Achillea ageratum

Botanical Name :Achillea ageratum
Family : Asteraceae – Aster family
Genus : Achillea L. – yarrow
Species: Achillea ageratum L. – sweet-Nancy
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom:Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision : Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order : Asterales

Common Name Mace, Sweet Yarrow

Habitat ;The origin of this plant is uncertain, it is possibly a hybrid, A. ptarmica x A. macrocephala. Grows in Europe – Greece

Description;
Achillea ageratum is a perennial herb, growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in).
It is  not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It cannot grow in the shade.It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils but prefers a well-drained soil in a sunny position. It also succeeds in partial shade. Plants live longer in a poor soil. Established plants are very drought tolerant, they can show distress in very severe droughts but usually recover. Plants succeed in maritime gardens. Hardy to about -20°c. An excellent plant to grow in a large pot, the long stems will tend to arch down and continue to flower for a long time. The leaves have a pungent aroma, especially when the plant is grown in a hot sunny position. The plant is intermediate between A. millefolium and A. ptarmica in its characteristics. There is at least one named variety, selected for its ornamental value. Hybridizes freely with other members of the genus.

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Propagation :
Seed – sow spring or early autumn in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 months. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If this species is a hybrid it might not breed true from seed. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, the divisions can be planted direct into their permanent positions. Basal cuttings of new shoots in spring. Very easy, collect the shoots when they are about 10cm tall, potting them up individually in pots and keeping them in a warm but lightly shaded position. They should root within 3 weeks and will be ready to plant out in the summer.

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Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Condiment;  Leaves;  Tea.

Leaves – raw or cooked. The initial flavour is mild and pleasant, though it becomes stronger and aromatic when the leaves are chewed, and leaves a tingly sensation in the mouth. They make an acceptable addition to mixed salads, the plant is very productive, though the leaves are rather small and fiddly to pick in quantity. They are also used in soups, stews etc., and as a flavouring in potato salad etc . The aromatic leaves are used as a tea substitute .

Medicinal Uses
A chloroform extract from Achillea which includes stigmasterol and sitosterol was prepared. By comparing it with the pure compounds an anti-inflammatory effect (with mouse ears) is assumed. The topical anti-inflammatory effect of the chloroform extract from Achillea ageratum (Asteraceae) and of stigmasterol and beta-sitosterol, isolated of this extract has been evaluated, against to 12-0-tetradecanoylphorbol acetate (TPA)-induced mouse ear edema, using simple (acute model) and multiple applications (chronic model) of the phlogistic agent. Myeloperoxydase activity also was studied in the inflamed ears. In the acute model the extract exerted a dose-dependent effect. All the doses assayed (1, 3 and 5 mg/ear) significantly reduced the edema (50%, 66% and 82%, respectively). The isolated sterols stigmasterol and beta-sitosterol (with doses of 0.5 mg/ear) had similar effect as the extract with doses of 1 and 3 mg (59% and 65% respectively). In the chronic model the anti-inflammatory effect generally was a more moderate one. The highest dose of the extract decreased the edema reduction to 26% with the highest dose of the extract applied. With the compounds the effect decreased to 36% with stigmasterol, and 40.6% with beta-sitosterol. Myeloperoxydase activity (MPO) was reduced by the extract and the compounds in the acute model, however, in the chronic edema, the enzyme inhibition was very weak with all treatments even with the standard substance. These results indicate that the chloroform extract of Achillea ageratum and some of the its components stigmasterol and beta-sitosterol are more effective as topical anti-inflammatory agents in acute than in the chronic process and their action is markedly influenced by the inhibition of neutrophil migration into inflamed tissue

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Achillea+ageratum
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ACAG3
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Achillea_ageratum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

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