10 POWERFUL HERBS FOR THE SKIN

'A herb is any plant with leaves, seeds or flowers used for flavouring, food, medicine or perfume.” 

Herbs can be powerfully transformational and I try to incorporate them as many ways as I can into my lifestyle.

Dis-ease within the body is a manifestation of a deeper physical, mental, emotional or energetic issue that then goes and shows up as lovely things like: dodgy skin, unhappy hormones, fatigued adrenals, unpredictable digestion, allergies, intolerances, low immunity, inflammatory disorders, deficiencies, crazed nervous system, feelings of depression, foggy brain, lethargy….to name a few.

Herb and plant power are a wonderful way to bring harmony to the body. One should be totally tapping into the abundance of healing properties + wealth of knowledge that is Chinese + Ayurvedic medicine, and herbology.

ALOE VERA

Aloe Vera is just a damn good friend to have around. I mean what an absolute legend of a living organism that we can be so lucky to tap into! Thanks Mother Nature for this little baby…

Aloe’s main properties are soothing, cooling, and hydrating, which makes sense as it is about 99% water. The remaining 1% is extremely powerful and contains close to 100 ingredients which work synergistically together. These properties make it incredibly healing for the digestive system and recommended for inflammatory problems such as Crohns disease, IBS, arthritis, auto-immune and majority of skin issues. FYI, Inflammation within the body is essentially the root cause of all dis-ease.

A powerhouse of vitamins + minerals and all things wonderful for the bod. Aloe vera is naturally rich in vitamins A, C and E. Aloe vera juice is packed with vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 and folic acid. It’s also rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium, potassium and protein.  Contains amino acids which are the building blocks of protein and needed for metabolism function and Enzymes which are the life giving ‘spark’ in every live cell.

The juice is without a doubt one of the best whole body cleansers, soothing the stomach and detoxifying the liver, kidneys, spleen, bladder, and it is of course an incredibly effective colon cleanser. Jam packed with polysaccharides, this helps the immune system to remain strong and resilient.

Aloe promotes hair growth, is great for soothing majority of skin ailments + irritations, especially burns, acne and is a wonderful skin hydrator.

AMLA 

Amla berry (Indian Gooseberry) is often called “the great rejuvenator”.  It acts as a full body rejuvenator, and is anti-ageing for the whole being! Amla provides many antioxidants, phenols and bioflavonoids and can be used to treat digestive problems, promote cell rejuvenation and increase energy. Amla berries are a great source of bioflavonoids like Rutin and Quercetin, which act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.

Amla is great for treating digestive problems, promoting cell regeneration, it increases blood flow and circulation, strengthens and improves the eyesight, improves mental clarity and memory, is beneficial in improving muscle tone, supporting healthy cholesterol levels, supporting a healthy heart, flushing toxins out of the system, fortifying the liver, spleen, and lungs and  for strengthening the bones & teeth. Traditionally used a full body rejuvenator!

BURDOCK

Burdock has been an important medicinal herb in Western medicine and in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, primarily valued for its blood cleansing and skin healing properties. Burdock is also a wonderful hair tonic, stimulating + strengthening the hair.

Burdock is helpful in clearing the kidneys of toxic acids as it cleans the blood. One of its major properties and benefits is this, that it is a blood purifier. Essential for glowing skin! Burdock will assist with chronic infection, rheumatism, arthritis and skin diseases. Burdock is also a powerful antioxidant.

CALENDULA

Oh Calendula, you have definitely lasted the test of time. She has been around since the ye olde ancient times. Back when herbs, botanicals and mother nature were the only source of our medicine and nutrition. We hadn’t thought to go industrial yet.Calendula has a long history of use as a wound-healing and skin-soothing botanical. Calendula also has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti viral properties. It is used for treating minor wounds, conjunctivitis, cuts, scrapes, chapped skin, bruises, burns, athlete’s foot, acne, bee stings, nappy rash, and most minor irritations and infections of the skin.

Plus, it stimulates the production of collagen at wound sites to help minimise scarring and assist with stretch marks. I like this! 

ECHINACEA

Echinacea is a powerful antioxidant and is definitely your friend when it comes to supporting your immunity!  It absolutely promotes strong immunity and reduces many of the symptoms of colds, flu and some other illnesses, infections and conditions. Echinacea is one of the most effective blood and lymphatic cleanser you will find in a herb. Again, this is essential for skin health and will also aid in healing bladder infections, fevers, inflammation and bacterial and viral infections.

GOTU KOLA

One of the most important herbs in Ayurvedic medicine, Gotu Kola is rich in Vitamin C and full of wound and scar healing properties.

The chemically complex herb is a powerful healer and a key element in skin repair and regeneration, Gotu Kola (Centella) will stimulate and support the production of collagen synthesis. Firming and increasing the  structure of the connective skin tissue and decreasing the visible signs of ageing. Gotu Kola is also an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and free radical fighter.

