Yarrow

.Botanical Name :Achillea millefolium
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Achillea
Species: A. millefolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: :yarrow  or common yarrow, plumajillo (Spanish for ‘little feather’),gordaldo, nosebleed plant, old man’s pepper, devil’s nettle, sanguinary, milfoil, soldier’s woundwort, thousand-leaf, and thousand-seal

Habitat : Yarrow is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Asia, Europe, and North America. In New Mexico and southern Colorado.Yarrow grows from sea level to 3,500 metres (11,500 ft) in elevation. Common yarrow is frequently found in the mildly disturbed soil of grasslands and open forests. Active growth occurs in the spring

Description:
yarrow is an erect herbaceous perennial plant that produces one to several stems 0.2–1 metre (0.66–3.3 ft) in height, and has a spreading rhizomatous growth form. Leaves are evenly distributed along the stem, with the leaves near the middle and bottom of the stem being the largest. The leaves have varying degrees of hairiness (pubescence). The leaves are 5–20 cm long, bipinnate or tripinnate, almost feathery, and arranged spirally on the stems. The leaves are cauline, and more or less clasping. The plant commonly flowers from May through June.

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The inflorescence has four to 9 phyllaries and contains ray and disk flowers which are white to pink. The generally three to eight ray flowers are ovate to round. Disk flowers range from 15 to 40. The inflorescence is produced in a flat-topped cluster. The fruits are small achenes.

The plant has a strong, sweet scent, similar to chrysanthemums.

Varities:
The several varieties and subspecies include:

:Achillea millefolium subsp. millefolium A. m. subsp. m. var. millefolium – Europe, Asia

*A. m. subsp. m. var. borealis – Arctic regions

*A. m. subsp. m. var. rubra – Southern Appalachians

*A. millefolium subsp. chitralensis – western Himalaya

*A. millefolium subsp. sudetica – Alps, Carpathians

*Achillea millefolium var. alpicola — Western United States, Alaska

*Achillea millefolium var. californica — California, Pacific Northwest

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*Achillea millefolium var. occidentalis — North America

*Achillea millefolium var. pacifica — west coast of North America, Alaska

*Achillea millefolium var. puberula — endemic to California

Cultivation;
Achillea millefolium is cultivated as an ornamental plant by many plant nurseries. It is planted in gardens and natural landscaping settings of diverse climates and styles. They include native plant, drought-tolerant, and wildlife gardens. The plant is a frequent component of butterfly gardens. The plant prefers well-drained soil in full sun, but can be grown in less ideal conditions.
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Propagation:
For propagation, seeds require light for germination, so optimal germination occurs when planted no deeper than one-quarter inch (6 mm). Seeds also require a germination temperature of 18-24° (64-75°F). It has a relatively short life in some situations, but may be prolonged by division in the spring every other year, and planting 12–18 in (30–46 cm) apart. It can become invasive.
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Chemical constituents:  up to 1.4% volatile oil (composed of up to 51 % azulene; borneol, terpineol, camphor, cineole, isoartemesia ketone, and a trace of thujone), lactones, flavonoids, tannins, coumarins, saponins, sterols, a bitter glyco-alkaloid (achilleine), cyanidin, amino

Medicinal Uses:
Medicinal Properties: * Anti-inflammatory * Antibacterial * AntiCancer * Antiperspirant/Deodorants * Antirheumatic * Antispasmodic * Astringent * Bitter * Cathartic * Depurative * Digestive * Emmenagogue * Febrifuge * Hypotensive * Insect repellents * Nervine * Styptic * Vulnerary .

Yarrow was once known as “nosebleed”, it’s feathery leaves making an ideal astringent swab to encourage clotting. Yarrow skin washes and leaf poultices can staunch bleeding and help to disinfect cuts and scrapes; taken as a tea it can help slow heavy menstrual bleeding as well. 79 80 Yarrow is a good herb to have on hand to treat winter colds and flu; a hot cup of yarrow tea makes you sweat and helps the body expel toxins while reducing fever. 81The chemical makeup of yarrow is complex, and it contains many active medicinal compounds in addition to the tannins and volatile oil azulene. These compounds are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and help relax blood vessels. 82,83 Yarrow should be on every man’s short list of remedies since the herb makes itself useful for everything from brewing beer to a hair rinse to prevent baldness.

Chinese * Colds * Cuts & Wounds * Dysmenorrhea * Hypertension * Menorrhagia

Traditional Chinese Medicine:   In China, yarrow is used fresh as a poultice for healing wounds. A decoction of the whole plant is prescribed for stomach ulcers, amenorrhoea, and abscesses.

Known Hazards:
In rare cases, yarrow can cause severe allergic skin rashes; prolonged use can increase the skin’s photosensitivity. This can be triggered initially when wet skin comes into contact with cut grass and yarrow together.

In one study, aqueous extracts of yarrow impaired the sperm production of laboratory rats

It should be avoided  in pregnancy, as it  can cause allergic skin reactions in sensitive people who suffer from allergies related to the Asteraceae family. Moderation is the key to safe use, the thujone content can be toxic over an extended period of time

Other Uses:
Several cavity-nesting birds, including the common starling, use yarrow to line their nests. Experiments conducted on the tree swallow, which does not use yarrow, suggest adding yarrow to nests inhibits the growth of parasites.

Its essential oil kills the larvae of the mosquito Aedes albopictus.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achillea_millefolium#cite_note-49
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail120.php

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