Herbs for Healthy Skin
By Kyla Sheffield
SHINE…from the inside out!
Did you know herbs can benefit your skin not only when applied externally, but from the inside-out?
It’s true! Many herbs have the ability to gently detox the system, help clear up skin problems such as acne, psoriasis and eczema over time, and also helping the skin look younger and more radiant!
Did you know that the skin is our largest organ of detoxification?! We all know that a healthy liver is critical for eliminating toxins from our body, so it’s easy to understand that if the liver is sluggish it can lead to skin problems. On the flip side, it’s also easy to understand why loving your liver can help your skin glow!
Here are some herbs you can use both internally and externally to help almost any skin complaint – from healing wounds, bites, scratches, rashes to chronic skin problems, and overall radiance.
HERBS TO TAKE INTERNALLY
Burdock – An excellent liver and blood cleanser, Burdock is often used by herbalists for chronic skin problems like eczema and psoriasis.
Dandelion – One of the top liver-loving herbs, Dandelion improves digestion and is a great choice for detoxifying the body & cleansing the skin from the inside-out.
Red clover – Considered a blood cleanser and alterative, this herb is a top choice of herbalists to clear up chronic skin conditions.
Turmeric – A super antioxidant & anti-inflammatory as well as liver cleanser, turmeric has traditionally been used to promote healthy, glowing skin (amongst other amazing health benefits!) It also has anti-carcinogenic effects, and has been found effective against skin cancer cell growth.
Cinnamon – Packed with antioxidants, which help the body fight free radicals and prevent oxidative damage and the effects of ageing.
Green Tea & Matcha – Both have high concentration of catechins, which have strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-aging effects on skin. Externally, green tea can thicken the epidermus, speed the healing of wounds, and inhibit an enzyme in your skin that causes uneven pigmentation, which means fewer sun spots.
Gotu kola – Well-known as an herb for brain function and longevity, Gotu Kola is also used to heal connective tissues & joint disease. For the skin, Gotu Kola helps to stimulate the healing of wounds, strengthen the dermis & epidermis, heal connective tissues, and increase collagen and antioxidant concentration of wounds.
Chillies – Vitamin A, C combat free radicals, prevent collagen breakdown and maintain the integrity of skin.
Schizandra – Also known as Five Taste Fruit, has been used for centuries to make the skin soft, moist, and radiant. It also protects the skin from sun and wind.
Licorice – Highly antiviral, used both topically and internally for herpes. It also has the ability to boost the body’s own natural steroids, and is used in creams for Eczema and psoriasis. It’s anti-inflammatory properties can help bring down swelling when used internally or externally.
Slippery Elm – Another anti-inflammatory, used externally and internally to soothe irritated, inflamed tissues. Can be used as a poultice on irritated skin.
Nettle – High in silica, nettle is anti-inflammatory, astringent and soothing for many common skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis
Horsetail – High in silica, which helps build healthy hair, nails and skin. Can reduce scar tissue. Promotes collagen production.
Calendula – Externally as a cream, balm, infused oil, or wash for rashes, cuts, scrapes, bites & inflammation. Check out our Calendula Cream here.
Comfrey – Contains allantoin, which protects the skin and promotes new cell growth. Externally as a cream, balm, infused oil, or poultice for wounds and scars, as well as for sprains, strains & broken bones. Not legally recommended internally, as it contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, chemicals which, in large amounts, can damage the liver (however, many people have eaten comfrey daily for many years with no ill effect).
Chickweed – Internally as a spring tonic and externally as a wash, or cream for rashes, and scrapes. Great for nappy rash!
Marshmallow – Emollient herb that softens the skin. Used in creams for eczema, psoriasis and dry skin.
Aloe – Externally use gel for burns, as aftershave, in creams for wrinkles and improved skin elasticity. TIP: Feeling tired and looking old? Try aloe gel on your face – it will make you look more rested and more youthful, and make you feel more awake & vibrant!
Dragon’s Blood – Also known as ‘liquid bandage’, this tree sap from the Amazon is an essential in any first aid kit – it stops bleeding and disinfects cuts & wounds. Excellent on cold sores (herpes). Also used internally for gastro-intestinal infections.
Propolis – Another ‘liquid bandage’, this waxy substance is collected by bees from tree sap and is used in the hives like glue! Diluted in alcohol, propolis is taken internally for colds, flus, stomach ulcers, and more. Externally it is excellent for putting on cuts, scrapes and cold sores to stop bleeding, and disinfect.
St. John’s Wort – Popular as an antidepressant herb, it is also used to treat wounds, burns and nerve damage.
Tea Tree & Lavender Essential Oils – Both effect antibacterials. Great for cleaning cuts, scrapes & bites.
EVERYDAY GLOWING SKIN TEA BLEND
(Makes 2 cups)
1 part Burdock root
1 part Dandelion root
1 part Turmeric root
1 part Schisandra berry
1 part Licorice root
Blend all, put in a clean dry jar and label as ‘Healthy Skin Tea – Part 1’
Put 2 tsp of above blend, and simmer covered for 10 minutes, in 3 cups of water.
1 part Nettle
1 part Red Clover
1 part Horsetail
1 part Gotu Kola
1 part Green Tea (optional, contains caffeine)
Blend all and put in a clean dry jar & label as ‘Healthy Skin Tea – Part 2’
Put 2 tsp of ‘Part 2’ blend into a tea pot, strain simmered ‘Part 1’ tea into teapot.
Let steep covered for 10 minutes. Strain and enjoy healthy glowing skin and a happy liver too.