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Herbs for Healthy Skin
Cindy L A Jones, PhD
a Mushroom eBooks sampler
com All rights reserved. This Edition published in 06/2 by Mushroom eBooks. ISBN 1843190699 . Designs and Patents Act 1988. United Kingdom www. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher.Copyright © 2002. Illustrations Copyright © 2002. an imprint of Mushroom Publishing. Cindy L. Barry Jones Cindy L A Jones has asserted her right under the Copyright.mushroom-ebooks.D. A. Bath. First published in United Kingdom in 2002 by Mushroom eBooks. BA1 4EB. Ph. Jones. to be identified as the Author of this work.
................................ 1 Introduction.. 10 Pot Marigold ........................ 16 Sage ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 32 The Nature of Skin .............................................................................................................................. 27 Poultice . 30 Vinegars ........................... 4 Fennel ...... 18 Thyme ..... 20 How To Use Herbs ............ 2 The Herbs ............................................... 25 Tincture ...................... 31 Steam ............................................................................................................................................................................ 22 Tea .......................................................................................... 28 Baths .......................................................................................................................................................................... 24 Decoction ............................................................. 6 Lavender .................................................................................................. 26 Compress .................... 12 Red Clover ................ 3 Chamomile .............................. 29 Infused Oil ........ 23 Infusion ................. 8 Lemon Balm ...................................................... 14 Rose ........................................................................................................ 34 ..Contents Important note ........ 33 A Regimen for Healthy Skin .......................................................................
................. 65 Warts ........ 37 Anthrax.......... 36 Aging Skin .................................................................. 64 Skin Cancer ......... 78 Rose Water and Herbal Toner ... 51 Eyes ..... Cutaneous ........... 90 ........................................................ 55 Herpes (Cold Sores) ........................ 50 Eczema and Psoriasis ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 82 Healthy Skin Tea ................... 84 Essential oils for skin ............... 83 Soothing Soap ............. 62 Keratosis ............... 63 Scabies and Pediculosis (lice) ................................................................... 49 Dry Skin ........................................... 77 Soothing Salve .......... 72 Vinegar for Skin ...... 43 Bee Stings ............................................................................. 81 Foot Bath ........... 48 Diaper Rash ................................................ 39 Athlete’s foot ................................. 79 Moisturizing Cream ............................................................................................................... 71 Steam Facial ....................................................... 45 Body Odor ..................................................................... 61 Infections ..............................................................Treating Skin Problems ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 68 Yeast Infections/Candida ............................................................................................................... 73 Herbal Bath Bags ... 67 Wound Treatment .......................................................... 35 Acne ....... 86 About the Author .................................... 76 Herbal Skin Oil (oil infusion) ............... 59 Hygiene for the Skin and Hands ............................................................................................................................................... 75 Bath Bag for Flu and Colds ........ 70 Recipes ................................................................. 47 Dandruff ........................................................................................ 46 Burns ............. 80 Sweet-Smelling Body Powder ..................... 74 Aromatic Honey Bath ................................................. 54 Foot Care .........................
If a serious health problem is present. 1 . Nor are these remedies meant to be a substitute for professional medical care or treatment.Important note This book is intended for educational purposes only and not as a recommendation of a cure for any disease. The author and publisher disclaim any liability in connection with the uses of this information. the author recommends seeking the advice of a qualified health care professional.
but also is necessary for proper functioning of your skin. sage and thyme. Americans spend 45 billion dollars annually on cosmetics and 6. they are also readily available at health food stores. Important herbs to use for skin care include. but are not limited to. but also with the prices. because you control the quality. lavender.Introduction Skin care today is big business. pot marigold. 2 . not only with the choices offered. These are all easy to grow herbs for the home gardener. rose. You still can make your own skin care products though. If you peruse the cosmetics section of your department store you can easily become overwhelmed. Keeping your skin healthy not only improves its appearance. If you don’t have the room or the inclination to grow herbs. lemon balm. and have fun doing it! The quality of the products you make will be far superior to the most expensive products found at the cosmetics counter. chamomile. fennel.000 to 10. red clover.000 new products are introduced every year. Making cosmetics out of simple ingredients found in the kitchen and garden was once an art known to most women.
The Herbs 3 .
