Benefits and Side Effects of Yarrow

What is Yarrow?

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is an herb, the above-ground part of which is used to make medicine. It has been in use for thousands of years due to its numerous health benefits.

It was referred to as warrior Achille, in earlier times, as it was used to treat soldier’s wounds(1)

Benefits and Side Effects of Yarrow

Benefits of Yarrow

Yarrow Enhances Wound Healing

The yarrow leaf extracts exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which aid wound healing.(2) The study done on the same noted that yarrow leaf extract increases the fibroblast which is responsible for regenerating connective tissue that helps the body to recover.(3)

A 2-week study done in 140 women observed that an ointment made from yarrow leaf extract and hypericum perforatum helped with healing at the episiotomy sites.(4)

Alleviate Digestive Issues

Yarrow has been in use for the treatment of various digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, bloating, and constipation.

This herb contains alkaloids and flavonoids that help relieve digestive complaints.(5,6)

A study done on rats found the yarrow extract to protect against stomach acid damage and showed anti-ulcer properties.(7)

The yarrow antioxidants also protect against spasm, inflammation and IBS symptoms.

Yarrow Reduces The Symptoms Of Depression And Anxiety

The flavonoids and alkaloids present in yarrow help in reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety.(8,9)

These alkaloids prevent the secretion of corticosterone, a hormone that is high during chronic stress.

A study done on rats, found and encouraged daily mental and physical activity on administering yarrow essential oil to them.(10)

There is more human research to be done on the action of yarrow on humans.

Aid Brain Health

Yarrow has been found effective in certain brain conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and encephalomyelitis.(11,12)

An animal study found that yarrow extract reduces the severity of encephalomyelitis and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord and the related brain damage.(13)

This herb also holds a promising position in the promising treatment of epilepsy in people.(14)

Fights Inflammation

Inflammation is a body’s response that leads to cells tissue and organ damage.

It reduces skin and liver damage that could help treat a skin infection, aging, and nonalcoholic fatty disease.(15,16)

It not only improves inflammation but also increases skin moisture.

The yarrow extract reduces liver inflammation and fevers.

Yarrow is also found effective for other conditions such as immune system support, regulating blood sugar, stimulating menstruation, treating hemorrhoids, speeding the elimination of urine, and alleviating hay fever.

Side Effects Of Yarrow

There are few side effects of using yarrow, which should be considered while taking it for a medical reason.

Slows Blood Clotting

Yarrow is suspected of slowing down blood clotting.(17) Therefore, it should be stopped at least 2 weeks before surgery. In case of emergency surgery, the medical staff should be informed about the yarrow intake.

It is also dangerous for people with bleeding disorders as could increase the risk of bleeding.

Can Lead To Allergies

Those allergic to the members of the Asteraceae family would be allergic to yarrow.

If not sure about the plant allergy consult your doctor regarding the same.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

The use of yarrow during pregnancy and lactation is not recommended. It can trigger miscarriage and affect the menstrual cycle.(18,19)

The risk of yarrow during breastfeeding is not known but it still is safe to not use it while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Yarrow is believed to have a negative interaction with the following medicines:

  • Lithium: Use of yarrow might cause the drug to stay in the system for longer.
  • Anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant/antiplatelet drugs: It can slow down blood clotting.
  • Sedatives: Yarrow might have a sedative effect as well.
  • Antacid: As yarrow increases stomach acid, it may decrease the effectiveness of antacids.

Yarrow is an herb with numerous benefits. It can be used in the form of powders, ointments, tincture, dried leaves, and flowers.

Though the herb has very few side effects it is also safe to consult a doctor before starting using it.

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