Yarrow hydrosol’s expectorant and anti-inflammatory properties make it very helpful in dealing with the inflamed and swollen nasal mucous membranes that accompany sniffles and colds.  Susanne Fischer-Rizzi recommends that an inhalation can be made by diluting 3 tablespoons of this hydrosol to 1 – 2 liters of water.

(Achillea millefolium

Family: Asteraceae

Plant Description:  Yarrow is a perennial herb and grows to about 1 meter (3ft) high.  It has finely dissected leaves which have a lacy appearance and numerous, pinky-white, dense flower heads.

History/Folklore:  Yarrow is named for the Greek hero Achilles who used the herb to treat his wounded soldiers during the siege of Troy.  Yarrow was also used in this during the American Civil War. In ancient Rome, yarrow was dedicated to the spilling of blood in honor of Mars, the God of War.  Yarrow has a rich tradition of being used for the treatment of wounds inflicted by weapons and was once referred to as “Military Herb” or “Soldier’s Wound Wort.”  The English name yarrow is derived from the Old English word gearwe meaning ‘the healer’.

Aroma and Taste:  Suzanne Catty describes this as being strongly aromatic but not particularly pleasant.  She says it has been described as ‘puppy breath’.  She continues that the flavor is better than the smell but not by a lot.

Lydia Bosson describes the aroma as being woody, soft, slightly reminiscent of hay.  She also says that the taste is soft, earthy and a bit acidic.

Stability and Shelf Life:  Stable to Very Stable.

pH: 3.6 – 3.9 (Suzanne Catty) 4.2 – 4.3 (Susanne Fischer-Rizzi)


Yarrow hydrosol has analgesic, anticoagulant, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, bactericidal, calming, cicatrizant, circulatory, decongesting, digestive, expectorant, febrifuge, lipolytic, mucolytic, sedative, stimulating and tonic properties.


Jeanne Rose says that this hydrosol has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties and is very useful for acne, damaged skin and cellulite.  She also recommends its use for energetic purposes, spiritual healing and as an auric or aura protection.

Suzanne Catty says this hydrosol is cooling and recommends using it to help reduce fever, as well as ease aches and pains associated with flu and colds.  It can be used in a compress, with cypress for varicose veins and in a sitz bath for hemorrhoids and excessive or painful menstrual periods or postpartum healing.

Lydia Bosson says that this hydrosol often works well for gynaecological disorders including hormonal imbalances, fibroids, menopausal problems, premenstrual syndrome and painful menstruation.  It should be used when a woman is in a situation of change or crisis (particularly effective after childbirth, in cases of separation, professional change, or when the children leave home.  According to her, yarrow, whether essential oil or hydrosol, is one of the most recommended plants for neuralgia.

Raedunphy.ca says that Yarrow is known as a cicatrizant (promotes healing through the formation of scar tissue), and stops bleeding.  This makes is useful in treating cuts and wounds, irritated skin, razor burns and skin irritations.  Apparently, animals seem to like its fragrance and it is often useful when used in a veterinary setting promoting calm and balance.

Susanne Fischer-Rizzi says that this hydrosol calms the itching often experienced with eczema and psoriasis and recommends using it as a spray directly on the affected area, or in a compress.


I personally find that by their very nature, hydrosols are particularly helpful when used energetically.  I like to include them in misters and sprays and find that they can make a subtle and effective difference.

In Dr. Bruce Berkowsky’s Spiritual PhytoEssencing, Yarrow has the themes of Love and/or War. He suggests using Yarrow when there are for blood feuds over love, for instance Romeo and Juliet has yarrow undertones.  Whether love or war, the theme of blood runs through the yarrow picture, as well as the theme of violence.

More about Hydrosols 

More abour Yarrow

Steffen Arctander, Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin, 1960
Berkowsky’s Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils ©1998-2018 Joseph Ben Hil-Meyer Research, Inc.
Suzanne Catty, Hydrosols, The Next Aromatherapy, Healing Arts Press, 2001
Ernst Guenther, The Essential Oil, Vol V, 1948 reprinted 1972
Ann Harman, Harvest to Hydrosol, IAG Botanics LLC dba botanicals, 2015
Beverley Hawkins, Essential Oils and Carriers, Aromatherapy 101, Aromatherapy 201, Aromatherapy 301, 1999-2018
Bettina Malle & Helge Schmickl, The Essential Oil Maker’s Handbook, Spikehorn Press, 2012, 2015
Len and Shirley Price, Understanding Hydrolats Churchill Livingstone, 2004
Jeanne Rose, 374 Essential Oils and Hydrosols, Frog Ltd, 1999
Lydia Bosson, Hydrosol Therapy, Singing Dragon, 2019
Susanne Fischer-Rizzi, Das Grosse Buch der Pflanzenwässer, Atverlag, 2020