Many people are unaware that yarrow, Achillea millifolium, a common plant growing abundantly in British country side, actually produces a very powerful, useful and rather beautiful essential oil.
It’s an oil that stands out when you see its striking, ink blue colour, which is very unusual for an essential oil. The plant itself is made up of an umbrella of little white flowers, sometimes pink, but during the production process, a naturally occurring chemical component in the plant called chamazulene, turns bright blue.
Most essential oils come in tinted glass bottles as they are sensitive to light, so it’s rare to see such amazing colours as in the below photo.
Chamazulene is also the particular part that makes yarrow so useful as it is anti-inflammatory in effect and therefore useful for any condition where inflammation is present, for example:
Arthritis, allergies, bumps, bruises, breaks, gout, strains & sprains.
Even conditions such as period pain and back ache can be helped by using yarrow because of the presence of inflammation.
Yarrow & Lavender Balm Recipe – for pain and inflammation.
A balm is a very practical method of application for areas of inflammation. I would recommend applying this simple balm, made with yarrow and lavender essential oil, twice daily. Massage in very gentle anti-clockwise circles to the affected area, if the area is too tender to touch, or is an open wound then apply the balm as close to the site as is comfortable.
Ingredients ~ to make 100 ml pot:
- 10g beeswax
- 10g shea butter
- 80g or ml of base oil, e.g. Olive oil or Almond oil
- yarrow essential oil – 40 drops (2ml)
- lavender essential oil – 60 drops (3ml)
- vitamin E (optional)
Caution ~ yarrow can contain a varying amount of camphor in it, which means it is advisable to avoid with epilepsy, in pregnancy, and could cause sensitisation in ragweed allergy sufferers.
See my blog on ‘How to make a Massage or Body Balm’ for full recipe instructions.
Blue chamomile essential oil, Matricaria recutita (also known as German chamomile) also appears blue in colour, it contains the same anti-inflammatory agent chamazulene and would be suitable for all of the above inflammatory conditions.
See my blog on Lavender & Chamomile for Hay fever for more details.