Part of the plant used for medicinal purposes: yarrow herb (Millefolii herba)

Other common names: common yarrow, nosebleed plant, old man’s pepper, devil’s nettle, sanguinary, milfoil, soldier’s woundwort, thousand-leaf, thousand-seal.

Description and harvesting

In Slovenia, yarrow is a common meadow plant which also grows by footpaths, fields, and in dry and wet areas. It grows up to 80 cm tall. It is a perennial plant that belongs to the daisy family (Asteraceae). Leaves near the base are petiolate, while those at the top are lanceolate, bipinnately lobed and feathery. The white and pink ray and disk florets are grouped into flat-topped clusters. The entire plant has a pleasant fragrance, but tastes bitter if crushed with fingers.

Constituents and medicinal use

Yarrow contains 0.2 to 1.4 % of essential oil (camphor, 1,8-cineole,  β-pinene), sesquiterpene lactones (e.g. achillin), flavonoids and their glycosoids, salicylic acid, vitamin C, folic acid, tannins, bitter substances, hydroxycoumarins (esculetin), saponins, fructose, glucose, amino acids and their amides (alanine, asparagine, histidine, lysine), fatty acids, β-sitosterol and glycoalkaloids (achilleine). Yarrow contains more than 100 known substances.
Yarrow has anti-microbial properties; it works against the Echerichia coliKlebsiella pneumoniae bacteria and against fungi such as Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Trials have confirmed yarrow’s antioxidative effects. It helps with smooth muscle spasms and speeds up menstruation, which is why it is added to tea blends for menstrual pain relief and menstrual cycle regulation. It increases the bile production in the liver and bile secretion from the gallbladder, which is why it is added to tea blends for the liver, intestines and bile.
It stimulates appetite and increases the gastric juice secretion.
Clinical trials have proven yarrow’s ability to reduce elevated blood pressure due to its diuretic properties. It also reduces the LDL cholesterol concentration in blood. Persons with cardiac problems often have elevated blood pressure and cholesterol; to this end, Monk Simon Ašič added yarrow to tea blends for the heart.
Since yarrow tea has a bitter taste and bitter substances increase gastric juice secretion, it is mixed with other medicinal herbs before given to children who do not have appetite.
Monk Simon Ašič said: “Those who drink KRRT will live a long time.” This blend consists of four medicinal herbs: nettle, dandelion, yarrow, and plantain, which stimulate the digestive system, urinary system, and respiratory organs. Yarrow has beneficial effects on digestive tract functioning. It is recommended to drink the KRRT tea occasionally to stay healthy.
Externally, yarrow ointment is used for skin inflammation and slow-healing wounds.
Pregnant women should not take yarrow because it may cause the uterus to contract. Yarrow preparations have some potentially adverse effects, such as dermatitis. If this occurs, stop the use immediately. Patients with epilepsy should also not take it.

Monk Simon Ašič’s product containing yarrow:


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3. Karlin M. Slovenska imena naših zdravilnih rastlin. Priloga Farmacevtskega vestnika, št.1-3/XV.
4. Kromar J. Naše domače zdravilne rastline. Mohorjeva družba v Celju, Celje, 1950.