Yarrow, the Warrior Plant

I first came to know yarrow because I was looking for a pretty plant for my front yard that would act as a natural pest repellent and would attract pollinators. When I started to grow it, I was completely entranced by its aroma, by the beauty of its leaves and flower heads, and by its powerful ability to keep mosquitoes at bay. That alone would have made me a loyal lifetime fan. But there is so much more to know about yarrow, and I am excited to share some of that knowledge with you in today’s post.

Yarrow is a beautiful herb in the aster/daisy family that has a wide range of emotional, physical, and culinary benefits. Its scientific name is Achillea millefolium: Achillea because it is said that the Greek warrior Achilles used the leaves to treat and heal his battle wounds and that he rubbed his entire body with a tincture to protect himself from arrow wounds; and millefolium because of the “thousand” thin, feathery leaves. The leaves are very fern-like, and my plants spread through underground branches like the raspberries and horseradish and tansy they grow near.

Although yarrow has been used for thousands of years as a therapy in plant form, I will be writing mostly about the essential oil. This is the most convenient form that, when pure, brings assurance of safety and easy dosage and application. I use doTERRA’s Yarrow essential oil, which is offered as a dual botanical with Pomegranate seed oil (Yarrow|Pom Active Botanical Nutritive Duo). This combination serves to intensify the therapeutic properties of the Yarrow essential oil while making it easier to apply topically – and safer for those with sensitive skin – while still being completely safe to take internally.

EMOTIONAL BENEFITS

Yarrow is known as the essential oil of emotional and energetic safety. It is probably the most powerful of essential oils in that regard, a warrior in its own right. It can help to harmonize and balance personal energy and serve as a shield to negative energy, a strengthener, and a rejuvenator during the healing process. Some of the negative emotions that can be addressed with Yarrow include feeling unsafe, unclear, unprotected, fearful, energetically weakened, attacked, in crisis, overwhelmed, scattered, and having weak boundaries. Yarrow can support feelings of being protected, discerning, safe, assisted, open, centered, clear, balanced, peaceful, having strong boundaries, and having the ability to relax and receive. Chinese medicine considers yarrow an important tool to revive stagnant chi/energy and maintain optimal balance of yin and yang.

There is a caveat when using Yarrow essential oil, especially when using it internally: it WILL bring deep emotional issues to the surface to allow processing. If you are not prepared to address or even consider such issues, be very careful in using Yarrow essential oil.

PHYSICAL BENEFITS

The top properties of yarrow essential oil include: anti-inflammatory, antihemorrhagic, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antiviral, astringent, emmenagogue (stimulates/increases menstrual flow), regenerative, and styptic (stops bleeding from wounds). It affects most significantly the hormonal system, immune system, and the skin.

Its top chemical constituents include:

  • Sabinene – skin cleansing properties (10-25%)
  • Beta-pinene – 10-30% (supports immune function and response, supports healthy respiratory system, may help maintain healthy blood glucose levels that are already in normal range)
  • Germacrene D – 10-25% (supports healthy cellular function, may support antioxidant support)
  • Beta-caryophyllene – 5-20% (soothing to the skin and tissues, may reduce the appearance of blemishes, supports a healthy inflammatory response, strong antioxidant, supports the digestive and circulatory systems)
  • Chamazulene – 2-10% (soothing to the tissues, supports cellular health, supports immune and nervous system health) – this gives yarrow essential oil its blue color after heating during processing

Some top physical conditions and issues that can be supported by application of Yarrow essential oil include the following. Each issue is best addressed by a specific type of application (aromatic, topical, internal). As always, I recommend looking at following an optimal personalized diet as a foundation for achieving and maintaining health in these areas.

  • Bleeding, hemorrhaging, internal wounds, and scarring
  • Varicose veins and hemorrhoids, sagging and aging skin
  • Irregular or absent menstruation and early menopause
  • Depression, anxiety, and fatigue
  • Pain, inflammation, arthritis, rheumatism
  • Fever, viral infection, and allergies
  • Low perspiration and poor circulation
  • Cancer, free radical damage, cellular ovarian health (because of its antioxidant properties)
  • Acne, eczema, hair loss and scalp issues
  • Sluggish liver, stomach and intestines
  • Toothache and loosened teeth
  • Indigestion, belching, bloating, and ulcers
  • Muscle and respiratory spasms
  • Metabolic disorders and blood sugar imbalance

Safety tips: When applied topically, Yarrow|Pom can be used for children under six and – after consultation with a health professional – for those who are pregnant or in frail health. When taken internally, use with heavier dilution for those same populations.

CULINARY USES

While doTERRA’s Yarrow|Pom blend is safe to use as a nutritional supplement, I recommend using the fresh leaves for foods and beverages. The exception is when preparing a tea, where both forms can be used and will provide a delicious and refreshing beverage. Much credit for information in this section goes to: https://foragerchef.com/cooking-with-yarrow/

Fresh or dried yarrow leaves are delicious in salads, soups, egg dishes, and vinaigrette dressings. They are similar to tarragon leaves in that respect without such a licorice taste. They can also be used instead of dill. If the yarrow taste is too strong alone, mix the leaves with those of chervil or parsley plants to soften the taste. They are naturally sweet and do well in sorbets and with fruits such as plums, peaches, and nectarines. They are delicate and should be added – like essential oils – to cooked dishes at the end of the heating process to retain flavor and benefits.

Caution: Do NOT add Yarrow leaves to broth as it will make the broth bitter.

OTHER YARROW|POM PRODUCTS

doTERRA has recently introduced two additional Yarrow|Pom–based products that deserve mention here:

  • Yarrow|Pom Body Renewal Serum (for use from the neck down; I recommend using the original Yarrow|Pom Active Botanical Nutritive Duo for the face)
    • Yarrow essential oil reduces the appearance of aging skin and promotes the look of young and healthy skin
    • Pomegranate Seed Oil is rich in punicic acid and supports the skin’s natural barrier
    • Jojoba, Sunflower, Avocado, Grape Seed and Argan Kernel oils increase hydration and help prevent normal signs of aging
    • Pomegranate esters help promote the appearance of bright, smooth, even skin
    • Coffee Seed Extract is a skin conditioning agent that helps increase the appearance of smooth skin, improves skin texture, and rejuvenates the skin
    • Other CPTG essential oils of Roman Chamomile, Yuzu, Peppermint, and Cananga soothe skin and promote a positive, relaxed mood
  • Yarrow|Pom Cellular Beauty Complex capsules
    • Improve skin firmness and reduces skin imperfections
    • Illuminate and brightens complexion
    • Provide powerful antioxidant support
    • Promote cellular health
    • Support healthy metabolic function
    • Include Celery Seed, Frankincense, Palmarosa, Turmeric, and Melissa essential oils for the skin benefits they provide
    • Include Grape Seed and Melon Extracts, as well as Zinc Citrate and Vitamin C
      Grape seed extract provides antioxidants, helping protect against oxidative stress, and the tissue damage it can cause. Grape seed extract and Zinc Citrate help neutralize a broad range of free radicals, which can be detrimental to the health of our skin. Melon extract, with its antioxidant properties, enhances skin radiance to get that all-over glow. Vitamin C, necessary for the growth and development of all body tissues and is essential for collagen production, gives the skin a youthful look and feel by maintaining healthy skin and averting signs of premature aging.

Do you want to feel like a warrior in your everyday life? Consider YARROW!

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