Yarrow
Yarrow

Background

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a plant that grows throughout the world. The above ground parts are used to make medicine.

Yarrow contains chemicals that might help to stop stomach cramps and fight infections.

People commonly use yarrow for eczema, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), wound healing, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Yarrow is sometimes called bloodwort. Don't confuse this with Bloodroot.
When taken by mouth: Yarrow is commonly consumed in foods. But yarrow products that contain a chemical called thujone might not be safe. Thujone is poisonous in large doses. Yarrow is possibly safe when taken in doses of 250-500 mg daily for 12 months.

When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if yarrow is safe or what the side effects might be. In some people, yarrow might cause skin irritation.

When applied into the vagina: Yarrow is possibly safe when applied in a cream for up to 7 days.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy: Yarrow is likely unsafe when taken by mouth during pregnancy. It can affect the menstrual cycle and might cause miscarriage.

Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if yarrow is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Yarrow may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. This includes ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking yarrow.

Effectiveness

There is interest in using yarrow for a number of purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

Yarrow has most often been used by adults as a plant extract or tea. It's also been applied as an ointment or cream and used in gargles. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what type of product and dose might be best for a specific condition.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

Lithium

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Yarrow might have an effect like a "water pill." Taking yarrow might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

Herbs that contain thujone: Yarrow contains a chemical called thujone. Thujone can be poisonous when taken in large amounts. It can cause seizures, kidney problems, and vomiting. Taking yarrow with other supplements that also contain thujone increases the risk of these effects. Examples of supplements that contain thujone include oak moss, tansy, thuja, and wormwood.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 29/06/2022 02:58:14 and last updated on 07/10/2020 22:15:02. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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