YARROW ESSENTIAL OIL (Oleum Millefolii)

The origin of yarrow essential oil:

Yarrow essential oil is derived from the yarrow plant, scientifically known as Achillea millefolium. It’s the best-known species of the genus Achillea due to its various therapeutic uses in both folk and conventional medicine.

Bulgarian yarrow essential oil is made from genuine Achillea millefolium plant and it exceptionally suitable for integration into innovative cosmetics and personal care products.

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Short summary description of the oil

  • Categories/Mainstream: Essential oils
  • Scientific Name: Achillea millefolium
  • Botanical Source: Achillea millefolium
  • Extraction Method: steam distillation
  • H.S code : 33012949
  • CAS number: 8022-07-9
  • EC number: 282-030-6
  • Scent: characteristically spicy-grassy scent with floral, green and camphor note
  • Country of origin: Bulgaria

The origin of yarrow essential oil

Yarrow essential oil is derived from the yarrow plant, scientifically known as Achillea millefolium. It’s the best-known species of the genus Achillea due to its various therapeutic uses in both folk and conventional medicine.


Technological process

The flowers, leaves and stems are collected when the plant blooms. They are rich in nutrients and phytonutrients, the chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants. The essential oil is obtained through steam distillation of the plant's aerial parts, including its leaves, stems, and flowers.


Certification and standardisation

  • Produced according to ISO 9001:2015 and GMP of cosmetic regulations.
  • Produced according to FSSC 22000 – food ingredient.
  • Organic product certification.

Properties

Yarrow essential oil is exceptionally suitable for integration into innovative cosmetics and personal care products and provide antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that care for the skin and promote its health.

The aroma of yarrow essential oil adds a uniquely refreshing dimension to the products, making them pleasant for the consumer. The oil can be used in various formulations, such as creams, lotions, or massage oils, highlighting not only the aesthetics of the products but also their beneficial effects on the skin. Thus, yarrow essential oil becomes an inspiring and innovative element in the field of cosmetics, offering a sense of luxury and care for consumers.

Antimicrobial activities

The essential oil of yarrow is also noted for its activity against various bacteria, including Streptococcus pneumoniae, Clostridium perfringens, Acinetobacter lwoffii, and Mycobacterium smegmatis (Candan et al., 2003; Unlü et al., 2002). Interestingly, a methanol extract of yarrow demonstrates activity against Helicobacter pylori at a minimum inhibitory concentration of 50 μg/ml (Mahady et al., 2005), which is relevant for the treatment of conditions such as stomach ulcers and gastritis. Extracts of A. millefolium and other Achillea species, obtained using hexane, ether, and methanol, exhibit antimicrobial activity against various bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Salmonella enteritidis (Stojanović et al., 2005). However, another study involving Brazilian medicinal plants did not find significant activity in a 90% ethanol-10% water extract of A. millefolium (Holetz et al., 2002).

The conflicting results may be attributed to variations in raw material quality, extract type, or methodology. Holetz et al. screened 13 plants traditionally used for infectious diseases against 8 pathogens, with most tests showing no activity. Among the 104 combinations of plant and pathogen tested, only 11 displayed a "good" minimal inhibitory concentration of less than 100 μg/ml. This relatively low hit rate could be a notable aspect of their findings.

Hexane-ether-methanol extracts of Achillea millefolium and three other species were found to inhibit Aspe rgillus niger and Candida albicans (Stojanović et al., 2005). Additionally, the essential oil of yarrow (both A. millefolium subsp. millefolium and "A. setacea") has demonstrated inhibitory effects against Candida species (Unlü et al., 2002). However, Holetz et al. (2002) did not observe anticandidal activity in their study.

Anti-inflammatory activity

The anti-inflammatory activity of white yarrow oil has been the subject of scientific research and is presented in several studies. The oil is extracted from the flowers and leaves of white yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and is known for its potential health benefits. Proazulenic sesquiterpene lactones, including matricin, undergo degradation into chamazulene carboxylic acid, a known COX-2 inhibitor (Ramadan et al., 2006, as discussed below). Ramadan et al. initiated the study of this compound due to its observed similarity to synthetic COX-2 inhibitors. Hence, the anti-inflammatory activity of yarrow involves the contribution of at least three distinct compound classes. Clinical trials in humans are rare. According to the practical gynecological experiences of Kapchinski [Kapzynski W. Phytotherapy in contemporary gynaecology and obstetrics. Postepy Fitoterapii 2000; 2: 10-6.], A. millefolium can be a useful anti-inflammatory aid in the treatment of vaginal inflammations caused by Candida albicans, premenstrual syndrome, menstrual irregularities, and others.