Roman chamomile is low growing. Chamomiles will grow in almost any soil but typically prefer dry. and often used as a ground cover. the part of the plant that is used medicinally.Chamomile Matricaria recutita and Chamaemelum nobile Growth There are many different plants that have been called chamomile. While German chamomile grows to be 2-3 feet tall. The leaves are fine and featherlike. also spelled “camomile”. Full sun is needed to produce abundant flowers. sandy soil. 4 . but the most common are German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile).
aromatic and soothing qualities that make it ideal for use on the skin. although some people do experience allergic reactions from chamomile. Chamomile is found in many overthe-counter skin ointments. 5 . Chamomile is generally considered to be a very safe herb to use. Because it is both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. Extracts of chamomile can also speed the healing of wounds on the skin. even for children.Usage Chamomile is commonly used in teas and potpourri. antimicrobial. psoriasis and even diaper rash. or you can make your own chamomile balm. sedative. it is useful in treating skin inflammations including eczema. It has antiinflammatory. Chamomile is mild and gentle enough to use routinely on the skin to prevent infection and inflammation. antispasmodic.
Fennel sows itself readily in the garden and can become a weed if you are not careful. 6 . though. You can use both the feathery leaves of fennel or its seeds for skin products. as they can cross-pollinate. Don’t plant fennel near dill or coriander. Full sun is needed to ripen the seeds.Fennel Foeniculum vulgare Growth Fennel grows best in good soil and can grow to a height of 4 feet or more.
Fennel is excellent for dry skin and can help soften some of the fine lines seen in aging skin.Usage Fennel is typically a culinary herb and all parts of the plant are edible. Although it is most widely used to aid digestion and decrease flatulence. Fennel also makes a delicious tea that can aid digestion and help eliminate body odor. it is also an important skin herb because of its soothing and anti-inflammatory qualities. Tea bags holding crushed seeds can be applied to puffy eyes to reduce swelling. It is fragrant addition to the bath or a steam facial for deep cleansing. 7 .
any will work for skin care. There are many varieties of lavender. 8 . It grows as a small shrub that should be well pruned for best growth. In fact. warmth and limey soil. you can also use the leaves. in higher. Although the flowers are the most aromatic and beneficial.Lavender Lavandula angustifolia Growth Lavender likes sun. drier locations lavender produces more aromatic oils. some winter hardy and some less hardy.
Add a few drops to a carrier such as almond oil to use as an all-over moisturizer. and insect bits. In fact. so keep some on hand always. The beauty of lavender flowers is also nice in potpourri and other crafts. 9 . Use a tea of lavender leaves and flowers to wash the skin or add to a steam facial for its astringent properties. Lavender is stimulates and cleanses the skin and is especially good for oily skin. Just the aroma of lavender can provide relief from headaches. its name comes from the Latin meaning ‘to wash’. Mixed with water it can be sprizted onto the body as a deodorant. It is good for young skin as well as aging skin. It has antiseptic qualities. and because of this it is often used in sleep or dream pillows. making it an excellent choice for minor skin infections.Usage Lavender is one of the most prized cosmetic herbs and has been used for centuries in soaps and bath products. wounds. Many people find lavender useful to relieve stress and provide relaxation. The numerous properties of lavender essential oil make it the most important single agent for skin care. Use it to treat acne. but it is more effective to rub the essential oil into the temples at the first sign of a headache. burns.
Lemon balm tends to get woody after a few years and can be replaced at that time. Do this by removing the older lemon balm plants and leaving the new shoots you will find all over your garden! The leaves have a delicate lemon fragrance.Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis Growth Lemon balm is a member of the mint family so knowledge of how to keep it from taking over your garden is more important than knowledge of how to grow it! It grows best in sun or part shade and enjoys moist soil. Bees are very attracted to lemon balm so be careful when you pick. 10 .
it acts against the herpes virus that causes cold sores and can be incorporated into lip ointments for this purpose.Usage Lemon balm has mild sedative effects and tastes great in teas. It has both antibacterial properties and antiviral properties. Specifically. 11 . A good way to relax during an illness or to relieve the sting of a sunburn or insect bites is to use lemon balm in the bath.
