Drugs A - Z

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

treats Plaque/ gingivitis

Generic Name: Yarrow


Herbs & Supplements


Achillea millefolium, arrowroot, Asteraceae (family), bad man's plaything, carpenter's weed, Compositae (family), death flower, devil's nettle, eerie, field hops, gearwe, hundred leaved grass, knight's milefoil, knyghten, milefolium, milfoil, millefoil, noble yarrow, nosebleed, nosebleed plant, old man's mustard, old man's pepper, polyacetylenes, sanguinary, sesquiterpene lactones, seven year's love, snake's grass, soldier, soldier's woundwort, stanch weed, thousand seal, woundwort, yarroway, yerw.


Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) has a long history as an herbal remedy applied to the skin for wounds, cuts, and abrasions. The genus name Achillea is derived from the mythical Greek character, Achilles, who reportedly carried it with his army to treat battle wounds. Dried yarrow stalks are used as a randomizing agent in I Ching divination.

Currently, there are no high-quality trials available investigating yarrow. Although a laboratory study demonstrated yarrow's antibacterial effects, one poor-quality study using an herbal combination of yarrow, juniper, and nettle did not find any benefit on plaque or gingivitis inhibition.


DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Plaque/ gingivitis: Based on laboratory study, yarrow grass water extract showed antibacterial effects on Staphylococcus aureus. However, human study using a combination formula (including yarrow, juniper, and nettle) found no effect on gingivitis or plaque inhibition. Additional human study is needed in this area.
Grade: C


WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Abortifacient (induces abortion), antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, bleeding, blood clots, blood purifier, catarrh, colds, chicken pox, contraceptive, cosmetic uses, cystitis, diarrhea, diabetes, digestion, dyspepsia (upset stomach), eczema, emmenagogue (induces menstruation), fever, hypertension (high blood pressure), insect repellant, measles, piles (hemorrhoid), smallpox, stomach sickness, thrombosis (blood clots), toothache, ulcers, urinary tract health (antiseptic), varicose veins, vision.


Adults (18 years and older):

There is no proven effective dose for yarrow in adults. A rinse with 10 milliliters of mouthwash twice a day for a period of three months as been studied in human volunteers; however, the rinse did not show any beneficial effects on plaque growth and gingival health.

Children (younger than 18 years):

There is no proven effective dose for yarrow in children.

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