In the scheme of human history, the use of essential oils is a relatively new way to utilize plants. Before essential oils, plants were used in their fresh or dried forms to create ointments, poultices, teas and tinctures to aid the body and mind. Yarrow, a common plant we see in gardens and in the wild, has a long history in its herbal and medicinal uses. Today, yarrow essential oil offers an additional option for obtaining its benefits.
Used in various traditional medicines around the?world, many Indigenous peoples of North America knew of its benefits: the Pawnee used the leaves as a poultice for pain relief; the Chippewa used the leaves and stems as a steam for headaches; and the Cherokee drank a yarrow tea to help ease the body for sleep.
Yarrow essential oil has a beautiful blue hue and has a fresh, herbaceous and sweet note. A powerful astringent, yarrow is good for oily, acneic or combination skin, and also has anti-inflammatory properties. The scent of yarrow essential oil can produce a sense of peace within the self and alleviate stress. Yarrow can be a welcoming addition to any blend whose intention is to rid the mind of grief, stress or depression.
Part of the family Achillea, yarrow is a cousin to chamomile (Roman and German) and helichrysum as well as sunflower. When choosing a carrier oil for essential oils, one route you could consider is to pair the plants of the same family (even if they are distant cousins). A re-union, if you will. Try blending yarrow essential oil with a sunflower seed carrier oil to create a remedy that is calming to the skin and has anti-inflammatory properties.
As beautiful as this oil is, it does have several contraindications. Being safe is number one when using essential oils. Yarrow essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy and is not suitable for use with young children or babies. Though yarrow essential oil is considered non-toxic and non-irritating, it can potentially cause sensitization in some individuals. Prolonged use of this oil can cause headaches.