Achillea is a plant that grows mainly in dry places. It is found in several regions of Europe as well as in Central Russia. Being widely spread around the world it has been used by local societies in traditional medicine. Achillea is mentioned in Dioscourides` texts, who used it for dysentery related to cholera or other diseases.
Achillea has been approved by the European Medicines Agency in the form of powdered herbs and extracts as a traditional herbal medicinal product. In this context, it is used for the symptomatic treatment of spasmodic gastrointestinal disorders, menstrual spasms and temporary loss of appetite.
According to mythology, the herb was given to Achilles by Centaur Chiron. Legend has it that Achillea grew from the rust that fell into the soil from the spear of Achilles and was used to heal many of his comrades in the Trojan War. According to another legend, when Achilles was wounded by Paris' poisoned arrow, goddess Aphrodite, crying, advised him to use Achillea as it was considered the best herb for wounds. From this myth, the plant is also known as Aphrodite's Tear or Aphrodite's Smile.
A large number of the plant`s components has been identified, with eucalyptol being the main component of the oil. In addition, it contains compounds, such as borneol, which are considered to contain antimicrobial agents. Flavonoids and other sesquiterpenes have also been isolated from the aerial parts of the plant.