Most of us are concerned about how healthy and vibrant we look, and would love to have younger looking skin. Some people suffer from skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, dermatitis and rosacea, to name a few-which challenge our ability to maintain a fresh, youthful appearance.
Some people go to a dermatologist and get prescriptions for skin creams to look younger and to heal skin issues. However, naturopaths believe the skin is the point where toxins exit and causes the skin to become irritated and less elastic. Prescription skin creams can be expensive, even if you have insurance, but luckily, there are a number of fairly inexpensive herbs that can serve the same purpose. Try these herbal rememdies for skin.
The lowly dandelion gets a bad rap. Yes, it is the bane of gardeners, but when you consider all the good it does, perhaps gardeners should take a second look. It’s likely you’ll have this on hand and won’t need to purchase it. The dandelion roots are used medicinally, and is usually consumed as a tea. Dandelion root tea can help cleanse the blood and cure skin blemishes by detoxifying the blood. The greens can be eaten in salads as well.
2. Aloe Vera:
This herb is usually found in the form of a houseplant on the windowsill or on the patio. It’s been used for thousands of years to treat any number of skin conditions. The watery gel that emerges from the leaf when it’s cut can be applied directly to the skin to reduce redness and swelling. Drinking aloe vera juice can prevent acne outbreaks, but be careful of juices purchased in stores because they contain a lot of sugar. If possible, squeeze your own juice from leaves off your own plant or from leaves purchased in Asian or Mexican stores.
3. Licorice Root
Licorice root has been used in Asia for thousands of years to treat skin problems. An anti-inflammatory, a few natural skin-care lotions and creams contain this vital ingredient, so look for it in the ingredient list. While licorice root can be found in herbal and natural health stores, if you can’t find it try the tea store, because it makes a tasty tea as well!
4. Dong Quai
The dried root of dong quai has long been used for women’s health. It’s also known for treating skin conditions, inflammation, and infections, among its many other uses. Generally known as a blood tonic, because it stimulates the muscles of the uterus it should be avoided by people who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. People taking dong quai might become more sensitive to the sun as well. Do not take if you are taking Warfarin.
The dried fruit of this plant is often used for increasing skin health but is also used for a number of other ailments. The tonic is used to protect skin form the effects of the sun and wind as well as helping the skin retain moisture. However, it’s also used for resisting infections, combating insomnia, coughing and thirst. It was once used by the women of the Chinese Imperial Court.
6. Raw Honey
When using honey, be sure to get raw honey, which leaves the medicinal properties intact. Honey, bee pollen and royal jelly are all known to improve the complexion and reduce skin allergies. In fact, you can put honey directly on blemishes or even on the whole face. Not only does honey decrease blemishes through its antibacterial action, but it can also be effective in treating scars and spots. Whenever possible, substitute sugar with honey to get even more of its medicinal benefits.
7. Chaga Mushroom
The Chinese call the Chaga the “King of Plants,” while the Siberians refer to Chaga as the “Mushroom of Immortality.” While not truly a mushroom, this fungus is often powdered and prepared as a tea or sprinkled on food and is used to cleanse the body. However, its anti-inflammatory and other qualities make it a great ingredient in skin cream, used to soften and sooth the skin.
8. Stinging Nettle
It might seem odd that a plant that causes so much pain when touched in a forest setting can do so much good when ingested. This herb is high in the vitamins A, C & E, as well as iron, silica, calcium and phosphates. While not usually applied to the skin directly, drinking nettle tea often helps relieve eczema and acne as well as reduce skin inflammation.
9. Deer Antler
This ancient Chinese herb is often used as a performance enhancer and is said to heal cartilage and tendon injuries. However, deer antler is rich in collagen, an ingredient found in many skin creams. The herb is said to slow down the aging process and increase energy as well.
10. Bentonite Clay
This isn’t really an herb, but it is a natural product that has lots of benefits for your skin. Often used in spas for their face masks, at home you can mix it with ingredients such as aloe vera or apple cider vinegar. This mask pulls the toxins right out of the skin as it dries, leaving the skin feeling smooth and soft.
Try several of the herbs on this list to find the one that works best for you; it may take a little trial and error since every body reacts differently. If you are taking any prescription medications, please inform your doctor of any herbs taken internally as they may interfere with the way your medicines work.