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More Power Herbs for Healthy Skin


In a previous blog article, I introduced herbs and how they are helpful for skincare. In this article, I will feature an herbal blend I purchased from an apothecary in Prescott, Arizona.

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Downtown Prescott, AZ

As I stated in my previous blog article about Four Power Herbs, herbs are a powerful addition to natural skincare products. In this article, we’ll profile each ingredient in the “Radiant Skin Tea” I purchased from Nectar Apothecary.

Ingredients:

  • Red clover flowers
  • Nettle leaf
  • Gotu Kola
  • Horsetail
  • Spearmint
  • Dandelion leaf

Red Clover: Trifolium pratense

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Red Clover flower

Historically, red clover has been used topically as a healing and restorative rinse that accelerates the healing of scars and minor wounds, as well as remedy sores, burns, rashes, and skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis. (1) Research findings suggest that the isoflavones in red clover are effective for helping to slow down signs of aging on the skin, as well as mitigating inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and various rashes. (2)

Red clover, when consumed internally (as a tea, for example), has been known to maintain bone strength, help with bone healing, and reduces the risk for osteoporosis. Studies have shown that red clover can help improve arterial health, reduce the risk for atherosclerosis, improve circulation, manage high cholesterol and help prevent coronary heart disease. (3)

Nettle Leaf: Urtica dioica

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Nettle leaves

Nettle, also known as Stinging Nettle, offers a host of benefits such as allergy relief, and improvement of skin, bone and urinary health. The stems, leaves, and roots of the stinging nettle plant possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiulcer, astringent and analgesic properties. The stems and leaves have been used for allergy relief and other breathing-related problems. The roots have been used for the treatment of for urinary disorders and enlarged prostate. Stinging nettle is used as a general diuretic and can help urine flow, as well as offer relief from Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), which is caused by an enlarged prostate gland pressing on the urethra. (4)

Gotu Kola: Centella asiatic

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Gotu Kola

Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) has been used to heal wounds, improve mental clarity, and treat skin conditions such as leprosy and psoriasis. It is also used in ointments to treat psoriasis and help heal minor wounds. Several small studies suggest Gotu kola may help reduce swelling and improve blood flow, making this herb a good choice for treatment of conditions such as varicose veins. Gotu kola has chemicals called triterpenoids, which, in some studies, were found to strengthen the skin, boost antioxidants in wounds, and increase blood supply to the injured area. Based on these findings, Gotu kola has been applied to the skin, or used topically, for minor burns, psoriasis, preventing scars after surgery, and preventing or reducing stretch marks. (5)

Horsetail: Equisetum arvense

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Horsetail

Horsetail is a potent diuretic and therefore has the ability to flush out toxins from the body. Excessive consumption can cause unwanted side effects such as vomiting and diarrhea. This herb is commonly used for hair care, usually brewed or decocted as a hair rinse, or dried, powdered, and encapsulated as a food supplement and sold as a “hair growth encouraging pill”. (6)

Horsetail is also a common additive in many hair-thickening shampoos, conditioners, and some hair oils, as it is said to add body, luster, thickness, and strength to brittle, dry, or thinning hair. The active ingredient that makes this plant viable for such cosmetic purposes is the mineral silica. The leaves of the horsetail may be used fresh, or dried and prepared as a decoction, or infused via maceration into an oil. (7)

Horsetail is generally safe to use topically on the skin, keeping in mind the tiny silica deposits found in the plant’s leaves can be an irritant if accidentally inhaled. Additionally, regular oral intake of horsetail, either as a tisane (herbal tea) or as a food supplement, is not advised, as it may cause thiamine deficiency as well as heavy metal poisoning since Horsetail is known to contain chromium. The oral intake of horsetail is also ill-advised for pregnant women and individuals under the age of 20. Horsetail should be used with caution, especially if employed internally, while topical applications are generally safe when done regularly. (8)

Spearmint: Mentha spicata

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Spearmint

Spearmint leaves are typically consumed as a tisane (herbal tea) for their coolant, relaxant, and astringent properties. Spearmint tea may be helpful in alleviating stress and fatigue. Traditionally, spearmint has also been said to invigorate the mind and body. A light infusion of spearmint tea may also help relieve the symptoms of indigestion and stomach upset, while a stronger decoction can be used as an all-natural astringent mouthwash minus the unpleasant sting, as spearmint contains potent astringent properties. A very strong decoction of leaves may even be used to help combat oily skin and acne breakouts if used as a facial rinse by itself or mixed with raw apple cider vinegar. (9)

Due to its astringent, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, spearmint is also a good remedy for scalp problems such as dandruff, eczema, and an excess production of sebum, which also increase the chances of eventual baldness if left unchecked. The regulated consumption of spearmint also shows that it has significant antioxidant properties that help to keep free radicals in check. Spearmint has trace nutrients such as vitamins A, folate, C, thiamine, and B6 and minerals such as potassium, manganese, magnesium, and iron, and may help individuals recovering from illnesses such as fever or flu. (10)

Dandelion Leaf: Taraxacum officinale

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Dandelion

A broad spectrum of flavonoids such as caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, luteolin, and luteolin 7-glucoside can be isolated from dandelion. Dandelion root, leaf, and stem can be brewed as a tea (tisane). To reduce bitterness, a natural sweetener should be added to taste. This tea can elevate mood and relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. Dandelion is also considered a beauty aid for its ability to purify and cleanse; when taken regularly it can aid in clearing and rejuvenating the skin. (11)

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Summary

In this article, I’ve profiled six different herbs that all offer numerous health benefits, from healthier skin and hair to relaxing the mood to detoxifying the body. As with essential oils, observe safety precautions when working with herbs. I’m not a herbalist, but perhaps you have training in herbalism or have experience in working with plants for medicinal purposes. What herbs do you recommend for skin care purposes? Feel free to comment in the form below. And to obtain a free copy of my ebook “Essential Oils Made Easy”, head over to www.boldaromatherapy.com.

Sources

(1) Red Clover

(2) (3) Red Clover Benefits for Menopause, Bone & Heart Health

(4) 5 Proven, Remarkable Stinging Nettle Benefits

(5) Gotu kola

(6) (7) (8) Horsetail

(9) (10) Spearmint

(11) Dandelion

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Categories: Herbalism, Homemade Products, Skin & Hair CareTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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