Tag Archives: Achillea millefolium

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

*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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Calamintha ascendens

Botanical name : Calamintha ascendens
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Calamintha

Synonyms–-Mill Mountain. Mountain Balm. Basil Thyme. Mountain Mint.

Habitat : Calamintha ascendens is native to the northern temperate regions of Europe, Asia and America.

Description:
Calamintha sylvatica is a perennial herb  growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in).

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It is hardy to zone 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

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Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Edible Uses:
A sweet and aromatic herb tea is made from the leaves. Very refreshing. Leaves – used as a flavouring in cooked dishes. Pleasantly pungent and strongly aromatic, the flavour is said to resemble a cross between mint and marjoram.

Propagation:      
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. It usually germinates in 2 weeks at 21°c. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and, if they grow sufficiently, plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer otherwise wait until the following spring. Division in spring. Very easy, larger clumps can be planted direct into their permanent positions. It is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are well rooted before planting them out in the summer. Basal cuttings in May or June. They should be rooted in a sandy compost. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10 – 15cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Chemical constituents: It contains a camphoraceous, volatile, stimulating oil in commonwith the other mints. This is distilled by water, but its virtues are better extracted by rectified spirit.

Medicinal Uses:
Diaphoretic, expectorant, aromatic. The whole herb has a sweet, aromatic odour and an infusion of the dried leaves, makes a pleasant cordial tea, which was formerly much taken for weaknesses of the stomach and flatulent colic. It is useful in hysterical complaints, and a conserve made of the young fresh tops has been used, for this purpose.

The decoction of the herb bringeth down women’s courses and provoketh urine. It is profitable for those that have ruptures or troubled with convulsions or cramps, with shortness of breath, or choleric torrnents and pains in their bellies or stomach. It helpeth those with yellow jaundice and, taken in wine, it stayeth vomiting. It helpeth such as have the leprosy and it hindereth conception in women.

Applied to the buckle-bone, it will by continuance of time spend the humours that causeth the pain of sciatica. The juice dropped into the ears killeth worms in them. The leaves boiled in wine and drank provoke sweat and open obstructions of the liver and spleen. The decoction with some sugar is profitable for those troubled with the overflowing of the gall and that have an old cough or are scarce able to breathe.

Calamint was commonly used as a medicinal herb in medieval times, though is little used by modern herbalists. It has very similar properties to lesser calamint (C. nepeta) though is milder in its actions. It is sometimes cultivated as a medicinal herb for household use. The whole plant is aromatic, diaphoretic and expectorant. The leaves are harvested in July as the plant comes into flower and are dried for storage. An infusion is beneficial in cases of fevers, flatulent colic and weaknesses of the stomach, it is also used to treat depression, insomnia and painful menstruation. Its expectorant action makes it a good cough and cold remedy and it is of value for treating mild respiratory infections. It is best mixed with other herbs, especially yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and Thyme (Thymus vulgaris). Calamint should not be prescribed for pregnant women since in excess it can cause a miscarriage

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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calamintha
http://www.russianherbs.net/herbs/CALAMINT.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Calamintha+sylvatica

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Achillea moschata

Botanical Name : Achillea moschata
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribes: Anthemideae
Subtribes: Achilleinae
Genus: Achillea
Sectio: A. sect. Anthemoideae
Species: Achillea erba-rotta
Subspecies: Achillea moschata subsp. moschata

Synonym: Achillea erba-rotta var. moschata

Common Names : Yarrow, Milfoil, Thousand leaf, Musk Milfoil, Musk Yarrow

Habitat :Achillea moschata   occurs in  Europe and temperate areas of Asia. A few grow in North America.It is a common wayside herb, and is also found growing wild in fields, pastures, and waste places

Description:
Achillea moschata is a common perennial plant from 1 to 3 feet in height, bearing dark-green, crowded, alternate,frilly, hairy, aromatic bi-pinnatifid leaves. The flowers, which are grayish-white (occasionally rose-colored), are arranged in a flat-top, corymbose head. The odor is peculiar, being pleasantly and highly aromatic, somewhat resembling chamomile. The taste is sharp, bitterish, astringent, and slightly saline.It flowers from May to October

You may click to see the pictures of Achillea moschata

Chemical Composition:
Achillea moschata contains a reddish-brown, active, bitter principle called achillein (C20H38N2O15), discovered by Zanon, in 1846 (Liebig’s Annalen), and shown by Von Planta (1870) to be alkaloidal and identical with the achilleine of Achillea moschata. Zanon also found an acid which he named achilleic acid, and which was subsequently (1857) shown by Hlasiwetz to be aconitic acid. A small portion of a volatile oil, dark-green in color, may be obtained from yarrow by distillation with water. Milfoil also contains potassium and calcium salts, resin, gum, and tannin.

Medicinal Uses:
During the time of blooming the flowers alongwith leaves should be gathered (preferably during July), and after rejecting the coarser stems, should be carefully dried. The weight, after drying, is but 15 per cent of the amount collected. The leaves are more astringent than the flowers, the latter being more aromatic than the former. The American plant is said to be more valuable than the European species. Achillea was known to the ancients. Pliny states that the generic term, Achillea, was named from Achilles, a physician, who was one of the first to use a species of this plant as a vulnerary. Yarrow is sold by the native herbalists of India, like rosemary, where it is used as a bitter and in medicated vapor baths for fevers (Dymock). The Italians employed it in intermittent fevers, and in the Scottish highlands it is made into ointment for wounds. According to Linnaeus the Dalecarlians used it as a substitute for hops in the making of ale, believing it to impart to it intoxicating qualities. Both Stahl and Haller used this plant extensively.

The plant is known in Switzerland as forest lady’s herb and has been used there for centuries as a stomach tonic.  An infusion is used in the treatment of liver and kidney disorders, as a tonic to the digestive system, exhaustion, nervous headaches etc.    The oil stimulates gastric secretion and improves appetite; it is feebly diuretic and has a mild antitussive action.  The principle uses are lack of appetite, sluggish digestion; flatulence, diarrhea.

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.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/kings/achillea.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Achillea_erba-rotta_subsp._moschata
http://www.chilternseeds.co.uk/item_36l_achillea_moschata_seeds
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Achillea_moschata_Atlas_Alpenflora.jpg
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fichier:Achillea_moschata07072002.JPG