Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
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Yarrow is a plant with white and yellow flowers. The flowers have been used to help wounds heal. It can be applied as an oil or ointment. Yarrow has also been used to ease digestion and can be taken as pill, powder, or extract. It can also be made into a tea.
There are no advised doses for yarrow.
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
It is likely safe for most adults to apply yarrow to the skin and to take it orally in small doses for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe to take by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse such as:
A. Cancer Treatment Support
A1. Miranzadeh S, Adib-Hajbaghery M, et al. Effect of adding the herb Achillea millefolium on mouthwash on chemotherapy induced oral mucositis in cancer patients: A double-blind randomized controlled trial. Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2015 Jun;19(3):207-213.
B1. Hajhashemi M, Ghanbari Z, et al. The effect of Achillea millefolium and Hypericum perforatum ointments on episiotomy wound healing in primiparous women. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2018;31(1):63-69.
C. Menstrual cramps
C1. Jenabi E, Fereidoony B. Effect of Achillea Millefolium on Relief of Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Double-Blind Randomized Clinical Trial. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2015;28(5):402-404.
D. Multiple Sclerosis
D1. Ayoobi F, Moghadam-Ahmadi A, et al. Achillea millefolium is beneficial as an add-on therapy in patients with multiple sclerosis: A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytomedicine. 2019 Jan;52:89-97.
E1. Schempp CM, Schöpf E, et al. [Plant-induced toxic and allergic dermatitis (phytodermatitis)]. Hautarzt. 2002 Feb;53(2):93-97.
E2. Jovanović M, Poljacki M, et al. Contact allergy to Compositae plants in patients with atopic dermatitis. Med Pregl. 2004 May-Jun;57(5-6):209-218.
E3. Calapai G, Miroddi M, et al. Contact dermatitis as an adverse reaction to some topically used European herbal medicinal products - part 1: Achillea millefolium-Curcuma longa. Contact Dermatitis. 2014 Jul;71(1):1-12.
E4. Paulsen E. Systemic allergic dermatitis caused by sesquiterpene lactones. Contact Dermatitis. 2017 Jan;76(1):1-10.
Last reviewed June 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC Last Updated: 3/24/2020