Antioxidant activity 

The use of natural derivatives to enhance food stability and beneficial effects is gaining more and more popularity. The effect on scavenging radicals of degraded organic compounds is inherent in the essential oil of white yarrow. The essential oil of A. millefolium ssp. millefolium exhibited an IC50=1.56 μg/ml in the DPPH (diphenylpicrylhydrazyl) radical scavenging test and IC50=2.7 μg/g in the hydroxyl radical scavenging test in the Fe3+-EDTA-H2O deoxyribose system (Candan et al., 2003).

Anty censer

Not just limited to flavonoids, the essential oil of A. millefolium L. has demonstrated effectiveness in antitumor research. It has the ability to influence the activity of peritoneal macrophages in vivo in mic (Lopes FC, Benzatti FP, Jordao CM, Moreira RR, Carlos IZ. Effect of the essential oil of Achillea millefolium L. int he production of hydrogen peroxide and tumour necrosis factor alpha in murine macrophages. Brasilian J Pharm Sci 2005; 41: 401-5.) 

The essential oil, with optimal dilutions at 1:100 and 1:200, stimulated macrophages to produce hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and tumour necrosis factor (TNF) but did not lead to overproduction. Azulene, among the components, demonstrated significant stimulating activity. Additionally, other sesquiterpene compounds are highlighted as effective antitumor agents of yarrow.


Main chemical constituents:

α-Thujene

Monoterpenoid hydrocarbon possessing antimicrobial properties, potentially anti-inflammatory, and insecticidal

β-Caryophyllene

Bicyclic sesquiterpene acts as a dietary cannabinoid, binding to CB2 receptors, and exhibits anti-inflammatory effects, pain relief through the activation of peripheral cannabinoid and opioid receptors also CB2 receptor agonist produces multiple behavioral changes relevant to anxiety and depression.

Germacrene D

Sesquiterpene found in various plant essential oils, has been associated with potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Studies suggest its role with applications in agriculture, food industries, and insect control, highlighting its diverse potential contributions to health and environmental applications.

Chamazulene

Blue, aromatic sesquiterpene compound whit possible anti-inflammatory properties, in irritations, gastrointestinal discomfort, and respiratory issues.


Main properties and usage

  • Aromatherapy: to create a calming and grounding atmosphere
  • Wellness: to promote relaxation and relieve muscle tension
  • Herbal remedies: may be used in herbal preparations for conditions like digestive or skin issues 
  • Perfumery: contributing its earthy and herbaceous scent to various perfume blends
  • Sleep and anxiety: thanks to its sedative effect
  • Immune support: due to its anti-inflammatory abilities
  • Anti-aging skin care: can be incorporated into anti-aging serums and creams due to its potential to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Soap and candle making: can be added to homemade soaps and candles for its aromatic properties
  • Alternative medicine: the yarrow is associated with the heart chakra and can be used in chakra-balancing rituals or meditation
  • Beverages: for preparing a yarrow tea with many health benefits

Physicochemical characteristics

Indicators Characteristics and norms
Appearance Dark blue fluid liquid
Odor Characteristically spicy-grassy scent with floral, green and camphor note
Relative density 0,890 ÷ 0,940
Refractive index 1,4700 ÷ 1,4800

 

Name of components - GC – MS/ FID Norm,%
Alpha Pinene < 7
Sabinene 15 – 30
Beta Pinene 10 – 20
Limonene < 10
Beta phellandrene < 10
Eucaliptol 1 - 5
Artemisia ketone 2 - 7
Gama Terpinene < 3
Camphor < 0,5
Terpinen- 4- ol 0 - 5
Beta - Caryophyllene 5 - 15
Beta Farnesene < 1
Hamulene < 2
Germacrene D 8-20
Caryophyllene oxide < 3
Chamazulene > 3