Gotu Kola is a well known herb traditionally used in the treatment of skin damage as it is a great general tonic for the skin + circulation.  When applied topically it’s been shown to speed the healing of damaged tissues and to minimise scarring.

Gotu Kola is rich in saponins which are essential for connective tissue function, they stimulate skin repair and strengthen hair and nails. So beneficial that it can improve cellulite and other skin imperfections.

Other benefits include: support to the nervous system, anxiety relief, reduces fever, alleviates inflammation and inflammatory conditions (arthritis, scleroderma and others), relieves respiratory congestion and supports healthy immune function.

GUBINGE / KAKADU PLUM 

Gubinge is a really potent indigenous Australian bush superfood. It’s the highest natural source of Vitamin C on the planet, and yup, that’s been verified. The species is called Terminalia Ferdinandiana, more popularly known as the Kakadu plum, and it grows in the Kakadu and the Kimberleys (Gubinge variety) of Australia.

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, protecting skin from damaging free radicals. The enemy! The molecules that promote premature ageing.

I like to combine this with MSM (organic sulfur, and coconut water for ultimate absorption and hydration)

GYNOSTEMMA 

My new herbal obsession! Also known as Jiaogulan (Chinese name), Gynostemma is a adaptability enhancing, anti-ageing longevity herb. ’Adaptogens’ help bring the body into a state of  harmony with its environment, by inducing by inducing chemical, cellular, and systemic balance as a response to the changes in the environment. This harmonising function reduces the effects of unfavourable conditions and stimulates the body’s own immune and healing functions.

Gynostemma has a unique ability of being able to restore homeostasis (balance and equilibrium) to five of the main body systems including the cardiovascular, digestive, immune, nervous and reproductive systems. It acts as a cleanser in the stomach and intestines, eliminating the body of toxins and waste. As an antioxidant, Gynostemma boosts the immune system by increasing the number and activity level of white blood cells. It strengthens and assists in liver function. It helps relieve stress by soothing and relaxing the central nervous system. It is calming when one is overexcited and stimulating when one is depressed.

There is research indicating that Gynostemma may prevent cells from becoming cancerous in the first place and may disrupt cell division in existing cancer cells! Gynostemma is also very supportive to cardiovascular health.

I highly recommend the Dragon Herbs Spring Time Tea for your daily dose of this.

HORSETAIL

Horsetail is possibly the most abundant source of silica of all plant life. Meaning it is essential for the growth and health function of skin, hair + nails. This is a true beauty ingredient.  Silica can also be taken to increase bone density, is a great treatment for urinary tract infection and will alleviate inflammation in the body.

HO SHOU WU 

This Chinese herb is known as the “Elixir of Life”. Ho Shou Wu is one of the most revered herbs in Chinese Medicine, traditionally used to prevent premature ageing and to increase energy.  Ho Shou Wu is high in zinc, iron and copper. Zinc is an essential trace mineral required by all forms of life and plays an important role in growth and development, the immune response, neurological function, and reproduction. Zinc is critical to our sexual and reproductive functions too.

Ho Shou Wu is beneficial for supporting healthy liver & kidney function, enhancing male fertility and supporting erectile function, alleviating constipation, supporting healthy cholesterol levels, reducing bleeding internally & externally and will support adrenal function. It has astringent + antibacterial properties.

SCHISANDRA / SCHIZANDRA 

It is said that if you take Schisandra for the period of 100 days, your skin completely changes. It becomes soft, smooth and elastic. Schisandra causes the skin to become naturally moist and produces substances that protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun. Schisandra is one of China’s premier anti-aging herbs.

Schisandra is a fantastic liver detoxifier, essential for radiant skin and general body alkalinity. The liver is one of the primary organs to support and contribute to our skin health by filtering and purifying our blood.

An adaptogen herb, as mentioned earlier, means it will help bring the body into a state of  harmony with its environment, by inducing chemical, cellular, and systemic balance as a response to the changes in the environment. This harmonising function reduces the effects of unfavourable conditions and stimulates the body’s own immune and healing functions and support the body’s own ability to cope successfully with stress, thus promoting wellbeing.

Being a tonic, it will also work to restore energy balance to the body, boost concentration and mental focus, help the body to better utilise oxygen + regenerate liver tissue. Traditionally used to treat lung alignments, such as asthma and persistent coughs, improve skin tone and enhance sexual performance, as well as to build resistance to infection and to promote longevity.

Did we mention that it beautifies the skin!

SHATAVARI 

I am going to assume that most people reading this (if any) are women.

Asparagus root, or Shatavari, is also known as the “Queen of Herbs” because it is said to promote love and devotion and it has powerful properties that act on the female reproductive system. With its cleansing, nourishing, soothing and strengthening effects on the female reproductive organs, asparagus root has been used to treat premenstrual syndrome, amenorrhea, dymenorrhea, menopausal symptoms, normalising the uterus and fluctuating hormones and improving egg quality. In Chinese medicine asparagus root is valued as “shen” tonic and used to open the heart, moistens and purifies the lungs and improves sexual potency.


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