Achillea millefolium L. s.l. revisited: recent findings confirm the traditional use

Wien Med Wochenschr. 2007;157(13-14):312-4. doi: 10.1007/s10354-007-0431-9.


Yarrow (Achillea millefolium L. s.l.) is traditionally used in the treatment of inflammatory and spasmodic gastro-intestinal disorders, hepato-biliary complaints and inflammation. Now we could show that the flavonoids mediated the antispasmodic properties of yarrow, whereas the dicaffeoylquinic acids caused the choleretic effects. Moreover, we observed an in vitro-inhibition of human neutrophil elastase, a protease involved in the inflammatory process, by extracts and fractions from yarrow, which suggests additional mechanisms of antiphlogistic action. The presented results confirm the traditional use of yarrow.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Achillea* / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / analysis
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Biliary Tract Diseases / drug therapy
  • Cholagogues and Choleretics / analysis
  • Cholagogues and Choleretics / pharmacology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Elastase / drug effects
  • Liver Diseases / drug therapy
  • Parasympatholytics / analysis
  • Parasympatholytics / pharmacology
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cholagogues and Choleretics
  • Parasympatholytics
  • Plant Extracts
  • Leukocyte Elastase