for addressing various health conditions. Let’s explore some of its traditional and contemporary uses:

1. In Wound Healing and Hemostasis

  • It has astringent properties that help stop bleeding and enhance the wound-healing process. It is also used to clean wounds, reduce swelling, and reduce the risk of infection.

2. In Digestive Health

  • It is beneficial for gastrointestinal problems like indigestion, bloating, and flatulence. It also stimulates the production of digestive juices, which helps in the smooth functioning of the digestive system.

3. In Respiratory Support

  • Yarrow has anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties that help reduce respiratory problems such as bronchitis, cough, and congestion.

4. In Menstrual Disorders

  • It is traditionally used to reduce menstrual cramps, control irregular menstruation, and reduce heavy menstrual bleeding. It also acts as a uterine tonic, which leads to a healthy menstrual cycle.

5. In Fever and Flu

  • It has diaphoretic properties, which induce sweating. Consuming it during fever causes sweating, which cures fever and also removes toxic substances from the body. To reduce fever, it can be consumed in the form of tea or its steam can also be taken.

Potential Side Effects and Precautions

Yarrow provides us with many health benefits but it can also have many side effects which are important to know. We will learn about some of its side effects below:

1. Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may be allergic to it, especially those who are allergic to plants in the Asteraceae family, such as ragweed or daisies, so it is advisable to do a patch test before using it.

2. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult their doctor before using it, as it may stimulate uterine contractions.

3. Interactions with Medications: Yarrow may interact with several medications such as blood thinners and sedatives. Therefore, if you are taking any such medicine, it would be advisable to consult a doctor.

Read Also: Sage Herb

Incorporating this Herb into Your Daily Routine

By including yarrow in your daily routine, you can take advantage of its many benefits. There are many ways to include it in your daily routine, some of which are as follows:

A. Yarrow Tea

  • You can consume it in the form of tea. For this, soak its dry leaves and flowers in hot water for 10-15 minutes and then filter them. Your yarrow tea is ready. This tea provides relief from digestive, respiratory, and menstrual problems.
Yarrow Plant: Introduction, Uses, and Side Effects

B. Topical Applications

  • Making yarrow oil is very easy. For this, soak dried leaves and flowers in olive or coconut oil for several weeks. Your yarrow oil is ready. You can apply it topically to reduce wounds, injuries, or skin irritation. It’s wound-healing and anti-inflammatory properties help in this.

C. Aromatherapy

  • This herb has many calming and respiratory properties. To take advantage of these properties, add a few drops of yarrow essential oil to a diffuser or inhale it directly.


Yarrow is a versatile herb with a history of traditional use spanning centuries. Its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and analgesic properties make it a valuable herb in various health conditions. While it offers many benefits, it is important to be aware of its potential side effects and precautions. Therefore, consult a health care professional before adding this herb to your daily routine.

Frequently Asked Question

Yes, you can eat yarrow flowers but in small quantities. The taste of their flowers and young leaves is slightly bitter but they are safe to consume. These can be eaten by mixing them in salad or soup and used as tea. Start with small amounts, as yarrow has a strong flavor, and consuming it in large amounts can cause stomach upset.

It thrives in places with good drainage where it gets proper sunlight. It is quite tolerant of a variety of soils including sandy and clay soils and can handle heat and drought conditions well. Avoid planting them in shady areas or in soil that is constantly wet, as this can cause root rot.

Traditionally, it has been used for a variety of treatments. Some of its objectives are as follows:

  • Wounds: Fresh leaves can be crushed and applied directly to small wounds to stop and promote healing if someone is bleeding.
  • Inflammation: A tea or compress made from its leaves reduces inflammation in joints, muscles, or skin.
  • Diarrhea: Its tea helps reduce mild cases of diarrhea.
  • Cold and Fever: Its tea can also help reduce fever and relieve cold and flu-like symptoms.

It is generally safe to consume this tea in limited quantities (one to two cups a day) for short periods. However, taking it daily for a long time or taking it in high doses is not recommended as it may cause side effects such as stomach upset, dizziness, or skin reactions. It is advisable to consult your doctor before using it, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Yes, it has a long history of use in traditional medicine and research shows that it has many medicinal properties. However, it is important to remember that this is an herb, not a miracle cure. Therefore, consult a doctor for any chronic or serious health condition.

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