Yarrow Essential Oil: The Amazing Benefits and Uses

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Yarrow Essential Oil
Credit: iStock.com/kazmulka

Yarrow essential oil is taken from the sturdy yarrow plant, which is found all over the world, from North America to Australia.  But what can this essential oil do for you? As it turns out, there are many health advantages linked to yarrow oil, and you are about to discover several of them.

From yarrow essential oil benefits to uses, we will cover everything you need to know about the ways yarrow oil could boost your overall health and what you should look out for in terms of precautions when using it. By the end of this article, you should have a basic understanding of the versatile oil.

What Is Yarrow Essential Oil?

What is yarrow essential oil? Yarrow oil is extracted from the perennial yarrow plant (also known as Achillea millefolium). The plant itself is originally from temperate regions of the northern hemispheres of North America, Asia, and Europe, but wound up in New Zealand and Australia as food for livestock. It grows up to three feet high, and its bright, decorative flowers come in a range of colors, from white to yellow and pink to red.

The oil itself is relatively easy to obtain from the plant, as it can be collected by crushing the stem, or the oil can be distilled from the plant using a steam distillation method. While both methods will work to retrieve the oil from the yarrow plant, the steam distillation method tends to yield more and better results in this regard. Now that you know what yarrow oil is and how it made, we can look into yarrow oil benefits and what they could mean for your health.

Benefits of Yarrow Essential Oil

Yarrow oil has long been used for its health benefits. From the ancient Chinese to Native Americans, a variety of cultures have relied on yarrow oil for its reported healing properties for thousands of years. Even the Latin name for the plant, Achillea millefolium, derives in part from Greek mythology. The Greek hero Achilles apparently used the yarrow plant to heal the wounds of soldiers on the battlefield. Healing wounds is still one of the most well-known benefits of yarrow essential oil, but there are other benefits that you should be aware of. Yarrow oil’s chemical makeup consists of active compounds like eucalyptol, camphor, alpha-terpineol, beta-pinene, and borneol, all of which lend themselves to the various health benefits that you will find below.

1. Anti-Inflammatory

The anti-inflammatory nature of yarrow oil may be useful for treating a multitude of afflictions. This extends to conditions involving inflammation of the respiratory system (asthma) or the digestive system (inflammatory bowel disease), and even of the joints for arthritis. This is, in part, due to the chemical makeup of yarrow oil.

2. Decongestant

Yarrow oil might be able to unclog your system as a decongestant. Yarrow oil contains a methanol extract as well a few anti-inflammatory properties that could help open your airways when you are suffering from a cold, cough, and congestion. This can be accomplished by inhaling the vapors of the yarrow oil or even by massaging it onto your chest.

3. Antispasmodic

Yarrow oil may also help with muscle spasms. From those caused by respiratory ailments to those in your digestive tract, yarrow oil is said to have a relaxing effect on muscles that might help calm spasms or prevent them from happening. It could also help make coughs less severe and stop muscles from cramping.

4. Digestive

As we previously mentioned, yarrow oil could help with digestion, and it may do this in a number of ways. First, it can potentially stimulate the body to create more digestive juices like stomach acid and bile, which can help with digesting food. Yarrow oil might also be of benefit to people who suffer from disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as it can help relax the spasms in the intestines that IBS brings with it.

5. Gas Relief

Along with helping the digestive process, yarrow oil may also help settle the stomach and allow it to better digest foods, which, in turn, can help eliminate issues with gas.

6. Antiseptic/Antibacterial

Yarrow oil could be of great use for your antibacterial and antiseptic needs. When using it to treat fungal, viral, and bacterial infections, yarrow oil works in two different ways. Due the chemical properties found within, yarrow oil may have the ability to kill and get rid of microbes that are causing these infections. Additionally, yarrow oil is thought to activate blood platelets and leucocytes that help keep bacteria and fungi at bay.

