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Achillea millefolium L. s.l. – Is the anti-inflammatory activity mediated by protease inhibition?

Aqueous and alcoholic extracts of yarrow (Achillea mille-folium L.) are used in traditional European medicine internally in the treatment of gastro-intestinal and hepato-biliary disorders and externally in case of skin inflammations and for wound healing. Besides essential oil and sesquiterpenes phenolic compounds such as flavonoids and phenolcarbonic acids are a major group of plant constituents present in yarrow. Due to their high solubility in water and ethanol, those polar substances are completely extracted into teas and tinctures which are the traditional application forms of yarrow. Recently we demonstrated the spasmolytic activity of the flavonoids and the choleretic activity of the dicaffeoylquinic acids (DCQAs) from yarrow. Moreover, the safety of the plant after chronic exposure was previously reported.