Achillea millefolium L. (Yarrow) is an important species of Asteraceae family with common utilization in traditional medicine of several cultures from Europe to Asia for the treatment of spasmodic gastrointestinal disorders, hepatobiliary, gynecological disorders, against inflammation and for wound healing. An extensive review of literature was made on A. millefolium L. using ethno botanical text books, published articles in peer-reviewed journals, unpublished materials and scientific databases. The Plant List, International Plant Name Index and Kew Botanical Garden databases were used to authenticate the scientific names. Monoterpenes are the most representative metabolites constituting 90% of the essential oils in relation to the sesquiterpenes, and a wide range of chemical compounds have also been reported. Different pharmacological experiments in many in-vitro and in-vivo models have proved the potential of A. millefolium with antiinflammatory, antiulcer, anticancer activities etc. lending support to the rationale behind numerous of its traditional uses. Due to the noteworthy pharmacological activities, A. millefolium will be a better option for new drug discovery. The present review will comprehensively summarize the pharmacognosy, phytochemistry and ethnopharmacology of A. millefolium reported to date, with emphasis on more in vitro, clinical and pathological studies needed to investigate the unexploited potential of this plant.
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