(Achillea millefolium)

This herb is often used internally to treat excessive bleeding, indigestion, and diarrhoea amongst other ailments, and externally to help heal minor cuts and scrapes. Yarrow is also used in cosmetics to treat oily skin and as a cleanser. It is a flowering plant in the Asteraceae (aster, daisy, or sunflower) family and is native to temperate regions of Asia, Europe, and North America. Its name is derived from the Greek hero Achilles as he supposedly used it to heal soldier’s wounds during the Trojan War. It is also known as: blood wort, carpenter’s weed, knight’s milfoil, old man’s pepper, nosebleed, and staunch grass.


  • Reduces fevers by inducing sweating
  • Has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Aids with diarrhoea, indigestion, flatulence, and dyspepsia by getting the bile and pancreatic juices required for digestion flowing
  • Stimulates circulation
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Treats colds and the flu
  • Lessens menstrual bleeding
  • Relieves tooth aches
  • Acts as a decongestant to clear up coughs and sinus infections
  • Treats skin conditions such as eczema
  • Alleviates allergies
  • Prevents haemorrhaging and treats varicose veins by toning blood vessels and dilating capillaries
  • Is a powerful painkiller due to the presence of salicylic acid which is a compound similar to that found in aspirin
  • Prevents blood clots
  • Has diuretic properties, remedying cystitis and urinary tract infections
  • Stops nosebleeds
  • Increases appetite
  • Aids with the absorption of nutrients in the body
  • Relieves cramps due to its antispasmodic properties
  • Purifies blood


This herb should not be taken in large amounts or for long periods of time. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid it. Use of this herb may cause photosensitivity and rashes.

The recommended dose is: 3g a day as tea or infusions.











Kiara James

The Herb Companion – Edited by Alison Candlin