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Family Compositae

Milfoil
Achillea millefolium Linn.
YARROW

Shi cao

Scientific names Common names
Achillea albida Willd. Carpenter's weed (Engl.)
Achillea ambigua Boiss. Milfoil (Engl.)
Achillea ambigua Pollini Thousand leaf (Engl.)
Achillea anethifolia Fisch. ex Herder Thousand-seal (Engl.)
Achillea angustissima Rydb. Yarrow (Engl.)
Achillea bicolor Wender. Yarroway (Engl.)
Achillea ceretanica Sennen Shi cao (Engl.)
Achillea compacta Lam.  
Achillea cristata Hort. ex DC.  
Achillea lanulosa Nutt.  
Achillea millefolium E. Mey.  
Achillea millefolium Linn.  
Achillea occidentalis (DC.) Raf.ex Rydb.  
Achillea pacifica Rydb.  
Achillea pumila Schur  
Achillea virgata Hort. ex DC.  
Alitubus millefolium (L.) Dulac  
Alitubus tomentosus Dulac  
Chamaemelum millefolium (L.) E.H.L.Krause  
Chamaemelum tanacetifolium (All.) E.H.L.Krause  
Achillea millefolium L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
ARABIC: Om alf waraka.
CHINESE: Ou shi, Qian ye shi, Ju cao
CROATIAN: Armanj, Jezičec, Jutrocel, Kačak, Paprac, Rebrac, Reza, Rman
DANISH: Duizendblad.
FINNISH: Aivastusjuuri, Akantupakki, Siank
FRENCH: Millefeuille, Herbe aux coupures, Herbe aux militaires, Herbe de St. Jean.
GERMAN: Gemeine schafgarbe, Tausendblatt, Wiesen-Schafgarb.
ITALIAN: Millefoglie, Milefoglio.
JAPANESE: Seiyou no kogirisou, Yaroo.
NORWEGIAN: Ryllik, Vanlig ryllik.
POLISH: Krwawnik pospolity.
PORTUGESE: Espuma-do-mar, Mil-em-rama, Mil-folhas.
RUSSIAN: Tysjačelistnik obyknovennyj.
SERBIAN: Ajdučica, Ajdučka trava, Aspra, Jalovi mesecnjak, Kunji rep, Krokoted.
SLOVENIAN: Arman, Grenki man, Erman, Zavrelec, Mezinec, Rmanc, Runica.
SPANISH: Alcanfor, Ciento en rama, Mil hojas, Milefolio , Milenrama, Milhojas.


Factoid
Yarrow (Achilles millefolium) was named after Achilles, the Greek mythical hero who used it to stop the bleedng wounds of his soldiers. (1)

Botany
Milfoil is an erect perennial herb growing to a height of 50 to 90 centimeters. Leaves are without stalks, 1- to 2-pinnately parted into linear-toothed segments. Heads occur in flat-topped corymbs. Flowers are white, red, or purplish, with five rays.

Distribution
- Occurs in Baguio and the Mountain Province as an ornamental, cultivated for its flowers and foliage.
- Also found in the Western Himalayas, extending to Northern Asia, Europe and America.

Constituents
• Contains a bitter glucoside – achilleine, tannin, bluish volatile oil, aconitic acid, resin, nitrate, inuline, asparagin.
• Contains a volatile oil rich in sesquiterpene lactones and alkamides.
• Volatile oil is the best source of the blue hydrocarbon, azulene, with a great percentage of borneol and thujone.
• Roots contain volatile oil, 0.032%.
• Yields three alkaloids: achilleine, achilletine and moscatine.
• Oil has yielded eucalyptol, camphor, alpha-terpineol, beta-pinene and borneol as principal components.
• Analysis of essential oil identified 33 peaks, representing 81.4 % of the oil. The main compounds were 1,8-cineole (22%), camphor (21%), borneol (7.6%) and b-pinene (5.3%).
• Study of oil yielded: methyl alcohol, formaldehyde, probably formic acid, ethyl alcohol, acetone, furfurol, valeric acid, eugenol, pinene, nopinene, cineol, thujone, borneol, camphor, caryophyllen, and azulen.
• The volatile oil is considered a good source of blue hydrocarbon, azulene, and contains a good percentage of borneol and thujone.

Properties
• Flowering plant and flowers considered stimulant, aromatic, sudorific, tonic, astringent, diuretic, vulnerary.
• Considered anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial.

Parts utilized
Bark, leaves.

Uses
Folkloric
• Used for colds, fevers, obstructed perspiration.
• Use to open the pores in obstructed perspiration and as blood purifier.
• Used for hysteria, flatulence, heartburn, colic and epilepsy.
• In England, used as vulnerary, taken internally to suppress hemorrhages and profuse mucoid discharges.
• Used for intermittent fevers and as antispasmodic in flatulent colic and nervous affections.
• In France, hot infusion used as emmenagogue and for suppression of lochia; sometimes used in low exanthematous fevers with obstinate eruptions.
• Ointment of the fresh plant used by the Scottish Highlanders for hemorrhoids.
• Decoction of whole herb used for bleeding hemorrhoids and kidney disorders.
• Used as hair wash for prevention of baldness.
• An whole plant tincture made with wine, in diluted strength, used in small doses for arresting bleeding in the lungs, kidneys and nose.
• Leaves believed to encourage clotting; used fresh for nosebleeds. Also, a strong decoction of leaves used as injection into the nostrils to stop bleeding.
• Fresh juice of the plant used to improve appetite.
• Fresh juice used as astringent for piles, varicose ulcers and sore nipples.
• Fresh bruised herb used as vulnerary and styptic.
• In Norway, used for rheumatism; leaves chewed for toothaches.
• In Scotland, fresh leaves used for colds and various childhood ailments.
• In France, powdered leaves used as sternutatory; rolled leaf applied to nostrils to induce bleeding and relieve headaches.
• In California, leaves steeped in hot water are applied to cuts and bruises; also used for poulticing skin rashes.
• Essential oil from the flowers used to stimulate the appetite.
• Leaves chewed for toothaches; infusion used as drops to fill ear canals for earaches.
Others
• In Sweden and some parts of Africa, plant has been used in making beer; Linnaeus considered milfoil brewed beer to more intoxicating than hops-beer.
• In the middle ages, yarrow was an ingredient of the herbal mixture called grut, used in the flavoring of beer prior to the use of hops.

Studies
Anti-Ulcer: Study showed the antiulcer potential of the aerial parts of Achillea millefolium, with no signs of toxicity even