Yarrow flower, also known as Achillea millefolium is a naturally occurring plant that originated in Europe and Asia but is now present in North America and other countries. The flowers have white petals that produce a pleasant and distinctive odor. Yarrow flower has many hypothesized health effects but most of them fall under circulation and regulation of blood contents. The plant could cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disorders. The plant could also be used topically for wounds and other skin conditions.
Medicinal uses of the yarrow flower:
- Infection and inflammation
- Anxiety and insomnia
- Bleeding and coagulation disorders
Inulin In Yarrow Flowers
Blood glucose regulation
Inulin is a common complex sugar found in vegetables, fruits, and herbs and of course the yarrow flower. Inulin has a similar action with fiber because of its complex structure. The difference of inulin form other carbohydrate is that it produces fructose as a source of energy instead of glucose. It is therefore beneficial for people diagnosed with diabetes because it will not cause an increase in blood glucose level after consumption. Aside from the type of energy it produces, inulin is also a good regulator of bowel elimination because of its fiber-like effect.
Controls body fat and cholesterol
Inulin has a similar structure with complex fiber, which is not absorbed and digested by the body. When inulin goes into the colon it acts as a probiotic by cleaning the gastrointestinal tract. It also attracts water, fat, and other toxins into the colon for excretion. Inulin contained in yarrow flower also induces weight loss in several mechanisms. Studies show that when inulin stays longer in the gastrointestinal tract which produces a prolonged state of satiety. Inulin is also a naturally occurring hormone in the body which counteracts the hunger hormones in the body, thus decreasing appetite. 1
Scientific basis: A study was published in Diabetes & Metabolism Journal stating that patients with type 2 diabetes benefit from inulin supplementation. Inulin was given to the participants and was followed up for blood glucose measurement. Results of the study show that participants who took inulin had lowered fasting plasma glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, and toxic free radicals.2
Matricine & Alpha-pinene
Matricine is the component of yarrow flower which is responsible for its antibiotic properties. It effectively enhances the immune system and counteracts the presence of infection in the body. Because of matricine, yarrow flower could be used in chronic non-healing wounds of people with diabetes. Alpha-pinene has a similar effect with matricine but is more potent as an anti-inflammatory agent. These two nutrients found in yarrow flower make it effective for blood regulation and infection.
- FC&A. (2012). Inulin – super nutrient against diabetes. Retrieved from: http://www.fca.com/inulin-super-nutrient-against-diabetes/
- Gargari, B., et.al. Diabetes & Metabolism Journal. DOI: 10.4093/dmj.2013.37.2.140