Different species of Achillea have been used
medicinally from an early date. Dioscorides mentions it as a
plant which was used as an astringent and emmenagogue.
According to Phing, the origin for the generic name for
these plants go back to the mythical figure, Achilles, who
made use of them as for healing. A species of Achillea is
the Kaisum of the Arabians. The same plant is the Biranjasib
of the Persians. Another Persian name for the
plant is Bu-I-maderan; it is in common use as a tonic in
Persia and Sind. In Egypt a species of
is used medicinally under the name of Barbara. In Europe and
in the East, plants belonging to this genus have long been
considered to have stimulant, tonic, emmanogogue and
antihemorroidal properties. At Engadine, in Switzerland, a
volatile oil is extracted from it called Esprit d'Iva.
Commonly distributed in the Himalayas from Kashmir to Kumaun,
at altitudes of 1,050-3,600 m; it has also been seen growing
in the Bombay and Belgaum areas.
An erect, slightly aromatic, pubescent, perennial ayurvedic herb with
stoloniferous roots. The leaves are oblong- lanceolate,
3-pinnatisect and minutely divided; flower heads are in
corymbose clusters with white or pale pink flowers; the
achenes are oblong, flattened and shining. The pappus is
The herb contains the alkaloid achilline and also yields an
The herb is considered astringent, tonic, diaphoretic,
vulnerary and styphic. It has shown excellent results in the
treatment of influenza and heavy chest colds and is much
used in blood-purifying compounds.