Herbs for Natural Beauty
There are several documentations that prove that different herbs have been used as cosmetics or beauty aids throughout the world and ever since history has been recorded. In India, Ayurveda has also been endorsing the use of herbs for beauty and healthy skin for more than 5,000 years now.
Here are some common herbs for those who desire to use natural therapies for enhancing their skin & hair health. Whether you want to prepare them at home or buy them, look for these herbs next time :
- Rosemary – A rinse made from this herb adds luster to dark hair and strengthens and smooths damaged hair shafts. Make a strong rosemary tea for an after shampoo rinse.
- Chamomile and Thyme – Infused into a strong tea, chamomile and thyme make a great and gentle cleanser for oily skin. Pour a litre of this tea into your bath to help clear up body blemishes, not to mention the relaxation.
- Lavender – Lavender is soothing and antiseptic, so it’s a great solution for burns, psoriasis, infectious and sensitive skin in general. Make a spritzer with strong lavender tea, or a small spray bottle filled with distilled water and a few drops of lavender oil.
- Rosewater – Since ancient times, rosewater has been used as a gentle astringent and is anti inflammatory. Use with a cotton swab as a toner or spritz onto your face a few times a day. And don’t forget, you’ll smell great.
- Neem – Because it’s anti bacterial, neem oil is used to treat acne, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, and it has a strong, garlic type smell, so it may not be part of your daily skin care routine, but it’s good to have around for when you really need the strong stuff.
- Comfrey – To make your own comfrey oil, stuff a jar of olive oil with comfrey leaves and let sit for 6 weeks. You can then use this oil on dry hands, chapped lips, scrapes and burns, or even eczema. If you’re really DIY, melt some beeswax or cocoa butter with a comfrey oil to make a salve of thicker consistency.
- Sage – Sage is astringent, so a strong tea made of sage and mixed with a bit of witch hazel or apple cider vinegar serves as a great daily toner for oily skin or if you want, simply use the plain tea as a daily facial rinse.
- Turmeric – Mix 1 tsp of turmeric powder with 2tsp rice flour and 3tbsp of plain yogurt. Mix everything together and then slather it on a clean face. Let it dry for 15-20 minutes, rinse off, gently scrubbing as you go. Is a great cleanser and adds a lot of moisture to your skin.
- Henna – Henna powder is a great way to add shine and protection to our hair. If you’re looking for the shine without the reddish tint, go for “neutral henna”, which is actually the plant Cassia obovata, but conditions and nourishes the hair just the same.
- Basil – Basil is particularly useful if you live in a polluted area and your skin had lost its luster. Crush a handful of basil leaves and pour a cup of hot water over them to make a strong tea. Once cooled, splash your face with it as a detoxifying, circulation promoting toner.
- Evening Primrose – Evening primrose oil contains linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that is unfortunately not produced by our body, but it promotes healthy, rejuvenated skin. Take the oil both internally and use topically on your skin to firm and hydrate, help heal blemishes and reduce signs of lines of wrinkles.
- Aloe – Aloe is well known for treating burns and scrapes, but you can use it on any irritated skin. A face mask made of aloe, honey and kelp will greatly soothe and moisturize your skin. You can buy the gel in stores but it’s always best if you have a plant to ensure purity. Make sure your aloe gel doesn’t contain any cosmetic toxins.
- Burdock Oil – Burdock oil is an ancient healer for dry, itchy scalp. It can help get rid of dandruff and keep skin on your scalp healthy. For best results, rub a little bit into your scalp after you wash your hair and while your hair is still damp. Burdock root oil contains essential fatty acids and phytosterols, which promote hair growth and a healthy scalp.
- Geranium – The essential oil of this common garden flower is used in many cosmetic products for balancing skin and hair. If your skin is oily, simply add 2-3 drops of geranium oil to a bowl of water and splash your face. For dry, sensitive skin make a healing oatmeal-geranium mask out of oatmeal water, a teaspoon of melted honey, and 4-5 drops of geranium oil.