blue yarrow essential oil

yarrow

Blue Yarrow Essential Oil

Blue yarrow essential oil is actually not blue. Yarrow has over 100 active ingredients including flavonoids, tannins, silica, amino acids and the list goes on. Like chamomile, yarrow contains azulene that produces the rich vibrant blue.

The lovely sky blue color occurs when the leaves and flower tops are distilled to make the essential oil. The flowerheads are yellow, white and pink. With over 30 cultivars, the native yarrow is cream or white. This pink one in my backyard turns creams after being this subtle pink. The leaves of some have a spicy bitter aroma. 

The essential oil is known for it’s healing of the skin and is most often used in treating acne and blemishes. It has a rich herbaceous aroma that is soothing and relaxing. It is used in steambaths to rid the body of toxins. Our new pore clarifying mask has blue yarrow essential oil.

Yarrow History

Yarrow, is one the world’s oldest medicinal plants. .  Yarrow is a hardy wildflower that can be found around the globe.It’s healing properties are chronicled throughout history beginning with the Romans. The Greeks and Romans used the herb during battles to heal wounds and to stop the flow of blood. In Mythology, Achilles, the Greek hero of the Trojan War, used yarrow to help heal the tendon injured ankleNative American used the dried leaves and flowers heads in a paste to treat sunburn and other skin ailments. It was thought to also cure baldness. It has been used to reduce anxiety and stress in tea form or in infusions. As a tea it is known to reduce fevers and diminish migraines.

It was thought to have magical powers and some thought it would guard against evil spirits if hung above your door. In Ireland it was hung above the door on midsummer night’s eve to protect the homeowners from disease. Its leaves and flowers were used to brew beer in the Middle Ages.

 

Calendula

Calendula

Calendula, a versatile herb, is the essential oil from the pot marigold. This plant has been used since the 12th century for its medicinal properties. Studies abound on its healing ability on the skin specifically on burn victims. Due to its high level of vitamin A compounds (carotenoids) it is also known to calm skin irritations such as rashes, dermatitis, acne and chapped skin. Cream made with calendula, is recommended to those with breast cancer to ease dermatitis and skin challenges during radiation and chemo.

It is known as the poor man’s saffron as it can be used in cooking as a substitute. The petals also make a lovely dye. Another benefit of marigolds is Mother Nature’s bug repellant, planting them around your tomatoes so the bugs won’t eat them. Marigold petals are edible and add a lovely tang to salads.

Marigolds

Marigolds native to Mexico, were taken to Europe and Asia in the 16th century. There are over 50 species of this earthy plant. To the Welsh, marigolds were “herb of the sun” and if they were not open in the morning a storm was coming. They were used as love charms, and were thought to produce visions of fairies if rubbed on the eyes. Others considered marigold poisonous due to the heavy aroma. In Mexico we were surrounded by marigolds on dia de los muertos, and while in India marigolds were omnipresent. Ironically it wasn’t in Mexico that I learned to appreciate marigolds but in Thailand and India.

We use calendula oil in our marigold toner, marigold bergamot dry oil, marigold cleanser and marigold face kit.

Marjoram

marjorampic

History

Marjoram (Organum Marjorana) is a perennial herb belonging to the mint family. With rounded, pale green leaves, Marjoram is often mistaken for oregano; however, it has a sweeter taste and a more delicate nature, preferring moister soil and warmer climates. Originating in Asia Minor and the Mediterranean region, the herb was acclaimed in Egyptian, Roman, and Greek culture. The Greeks called marjoram “joy of the mountain,” crowing newly married couples with it as a celebration of love and good fortune. Aphrodite, the goddess of love, was said to grow and treasure marjoram, making it a popular herb for love spells. When placed under the pillow of a young woman, it was believed to reveal her future husband in her dreams.

Medicinal Uses

Marjoram is also renowned for its medicinal properties. Extremely beneficial to the stomach, it aids in digestion, calms cramps, alleviates nausea, and relieves upset bowels. Its antiseptic, antiviral, and antibacterial properties help the body fight sickness, including food poisoning, malaria, staph, and the flu. Marjoram even improves circulatory function, helping lower blood pressure and cholesterol, while its anti-inflammatory properties soothe head, body, tooth, and muscle aches.

