Yarrow - Achillea millefolium - Hydrosols
Aroma and Taste
Strongly aromatic but not particularly pleasant; has been described as puppy breath." Absolutely not floral in aroma or taste. The flavour is better than the smell but not by a lot, and it tastes better in stronger dilution than in weaker ones.
Stability and Shelf Life
Stable to very stable; can last up to two years, although it may develop a grey colour and fine particulate matter after about fourteen months. Check the pH if you have any doubts.
Properties and Applications
One metric ton of yarrow flowers produces less than five hundred milliliters (one-half liter) of oil so this is perhaps one of the more potent hydrosols. It is a good digestive aid and is significantly detoxifying, but in a gentle manner. A three-week will improve digestion, increase elimination, and calm gastric spasms and rumbles and is recommended as part of a cleanse or weight-loss program.
It improves digestion of fatty foods and seems to have hepato-stimulant and/or cholagogue (bile releasing) properties, since it can quickly relieve indigestion and heartburn caused by overindulgence.
Yarrow is antispasmodic for the digestive, reproductive, and muscular systems, used topically or internally. Cooling, it helps reduce fever and eases aches and pains in association with flu and colds. It is anti-inflammatory and can be used as a compress with cypress for varicose veins and in a sitz bath for hemorrhoids and excessive or painful menstrual periods or postpartum healing.
A great balancer both physically and mentally, yarrow stabilizes body fluids and gets rid of excess water without being overly diuretic. Use it in a compress on its own or in combination with goldenrod for fluid in joints and rheumatic pain or for any area of swelling where fluid has accumulated.
A mild antibacterial and antiseptic, it helps with problem skin, acneic conditions, and dermal infections and as an anti-inflammatory it helps heal damages from the sun and wind. Effective for cleaning wounds , it helps stop bleeding and could be used as an aftershave for its styptic properties, although because of its odour, you may wish to blend it with other, more pleasingly aromatic waters.
Yarrow is a good ingredient to use in a douche or sitz bath for endometriosis , in synergy with Cistus. This condition is quite serious , but hydrosols and oils can greatly reduce the severity and pain of the condition. This can reduce the need for opiate-based pharmaceuticals, which are commonly the only option.
Yarrow is a very effective water for use on animals , as they like the smell. Skin problems and digestive issues benefit particularly. For some the aroma is off-putting. In this case, combine yarrow with other hydrosols and essential oils that improve its fragrance. This water provides mental calm and can help on find peace. Like the oil. it is highly energetic and good for spiritual or distance work. Combine it with Juniper berry for cleansing the aura, crystals, and work space.
Reference: Hydrosols - The New Aromatherapy : Suzanne Catty
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