Yarrow oil is an essential plant oil distilled from Achillea millefolium. The plant's flowers are usually used for this purpose but it can be extracted from other parts as well. The plant produces spectacular flowers with a mix of colors ranging from pink to white, which are actually clusters of many tiny flowers. The oil is known as an effective treatment for wounds but has numerous other medicinal applications. It is valued as a painkiller, anti-inflammatory and also as a cure for insomnia. It was also used in Europe as a flavoring agent, instead of hops.
There is no clear standard for the production of yarrow oil but varieties with a higher content of chamazulene are considered to have better quality, since this is the active compound that heals wounds. Yarrow oil is usually available as a deep blue liquid. Some plants produce an oil that is actually green in color instead of blue.
Yarrow oil is a very effective antiseptic agent, considered to be stronger than many commercial products available in a pharmacy. When applied on a wound, it can kill all types of pathogens like bacteria, viruses or fungi, protecting it from infection. It has a double action, since it forms a protective layer on top of the wound but also activates the body's natural defensive systems, calling blood platelets and leucocytes to the location. In addition, it has a direct antiseptic effect and kills any germs that come in contact with the oil.
It is very easy to take advantage of the effects of yarrow oil. It is usually combined with other plants with anti-inflammatory properties, such as comfrey or horsetail, to prepare a natural compress. No more than a few drops of yarrow oil are needed and the poultice is also effective in the treatment of both internal and external hemorrhoids.
The yarrow oil is also a natural astringent, like many similar plant extracts. Astringents are compounds that force muscles, blood vessels and any other body tissues to contract. This is a very useful effect, in many conditions. For example, when used inside the mouth, yarrow oil makes the gums contract, so teeth are no longer loose. It can also fight hair loss and baldness if applied on the scalp. Aging makes skin and muscles look saggy, which can also be countered by applying an astringent that makes them contract, for a youthful look. Yarrow oil also contracts blood vessels, so it can stop bleeding.
Yarrow oil also has cicatrisant effects. It is actually considered as effective as many cosmetic products such as creams and lotions designed to eliminate scars and marks, which are often extremely expensive. Many of these commercial products are based on petroleum gels with artificial flavours. Yarrow oil is a natural alternative that can clear any skin marks, such as those caused by pimples, boils, wounds or acne.
When applied on the skin, this essential oil also acts as a general purpose natural cosmetic agent. It increases moisture at skin level and can eliminate various marks, as well as the cracks and flakes usually caused by dry skin.
In order to use the oil's properties against wounds, add a small amount to your normal skin cream or prepare a diluted solution. It can shield open wounds from infection and boost their rate of healing. It can also be applied internally, on any ulcers or cuts.
Due to its astringent properties, yarrow oil also treats oily skin and any related conditions. Not only it eliminates excessive amounts of oil but it also forces pores and sebum glands to contract, so less oil is actually produced. The same effect makes it effective against acne, since it closes the pores and prevents infection, but also against carbuncles, folliculitis or boils. It can be applied on the skin in pure form but it can sometimes cause irritation, so it's wise to first test it on a small area.
Essential yarrow oil has numerous medicinal uses and can treat both internal and external issues. It is the best against wounds, burns, acne, dermatitis and other skin diseases but also fights infections in the digestive system, urinary system and genital organs, as well as treats varicose veins, hemorrhoids and other circulatory diseases.
It is sometimes included as an ingredient in hair products because it can boost the hair's rate of growth. As an astringent, it can remove excessive oil from the scalp and hair. No more than 4 or 5 drops of yarrow oil are needed, mix them with your normal shampoo. You can also prepare a yarrow solution by diluting around 15 drops in two glasses of water, then rinsing your hair and scalp with it and wash it away with plenty of water. It will remove oil and boost the rate of hair growth.
High doses of yarrow essential oil can be neurotoxic, causing headache. It can also trigger skin irritation. Like many natural products that have not been properly tested, it should be avoided by pregnant and nursing women.