Aromatherapy

Marjoram’s aromatic properties make it the ultimate stress reliever. Testing has shown that marjoram’s tranquil aroma relaxes brain waves. It soothes the senses, alleviates anxiety, reduces stress, and even helps with insomnia.

Marjoram’s warm, woodsy fragrance and natural calming abilities are celebrated in HollyBeth Organics’ new Flourish® calming perfume. This double-duty perfume delights the senses and the mind.

Are you dirty?

explore the garden

I spent the weekend dirty. Filthy, actually. Sweaty and smelly. Covered in bruises and bites, scratches and scrapes. My legs now resemble those of a kid just bounding off the bus home from summer camp. Not sure if I’ll be able to squeeze in a manicure this week, so I might have a little explaining to do when clients and colleagues catch a glimpse of my thorn-pricked palms and ragged nails. An irritating throb between my ring finger and pinky marks the path of angry ants while red dots at my ankles either reveal the appetites of nibbling chiggers or an unwelcome poison ivy slap. Despite my battle wounds, I wish I could push away from my desk, skip the rest of my work week and dig right back into that dirt.  

My gardening projects never fully reach completion, instead rambling on and on like the vines I’m constantly pulling out of my way. This time, I managed to plant an entire new corner in a couple of days, but surveying it again this morning, I thought of possible changes. Then, I noticed the weeding and pruning needed on the opposite corner and, toward the back, eyed the perfect spot for some summer bulbs, a wide morning ray spotlighting an empty altar ready for the joyful choir of sun-worshippers — gladiolus, cannas, dahlias, perhaps more daylilies along the fence… definitely rudbeckia to smile up at everyone, proud of their signature black-eyes. The shady spots whimper for extra attention, too; under distant trees, a few hostas and ferns await companions in quiet repose hoping to see friendly foliage rooted before the neighbor’s English ivy encroaches on their mellow territory.

Such the grand and ubiquitous metaphor, isn’t it? From Eden to almanacs to everafter we cultivate our notions of life and love from the parables of the dirt. Technology, politics, even concepts of art, all change. Dirt remains constant. Century to century, through culture and custom, we dig and we plant. We marvel at what we are able to produce, whether for sustenance, sale or ornamentation. We battle invasive weeds, fret over failed crops and surrender to pests. We venerate the connection between bountiful gardens, healthy bodies and nurtured souls — celebrating the sunny spots that boast the brightest blossoms, resting in the calm shade requiring our mindful regard, watching carefully for threatening invaders and attempting to monitor our growth. We bandage our cuts and wipe away the perspiration. Then we crawl right back into the soil and we get dirty. Gloriously dirty.

Who else needs to dig?

anise hyssop

Native to the Midwest, anise hyssop is a member of the mint family. Bees and butterflies are hovering over my anise hyssop that is flourishing in this heat wave. Aromatic of licorice and anise, it was planted in the 1870s to attract honeybees. Historically it has been used to guard against evil spirits, as a cough suppressant and as a wash against poison ivy and leprosy. Culinary uses include tea for digestion, salads, jellies and the seeds in cookies. anise

thai basil

 

thai-basil
thai basil

Basil’s name is from the Greek basilikohn meaning royal. Its origins can be traced to China and India. Its original purpose was for embalming and taking the poison out of insect bites. Today its properties are so varied it should be considered the super herb. In Ayurvedic medicine it is used as a treatment for diabetes, impotence, allergies, infertility and respiratory ailments. Basil contains natural antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. If you like basil, try our basil bergamot hand wash and hand lotion.

 

helichrysum

Helichrysum oil is an essential oil that you is not widely used however, is quite restorative and effective in skincare. Studies indicate that the oil minimizes scarring and has the ability to filter uv rays. It has anti-inflammatory properties as well as being cell-regenerative. It can also soothe anger and stress and has been known to lessen migraine pain.  While researching genus helichrysum I found that there are over 600 species, including many that are in my backyard. The oil that is most commonly used for skincare is helichrysum italicum commonly known as the curry plant because of the aroma it produces and grows in the Mediterranean. You can find it in HollyBeth Organics rose geranium toner along with rose and rose geranium.

Vintage Strawflower Botanical Helichrysum macranthum