7. Skin Issues

Yarrow oil’s many properties, especially those that could help clear up and kick out bacteria, could also address your skin issues. It can help by cleaning out the bacteria that cause skin problems like pimples and acne. Yarrow oil’s anti-inflammatory and healing properties might also reduce scarring resulting from acne as well as other wounds.

8. Pain Relief

While yarrow oil’s active components may help it aid in general healing, digestive issues, and the like, that same composition may also make yarrow oil a mild neurotoxin. While this may sound frightening, it really just means that it could slightly numb your nerves; hence, it might be ideal for pain relief when applied to wounds. Furthermore, it may work especially well for things like toothaches.

9. High Blood Pressure

One of the lesser-known benefits linked to yarrow oil is its potential ability to help reduce high blood pressure. Yarrow oil contains  a phytochemical called coumarin. Coumarin is an anti-thrombotic, which is an agent that prevents blood clots and leads to lower high blood pressure.

As you can see from the above, there really is a plethora of benefits that may come with using yarrow oil. The trick now is to learn how to use yarrow oil in order to gain those benefits. And, there are more than a few ways to use it.

Different Uses of Yarrow Essential Oil

There may be countless health benefits of yarrow essential oil, but how can it actually be used? Do you use it directly on your skin? Can it be ingested? How do you use a mild neurotoxin without causing lasting damage? Let’s find out a few ways that yarrow oil can be used in order to get its full effects.

1. Massage

Using yarrow oil as massage oil can help you gain its benefits—at least on a topical level. Rubbing it onto your back could help relieve muscle tension and spasms. Massaging it into your chest may also offer healing, especially when you have a traditional cold, chest cold, or chest congestion. Massaging the yarrow oil onto your abdomen could help relieve pain in the region and also help with digestion.

2. Direct Contact

Similarly to massage benefits, applying yarrow oil directly onto painful area may help relieve pain. Mix a few drops of yarrow oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil like jojoba oil and dip a cotton ball, swab, or pad into the mixture. Apply the mixed oil to the painful area to calm the pain.

3. Vapors

The vapors of yarrow oil might help you sleep, open up congested airways, and relax your body. This can be done in multiple ways. The easiest is to place a few drops on your pillow before bed. Putting a few drops into a humidifier will also have a similar effect. In the case of congestion, you may want to try boiling a pot of water and dropping a few drops into the water. Take a towel and place it over your head and over the pot to make a seal and breathe in the vapors.

4. Baths

Once again, when looking to soothe muscles, joints and help with congestion, a warm bath using yarrow oil can be helpful. Run the bath and, as it’s running, add a tablespoon of yarrow oil to the water. Soak in it for a while and let the yarrow oil work its magic

But alas, with all of these benefits and uses, there are a few things you should know before using yarrow oil on a regular basis.

Precautions When Using Yarrow Essential Oil

As with many essential oils, there are a number of possible issues and precautions that you should be aware of before you start using yarrow oil.

1. Pregnancy

Do not use while pregnant. As we previously stated, yarrow oil is a mild neurotoxin. Using while pregnant may do significant damage to the fetus.

2. Skin Contact

Be careful when using directly on the skin. Due to its more potent abilities, yarrow oil may react with your skin in ways that you may not like. Allergic reactions are very well possible and skin sensitivity may require you to use carrier oil like jojoba oil to use without a negative reaction.

3. Long-Term Use

Yarrow oil is not recommended for prolonged periods of time. While yarrow oil may work wonders for you, it’s not something you should use every day or for extended stretches as it may begin to cause headaches and other ailments and skin irritation.

Be Sensible with Yarrow Oil

Yarrow oil has many touted benefits that could improve your health in numerous ways. From muscle aches to tooth pain to digestion, it’s definitely worth taking a look into. However, it does have some very real side effects that may not affect everyone but might affect you, so be sure to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before adopting the herbal remedy. If you think it may be right for you, try it out slowly, do not use yarrow oil for extended periods of time, and it may be an effective natural treatment.

Related Articles:

Thyme Essential Oil: Facts, Benefits, and How to Use

Juniper Berry Essential Oil: Uses, Health Benefits, and Recipes


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