For those of us who prefer the natural, tried, tested and true to the “fast food” way of the modern life, nature has always had the answers to our needs. Since day’s undocumented, herbs have been used to treat most medical and beauty problems we may encounter, and until the end of times, this will continue to be so as long as we look after our green heritage and preserve our herbal inheritance.
Herbs can be used internally (as a drink or eaten fresh) or externally; as infusions, creams or oils. For the purpose of this article I have grouped them in their functional categories, to make using them easier. I have included simple recipes (that apply to all the herbs listed below the recipe), to help you get the job done. Good luck!
On the spot Treatment
A date looming and Oh No! An ugly spot! No problem, try the following:
Squeeze juice, fresh from the stem, leaf, seed, fruit or flower, directly onto the spot to kill germs, cool inflammation and improve blood circulation.
Nasturtium and Evening Primrose (petals)
Aloe and Bulbinella (leaf)
Infusion, face splash and face steam. (As a daily cleaning treatment)
Make an “infusion” The standard recipe is: 1 teaspoon dried herbs (3 teaspoons fresh herbs) to 1 cup of boiling water, let stand for 5 minutes, strain, and let it cool. Apply to the skin with cotton wool, or as a face splash or a face steam.
Lavender and Parsley. Flowers and leaves can be used for facial steams.
Chicory – for inflammation, boils and septic areas.
Patchouli and Bergamot – powerful, antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti bacterial, regenerates skin cells
Mask, poultice or compress. (A few times a week or when the problem is really troubling)
Make a face Pac (mask) or paste (poultice) or compress (Cotton wool soaked in liquid and placed on face); the standard method is: the plant is crushed and a little water is added, leave on until dry, then wash off.
Horseradish – (paste) replace water with milk.
Stinging Nettle – (paste) eczema and acne remedy.
Comfrey and Fenugreek – (paste) use leaves.
Marigold – (paste) (flower petals) clears and softens the skin
Aloe – (paste) crush leaves (no need to add water) heals and prevents scaring.
Basil – (paste) no need to add water, draws out puss.
Camomile – (compress) reduces inflammation.
Chickweed – (poultice) relieves inflammation and brings boils to a head.
Borage – (Face Pac) made up with cooked barley and bran.
Astringent (Twice a week or before that great date, to look great.)
Use an astringent to tighten the pores, to prevent sagging and to reduce the tired look. Make an infusion, the standard quantities are; 1 cup of herbs to 1 litre boiling water, let it stand until cool. Apply to face with cotton wool.
Evening Primrose – use leaves for greasy, spotty skin, eczema and rashes.
Camomile – use petals, tones clears, purifies and softens the skin.
Horsetail – clears tones and purifies skin.
Scented Geraniums – a mild astringent to cleanse and improve circulation.
Face Cream: (Long term, twice daily treatment with cream)
Make your own face cream. The basic recipe is as follows: Use as a basis a combination of honey, lanolin, glycerine and almond oil in equal proportions. Slowly heat in a pan, when melted, add crushed herbs in the ratio 1/5 herbs to 4/5 basis and stir until the mixture is boiling. Simmer gently for 20 minutes, then strain, whisk mixture until thick and creamy and quite cold. Pour into pots and cover.
Bulbinella -soothes all skin problems.
Aloe – use the leaf sap to make a soothing and healing moisturizing cream.
Myrtle – for blemishes.
Marigold and Comfrey and Salad Burnet for dry skin
Camomile – for oily skin.
Face Oils: (Long term, twice daily treatment with oil)
(Make in the following way): Dry the herb. Add to a basic oil like Almond, Jojoba or Sweet oil (the ratio is ½ herb and ½ oil) Place in a closed jar, let it stand in a warm place (shake daily) strain after 10 days. Discard herbs, repeat process with fresh (dried) herbs until you have the strength you desire. This should be at about 4 to 5 weeks. The greater the concentration herb to oil, the more effective the mixture will become.
Marigold – (flower petals) soothes inflammation has antiseptic properties, heals and softens.
Tea Tree – is an antibacterial, soothes irritated skin. More effective if mixed with Witch Hazel.
Rose – clears tones and purifies the skin.
Evening Primrose – helps clear up spots.
Scented Geraniums – Is useful in balancing the sebum in oily and dry or inflamed skin.
To solve a skin problem, applying products to the face is not enough, the body has to be cleared form the inside. The benefit is to clear the blood; blood removes impurities and transports necessary nutrients to the skin. There are two different ways to do this. The first to drink an infusion (tea) the second is to include herbs freshly eaten in your diet.