Flowers of calendula range from pale yellow to deep orange and typically bloom all summer. 12 .Pot Marigold Calendula officinalis Growth Calendula is an annual herb that must be grown from seed every year. so either buy new seed each year or remember to save seed. Calendula prefers sun but will grow in most soils.
immune stimulating activity. You can purchase oils or balms made from calendula or make your own. Calendula can stop bleeding when used as a poultice directly on a wound. Calendula flowers are edible and are attractive in salads and teas. 13 . This makes calendula a good addition to an ointment to treat skin abrasions. and extracts from calendula have been found to speed the healing of skin wounds and burns. anti-inflammatory.Usage The dried flowers of calendula maintain their color making them a nice addition to potpourri. The petals have antiseptic. Drinking a tea made from calendula has been found to be useful in treating stomach ulcers.
especially for children.Red Clover Trifolium pratense Growth Despite its name. Red clover is a perennial. it deserves its rank as an herb. Although typically thought of as animal feed. It is a member of the legume family and can be grown to enrich your garden soil since it fixes nitrogen. It is good for chronic or persistent 14 . often grown as an annual that does well in most soils. Collect the flower heads during the summer for use in medicines and teas. Usage Red clover has a long history of use as a dermatological agent. red clover has a beautiful purple blossom.
For athlete’s foot or tired. can soften and smooth the skin. The tannins in clover make it astringent. aching fee. minor irritations. 15 . Phytoestrogens.conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. or use as a hair rinse for itchy scalps. which are estrogen-like compounds found in clover. try a red clover tea or vinegar for soaking foot. Clover can be used to treat skin sores. It also has a history of use in treating cancer. rashes or gout. Drinking red clover tea is just as important in treating these skin ailments as applying the tea directly to the skin. Red clover has also been used to make wine.
There are so many types of roses you can find one to grow in almost any soil type. 16 . Some roses will bloom from May through to the first frost. Miniature roses grow to a height of one foot while climbing roses can reach the top of your house.Rose Rosa rugosa Growth Rose is considered the queen of flowers and can be found in most gardens as an ornamental plant.
soups. An oil is pressed from the rose hips that can also be used on the skin. They also make a flavorful addition to tea. or put into breads. Rose water is made from the petals of the rose and can be used as a drink or as an astringent toner for the skin. Rose is especially good for dry skin. jelly. On the skin. Rose hips also contain vitamins A. potpourris and tea.Usage Rose hips. E and K. The hips can be used to make candy. The petals of the rose are also edible and can be candied. 17 . This is an important vitamin for maintaining the connective tissue layer of your skin. are very high in vitamin C. rose products can be cooling and astringent as well as hydrating. The aroma of the rose is soothing and somewhat sedative. B. wine. the fruit of the rose. put into salads.
Usage Sage gained a reputation as a culinary herb probably because of its antimicrobial activity. This quality has allowed cooks who season their meats and stuffings with sage to be less concerned about spoilage. This antimicrobial quality also makes it useful 18 . which is in the Artemesia genus. Don’t confuse this sage with the sagebrush of the American West. culinary purposes or in crafts.Sage Salvia officinalis Growth Sage’s gray color adds interest to the garden but purple. Sage is a perennial herb that tends to become woody and need replacement after a few years. Sage does well in full sun and dry soil. red and variegated varieties are also available. Most sage flowers are blue to purple and rise above the leaves on tall spikes. You can use the leaves for medicine. skin care.
A sage rinse can be used after shampooing to darken gray hair. A sage bath can be a soothing escape during a bout of the cold or flu. For instance. Try drinking sage tea or inhaling steam with sage to relieve nasal or bronchial congestion. sore gums. especially for oily skin. mouth irritations or bad-breath.in treating mild infections. Sage has a drying effect. a strong sage tea can be used as a gargle or mouthwash to treat gingivitis. which makes it good as an antiperspirant and for drying up excess mucus. The stimulating effects of sage make it good in after-shave products or as a skin cleanser. 19 .
Thyme is a perennial plant that becomes woody with age. 20 . There are many varieties of thyme that provide a range of scents and appearances. some can grow up to 15 inches in height. Although most thyme varieties hug the ground.Thyme Thymus vulgaris Growth Thyme grows well in full sun and well-drained soil.
