July 2018 Plant of the Month: Yarrow

Achillea millefolium

  • Latin name: Achillea millefolium, Asteraceae
  • Common names: Yarrow, Milfoil
  • Growth: In Central Florida can be used as a ground cover, the bipinnate leaves grow low to the ground and appear almost fern like, differing from their growth habit in almost every other location. The composite flowers are showy and require partial to full sun, which shortens the life of the shade loving leaves. The white variety is the only one we use for medicine; you’ll find lovely pink, yellow, orange, and all other colors available at garden centers.
  • Preparation: tea, tincture, potherb, spice, infused oil, salveHistorically used as a leaf vegetable, the young leaves are said to have been a good potherb. Both the leaves and flowers have a pungent peppery flavor.According to legend, Achilles used this stypic herb to stop the blood flowing out of his wounded Myrmidons. Achillea was found in a Neandertal grave dating over 60,000 years ago – the use of this herb is steeped in history. The origin is nebulus: when Europeans came to the Americas they found the native peoples were already using Yarrow. It stands to reason this herb has a wide spreading native range.


“Yarrow is one of the most widely used medicinal plants in the world, primarily for wounds, digestive problems, respiratory infections, and skin conditions, and secondarily, among other uses, for liver disease and as a mild sedative. Preclinical studies indicate that it may have anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, hepatoprotective, anxiolytic, and perhaps antipathogenic activities. Animal studies have also shown that yarrow is generally safe and well tolerated. The claim that yarrow has been shown to be specifically contraindicated during pregnancy is based on a single low-quality rat study the results of which were incorrectly interpreted.”

(PDF) Yarrow (Achillea millefolium L.): A Neglected Panacea? A Review of Ethnobotany, Bioactivity, and Biomedical Research1. Available from:

Florida Ethnobotany, Dan Austin
Florida Native Plant Society
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