Everyone knows how powerful herbs are in their diet, but how cunning are we when it comes to using them in skin care? I never thought about using ingredients for herbal skin care until I was pregnant. But it made me crave more information about natural remedies and how they can benefit your complexion.

Who better to chat to about which herbs are good for your skin, then one of the biggest herb aficionados I know, Liezel Barnard, Weleda’s naturopath and trainer.

1.Calendula or pot marigold (Calendula officinalis)

What it is: for centuries, the luminous calendula flower of yellow petals has been treasured for its ability to heal irritated skin. The blooming heads of flowering plants are used to create extracts of calendula in lotions, oils, creams and many other body products. It is the valuable carotenoids and flavonoids (powerful antioxidants) that give the calendula its bright yellow color. Carotenoids accelerate the healing speed of the skin and flavonoids reduce cell aging and strengthen the integrity of cell walls. In addition, the triterpenoid saponins and the mucilage in the calendula have anti-inflammatory properties and help soothe inflamed skin.

What it’s good for:

  • Anti-inflammatory – for any inflammatory skin conditions such as redness, sensitivity, skin rashes, eczema, psoriasis and pruritus.
  • Anti-bacterial – for wound healing and for bacterial infection on the skin such as acne, leg ulcers and boils.
  • Anti-fungal – for fungal infections on the skin and vagina such as thrush.

2.Chamomile or German chamomile (Chamomilla recutita)

What it is: Chamomile is one of the oldest, most widely used and best documented medicinal plants in the world. It contains flavonoids (especially apigenin) and essential oil compounds such as alpha-bisabolol and chamazulene, it has anti-inflammatory properties to soothe inflammation in the skin.

What it’s good for:

  • Anti-inflammatory – for any inflammatory skin conditions such as redness, sensitivity, skin rashes, eczema, psoriasis and pruritus

3.Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

What it is: Researchers at the Metropolitan University of Leeds * tested the effect of tinctures of thyme, calendula and myrrh on Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria that causes acne by infecting the pores of the skin and forming spots, ranging from white heads to the cysts full of pus. The group found that while all preparations could kill the bacteria after five minutes of exposure, thyme was the most effective of the three. In addition, they discovered that tincture of thyme had a greater antibacterial effect than standard concentrations of benzoyl peroxide, the active ingredient in most creams or anti-acne washes. Thymol, a natural monoterpene phenol contained in thyme oil, is responsible for the strong antibacterial and antifungal actions of the plant.

*Society for General Microbiology’s spring conference in Dublin, March 2012

What it’s good for:

  • Anti-bacterial – Strongly anti-bacterial to treat acne.

4.Marshmallow or white mallow (Althaea officinalis)

What it is: Marshmallow has been used as food and medicine since ancient Egypt. The botanical name of marshmallow is Althaea officinalis. “Althaea” means “cure” in Greek, which gives us an indication of how important this medicinal plant was in ancient times. The high concentration of mucilaginous substances (plant gel) in the roots gives the marshmallow its soothing, softening, emollient, protective and moisturizing properties.

What it’s good for:

  • Anti-inflammatory – for any inflammatory skin conditions such as redness, sensitivity, skin rashes, eczema, psoriasis and pruritus.
  • Anti-pruritic – skin itchiness.
  • Emollient – for dry and sensitive skin.
5.Pansy (Viola tricolor)

What it is: commonly known as thought, this European wild flower is composed of large dark blue or purple flowers. It is believed that bioactive cyclotides in thought are responsible for their anti-inflammatory action on the skin.

What it’s good for:

  • Anti-inflammatory – for any inflammatory skin conditions such as redness, sensitivity, skin rashes, eczema, psoriasis and pruritus.

جواب چھوڑ دیں

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here