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The name yarrow applies to any of roughly 80 species of daisy family (Asteraceae) native to the north temperate zone. A. millefolium is a hardy perennial weed with finely divided leaves and whitish, pink, or reddish flowers.
Golden yarrow is Eriophyllum confertiflorum.Yarrow is native to Europe and Asia, and has been naturalized in North America. Its use in food and medicine is ancient, dating back to the Trojan War, around 1200 BC. In legend, Achilles used it on the Centaur's advice, hence the name. In classical times, yarrow was referred to as "herba militaris" because it stopped bleeding wounds received in war.
Yarrow leaves have been used for tea, and young leaves and flowers have been used in salads. Infusions of yarrow have served as cosmetic cleansers and medicines. Sneezewort leaves (A. ptarmica) have been used in sneezing powder, while those of A. millefolium have been used for snuff.
Yarrow has been used therapeutically as a "strengthening bitter tonic" and astringent. Chewing fresh leaves has been suggested to relieve toothaches. Yarrow oil has been used in shampoos for a topical "healing" effect.
Possible side effects include:
- In some people, when yarrow comes in contact with the skin, it might cause irritation.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Yarrow is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy because it can affect the menstrual cycle and might cause miscarriage. There isn't enough reliable information to know if yarrow is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
- Bleeding disorder: Yarrow might slow blood clotting. In theory, taking yarrow might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.
- Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Yarrow may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking yarrow.
- Surgery: Yarrow might slow blood clotting so there is a concern that it might increase bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking yarrow at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
As always make sure you are using organic herbs as pesticides are toxic and always take normal doses, excessive amounts of anything is not good for you.
We are not doctors, lawyers, accountants or your mom. We give out free smiles and the occasional unsolicited advice. That being said; if you are pregnant, nursing or concerned about your health, call your mom. Or even better, consult a doctors before consuming; particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.