Synonyms: Milfoil, thousand weed, achillea, soldier’s woundwort.
Aroma: Sweet, herbaceous similar to German chamomile.
Colour: Deep blue.
Plant: Perennial with tiny clusters of white or pink flowers growing to a metre in height. The lower part of the stem is leafless and woody while the upper stem has alternate feathery lace like leaves.
Main Growing Areas: Albania, Hungary, Bulgaria, France.
Major Constituents: Camphor, 1,8 cineole, iso-artemisia, azulenes, achilline, sabinene.
Interesting snippets: Grown specifically for medicinal use as it is considered a weed in most places.
Yarrow tea has long been used for mild digestive upsets and menstrual cramps.
It is said that Achilles tended his soldier’s wounds with yarrow during the war with Troy.
The 50 wooden sticks used for the I-Ching were made from the stems of the yarrow plant.
Part of Plant used / Extraction: Leaves and flowering heads by steam distillation.
Therapeutic actions: Cuts and abrasions, eczema, menstrual pain.
Emotional and Spiritual: Gabriel Mojay writes that yarrow oil is most appropriate for those in whom feelings of anger or rage are linked subconsciously with emotional wounding and vulnerability.
Susanne Fischer-Rizzi considers yarrow the perfect oil for times of major life changes such as mid-life crisis and menopause because it helps reconcile opposing forces when we are feeling torn.
Robbi Zeck asks you to learn how to maintain your balance in every situation without abandoning your integrity. Ask for clarity of vision so that your inner perspectives will match your external actions. Yarrow with its balancing action refines the senses, enhancing the power of your insights as well as your outer vision.
Fragrant Change Healing Card: I am nurtured and protected as I release the anger, pain and bitterness from the past.
Contemplations for the Soul:
Have you been deeply hurt and are still feeling angry and bitter about it?
You may find yourself lashing out at every perceived insult, hurt and offence in order not to feel any pain and protect yourself.
You may become defensive seeing insults where none are intended.
You may pretend that these insults or hurts have no effect on you while sinking deeper into anger at yourself for not addressing them, leading to a depression or sadness that seems never ending.
Take time now to nurture yourself as you release all the bitterness, pain and anger.
Feel the pain, forgive yourself and the person or people who caused it; let it all go knowing you will come through this stronger and able to love and feel joy again.
Safety: Non-irritating, possibly sensitising, non-toxic. Possibly best not to use in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Sources: Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Kerr, J, Yarrow Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.19 (2001)
Fischer-Rizzi, S, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Essential Oils for Radiant Health Sterling Publishing Company (1990)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)