Achillea millefolium L.
Botanical Name: Achillea millefolium L.
Synonym: Achillea lanulosa L.
Sindhi Name: Gomander
Local Name: Brinjasuf
English Name: Yarrow
Part Used: Leaves, flowers, and stem
Achillea millefolium L. is an erect, slightly aromatic, perennial plant. It attains a height of 1 m. Leaves are alternate, more or less hairy, graceful, and lacy. They are dissected 2-3 times into linear segments. Flower heads are small, in dense terminal, and has flat-topped clusters. Florets are toothed.1, 2 Stems are simple and without branches. Flowering stems are erect, stiff, and covered with hairs. Leaves have flowered top.6
A. millefolium is widely distributed in Pakistan, India, Western Asia, Europe, and North America.6, 9, 10’
Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases:
A paste of A. millefolium leaves is mixed in oil and applied on wounds in District Thatta (Sindh).
Pyoderma is treated by applying a mixture of A. millefolium and sao siyar* herb in a paste form for 10 days in District Thatta (Sindh).
Eczema, Scabies, and Skin Rashes
Paste of A. millefolium leaves is applied to eczema, scabies, and skin rashes in Districts Jacobabad and Kashmore (Sindh).
A. millefolium contained isovaleric acid, salicylic acid, asparagin, sterols, flavonoids, bitter tannins, tocopherols, and coumarins.2, 3 The predominant constituents are sabinene, 1,8-cineole, borneol, bornyl acetate, α-pinene, β-pinene, terpinine-4-ol, nerolidol, caryophyllene oxide, and chamazulene.4,5 It also contains HCN-glucoside and achillein. Leaves contain rutin, apigenin, cosmosin, luteolin, and camphor.6,
A. millefolium exhibits good antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities.1 Yarrow has been used traditionally for the treatment of cold, influenza, and amenorrhea. It acts as a diaphoretic, astringent, tonic, stimulant, and antiphlogistic. The aerial parts of the plant are used against phlegm conditions, as a bitter digestive tonic to encourage bile flow, and as a diuretic. The alkaloids extracted from the leaves are reported to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. A. millefolium is reported for gastroprotective, antibacterial, analgesic, anticancer, and antioxidant activities.3
A decoction of the whole plant is employed to cure bleeding piles. It is good for kidney disorders as well. It also acts as a preventive for eczema and baldness, if the head is washed with it. Internally it is used for treating loss of appetite and dyspepsia.2, 3 Roots are used to cure diarrhea as well as in cases of chronic colic and dysentery. It is antipyretic and diuretic.6, 7, 8 It is used against hyper pigmentation of skin.8 A poultice made from the plant is applied to skin rashes. It also treats dermatitis and epilepsy.9, 11
- Kumar, K. L. S., Mustapha, M. H., Rajbhandari, A., and Ramakrishnan, R. (2011). Phytochemical and pharmacological studies on Achillea millefolium (L.) leaves. Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences, 2(1), 24–30.
- Lakshmi, T., Geetha, R. V., Roy, A., and Aravind Kumar, S. (2011). Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) a herbal medicinal plant with broad therapeutic use – A review. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research, 9(2), 136–141.
- Dias, M. I., Barros, L., Dueñas, M., Pereira, E., Carvalho, A. M., Alves, R. C., and Ferreira, I. C. F. R. (2013). Chemical composition of wild and commercial Achillea millefolium and bioactivity of the methanolic extract, infusion and decoction. Journal of Food Chemistry, 141(4), 4152–4160.
- Nadim, M. M., Malik, A. A., Ahmad, J., and Bakshi, S. K. (2011). The essential oil composition of Achillea millefolium cultivated under tropical condition in India. World Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 7(5), 561–565.
- Judzentiene, A., & Mockute, D. (2010). Essential oil composition of two yarrow taxonomic forms. Central European Journal of Biology, 5(3), 346–352.
- Rehman, M. (2006), A Pictorial Guide to the Medicinal Plants of Pakistan, p. 8, Kohat University of Science and Technology Publishers, Peshawar, Pakistan.
- Joshi, S. G. (2000), Medicinal Plants, p. 71-72, Mohan Primlani Oxford & IBH Publishers Co. Pvt. Ltd., 66 Janpath, New Delhi 110001, India.
- Khare, C. P. (2007), Indian Medicinal Plants, p. 10-11, Springer Science Publishers, New Delhi-110058, India.
- Bhattacharjee, S. K. (2004), Handbook of Medicinal Plants, p. 10-11, Pointer Publisher, Jaipure 303003 (Raj), India.
- Pullaiah, T. (2006), Encyclopedia of World Medicinal Plants, V. 1, p. 38-39, Regency Publishers, New Delhi, India.
- Umberto Quattrocchi, F. L. S. (2012), CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants, 48, Vol. 1, CRC Press, New York.