Yarrow is an edible flowering herb that has wide-ranging pharmacological activities when ingested or applied to the skin. It’s known for helping with digestive problems and diabetes in Europe, while its antitumor and antibacterial properties have also been studied with favorable results1. Some of the most aggressive types of cancers rely on the metabolism of lipids to grow and spread. The bioactive compounds in yarrow have been shown to disrupt the gene expression of lipid synthesis promoters, changing the metabolic pathway of tumor cells and thereby inhibiting growth without the toxicity of other cancer treatment methods2. In one study where chickens were fed a diet supplemented with yarrow, improved intestinal health and reduced plasma lipids including cholesterol was reported3. On artificially irritated skin, improved hydration and re-established optimal pH of skin was observed after application of oils infused with yarrow4. Yarrow’s high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity proves they are way cooler than their soft vintage look—and we didn’t think that was possible.
1Rakmai, J., Cheirsilp, B., Torrado-Agrasar, A., Simal-Gándara, J., & Mejuto, J. C. (2017). Encapsulation of yarrow essential oil in hydroxypropyl-beta-cyclodextrin: physiochemical characterization and evaluation of bio-efficacies. CyTA: Journal of Food, 15(3), 409–417. https://doi-org.unh.idm.oclc.org/10.1080/19476337.2017.1286523
2Mouhid, L., Gómez de Cedrón, M., García-Carrascosa, E., Reglero, G., Fornari, T., & Ramírez de Molina, A. (2019). Yarrow supercritical extract exerts antitumoral properties by targeting lipid metabolism in pancreatic cancer. PLoS ONE, 14(3), 1–21. https://doi-org.unh.idm.oclc.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0214294
3Yakhkeshi, S., Rahimi, S., & Hemati Matin, H. R. (2012). Effects of Yarrow (Achillea millefolium L.), Antibiotic and Probiotic on Performance, Immune Response, Serum Lipids and Microbial Population of Broilers. Journal of Agricultural Science & Technology, 14(4), 799–810. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.unh.idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=asn&AN=97606156&site=ehost-live
4Tadić, V., Arsić, I., Zvezdanović, J., Zugić, A., Cvetković, D., & Pavkov, S. (2017). The estimation of the traditionally used yarrow (Achillea millefolium L. Asteraceae) oil extracts with anti-inflamatory potential in topical application. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 199, 138–148. https://doi-org.unh.idm.oclc.org/10.1016/j.jep.2017.02.002