Safety and antiulcer efficacy studies of Achillea millefolium L. after chronic treatment in Wistar rats

J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Sep 19;107(2):277-84. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2006.03.011. Epub 2006 Mar 22.


Achillea millefolium L. (Asteraceae), popularly known as yarrow, has been used in folk medicine to treat complaints such as inflammation, pain, wounds, hemorrhages and gastrointestinal disturbances. The aim of the present study was to assess the safety and efficacy of the aqueous extract (AE) of the plant after chronic exposure. Indeed, the AE was effective in protecting the gastric mucosa against acute gastric lesions induced by ethanol and indomethacin and in healing chronic gastric lesions induced by acetic acid with (ED(50)=32 mg/kg, p.o.). Safety studies were performed in female and male Wistar rats treated daily with AE (0.3-1.2 g/kg, p.o./day) or vehicle (water, 10 ml/kg/day) for 28 or 90 consecutive days. Satellite groups consisted of animals sacrificed 30 days after the end of these treatments. Clinical observations, body and organ weight measurements, gross autopsy, hematology, clinical biochemical and histopathological examinations were performed. Slight changes in liver weight, cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and glucose were observed in male and female animals. These changes were not correlated with dose or time of exposure of the animals to the AE. Overall, the results show the antiulcer potential of the aerial parts of the Achillea millefolium which is accompanied by no signs of relevant toxicity even at very long chronic exposure.

MeSH terms

  • Achillea / chemistry*
  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents* / adverse effects
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents* / pharmacology
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Blood Cell Count
  • Blood Coagulation / drug effects
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Female
  • Male
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Stomach Ulcer / drug therapy*
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Plant Extracts