Experimental and clinical studies on pharmacological actions of the genus Achillea: A comprehensive and updated review

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran

2 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

3 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran



Objective: Species of the genus Achillea (from the family Compositae or Asteraceae) are widely used for their numerous pharmacological properties. The present paper reviews pharmacological actions and their possible underlying molecular mechanisms reported for various species of Achillea.
Materials and Methods: Various databases including PubMed, Science Direct, and Scopus were used.
Results: Immunosuppressive, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects were shown for these plants. In addition, it was shown that these plants pose wound-healing properties and antimicrobial effects on various bacteria as well as antitumor effects on different cell lines. Achillea species showed anti-arrhythmic, anti-thrombotic, vasorelaxant, anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-hypertensive, hepatoprotective and gastroprotective effects. In addition, the plants showed different endocrine effects such as anti-diabetic, estrogenic and anti-spermatogenic properties. Neurological effects of the plants also included anti-nociceptive and anti-anxiety actions. Clinical studies also indicated therapeutic effect of A. millefolium on multiple sclerosis, chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis in cancer patients, and dysmenorrhea but did not affect atopic dermatitis.
Conclusion: Achillea species could be of therapeutic potential for treating of a wide range of diseases but further investigations are needed regarding the other properties of Achillea plants.


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