(Achillea millefolium)

The Latin name Achiliea millefolium is an homage to Achilles son of the nymph Thetis and the Greek god Peleus. According to legend, when Achilles was born, Thetis tried to make him immortal by dipping him in the river Styx, however he was still vulnerable in the part of the body by which she held him, his heels. The Latin name Achillea millefolium comes from the story that it was said Achilles used the Yarrow plant to staunch the bleeding from the wounds his soldiers received on the battle field. It was also used extensively for the same purpose by soldiers on both sides of the American civil war. That is where it came to be known by another popular name, soldier's woundwort.

Other Names:
Bloodwort, Carpenter's Weed, Devil's Nettle, Knight's Milfoil, Nose Bleed, Sanguinary, Soldier's Woundwort, Staunch Weed


Asteraceae - Composite Family

Growth Type:
Erect herbaceous perennial

Up to 3 feet tall

Arranged almost spirally down the stem. The leaves generally increase in size as you move down the stem, with the largest leaves appearing near the middle and bottom. Almost feathery in appearance, 2-8 in long. Cauline and more or less clasping.

Stem - single to multiple

Shallow rhizome

Flower Season:
May through June

Flower Appearance:
Ray and disk flowers ranging in color from white to pink. There are generally 3 to 8 ray flowers that are ovate to round, while disk flowers range from 15 to 40.

Not observed

Miscellaneous characteristics:

Disturbed soil of waste areas, Roadsides, Grasslands, and Open Forests

Parts Used:
Leaves, Stem, Flower Heads

Miscellaneous Uses:
The US ARMY has conducted field trials of tinctured A. millefolium as an insect repellent. It was found to be far more effective and safer than DEET for repelling such things as mosquitoes, chiggers, sand flies, and ticks.

Wild Food Uses:
Young leaves can be eaten raw in salads. A tea can also be brewed from plant leaves and stems.

The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.

Medicinal Uses:
A Poultice made from leaves and flowers excels at stopping blood flow from wounds, but it also disperses congealed blood pooled under the skin, like found in bruising. Placing crushed up leaves into the nose will immediately stop a bloody nose. Just be sure to leave enough sticking out so that it can be removed when no longer needed. Yarrow directly effects blood. It moves it from where it should not be, and makes it flow into places where it should. This is a wonderfully useful plant with which everyone should familiar.

Herbal tea or tincture can be used for colds, fevers, anorexia, indigestion, gastric inflammations, and internal bleeding. It has also been used by woman to help start menstrual cycles which are slow in coming. It has also been used to slow excessively heavy flow. A. millefolium stimulates peripheral circulation, decongests capillaries, dilates blood vessels, and is anti-inflammatory. It can reduce blood pressure by eliminating factors that create "back pressure" on the heart. A. millefolium strengthens, and decongests, blood vessels and can be used to treat varicose veins and hemorrhoids.

Medicinal Actions:
Anti-inflammatory, Antimicrobial, Antiviral, Cholagogue, Diuretic, Haemostatic, Hypotensive, Spasmolytic

image image image