Thyme has antibiotic properties that make it useful in treating minor infections of the skin and mouth. prevent infection.Usage As a culinary herb it is especially good to season soups and mushrooms. It is also considered an anti-aging herb and makes a nice addition to tea. and as a digestive aid. One of the essential oils found in thyme. cough remedy. When used on the skin. A warm bath with thyme added to it is also a good way to reap these benefits. thymol. It has also been used as a decongestant. is used commercially in mouthwash and rubbing ointments. Thyme has deodorizing qualities and can be finely ground to use in a dusting powder. thyme will stimulate the circulation. 21 . and relieve pain. making it especially useful in a footbath or in an oil for sore muscles and joints.
balms. Drinking herb teas provides the body with a number of vitamins and flavonoids that are important for good health. Besides drinking a nice cup of hot or iced tea. tinctures. decoctions. A washcloth or cotton ball can help apply the tea.How To Use Herbs Herbs can be used in a number of ways for the skin. Remember that what you put into your body is as important as what you put on your body. poultices. use tea to wash or bathe the skin. vinegars. compresses. or in a bath bag 22 . Herbs can also be used in infusions.
23 . put one to two teaspoons of dried or fresh herb in a tea bag. Washing with herb tea a very good way to treat skin infections or to treat broken skin to prevent infection from occurring. tea ball or strainer. Pour very hot water – just less than boiling – over the herbs and steep for about five minutes.Tea To make an herb tea. Try washing with mint tea in the summer to keep cool or put mint tea in a mister bottle and spray it on your face.
Make an infusion as you would a tea but cover it with a saucer to keep the aromatic properties from going up in steam and let it stand for 15 to 30 minutes. an infusion is a strong tea. 24 .Infusion Basically. used to wash the skin or added to the bath. used as a gargle for a sore throat. An infusion can be sipped as a tea.
To make a decoction. it is more difficult to extract the beneficial components. slowly simmer the herb in a pot of water for 30 minutes and then strain.Decoction A decoction is also similar to a tea but because it is typically made from the hard. Decoctions can be taken orally. woody parts of a plant. 25 . or put into the bathtub. used to wash the skin. This can be saved in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Most individuals buy their tinctures rather than making them. Warning. put four ounces of dried. The mixture should be shaken daily for two weeks and then strained through cloth to remove the herbs. crushed herb into a jar with 2½ cups of brandy. which is about one milliliter or ¼ teaspoon. never use rubbing alcohol. vodka or pure grain alcohol.Tincture Because it is typically extracted into alcohol. 26 . it is poisonous to drink. To do so. Tinctures are much more concentrated than teas. a tincture is more stable and keeps longer. Store the tincture in a dark glass bottle in a cool place. and should be used at a rate of only one dropper full at a time. but it is possible to make them yourself.
First make a decoction or an infusion as directed above. Soak a washcloth in this solution and apply the washcloth to the affected skin.Compress A compress is a way of applying an herb directly to the skin. 27 . Compresses can be hot or cold.
28 . This works especially well with a long leaf like plantain that can be directly wrapped around a cut finger.Poultice A poultice is similar to a compress but uses whole plant material. You can also hold the poultice in place with a gauze bandage. Mash or bruise the leaves of the herb and apply the herb directly to the skin.
29 . In fact.Baths Many of the beneficial components of herbs can be directly absorbed through the skin in the bathtub. The muslin bag can then be used to wash the skin. Use ½ cup or more of herbs in a muslin bag and let the warm bath water run over the bag dispersing the herbal compounds into the bath. A warm bath can also be very relaxing. bathing in herbs works especially well because the skin is the largest organ and is very good at absorbing the benefits of herbs.
olive oil. corn oil or even walnut oil. shaking daily. 30 . grapeseed oil. The oil can then be used directly on the skin as a moisturizer after showering or used to make a balm or a salve.Infused Oil An infused oil contains the oil soluble components of an herb in an oil base. Almond oil is a good choice because it is easily absorbed into the skin. slow to become rancid. add a large handful of dry or fresh herb to a jar and cover the herb with a carrier oil. Make sure the herb is completely covered with oil to prevent mold from forming. apricot oil. Let the oil steep at room temperature for one to two weeks. Each contributes its own properties and you will develop a personal taste for a specific one. and then strain out the herbs. sesame seed oil. You can also add a few drops of vitamin E to this oil to prevent oxidation and extend the shelf life. and inexpensive. The carrier oil can be almond oil. To make an infused oil.
When ready to use. To make an herbal vinegar mix about ½ cup of dried herbs with 1½ cups of cider vinegar.Vinegars Although herbal vinegars are great in a salad. 31 . The slightly acidic pH of vinegar also protects the skin from infection. shaking frequently. dark bottle. This vinegar can be used as a toner on the face and feet. dilute the vinegar with ten parts of clear water (more if your skin is sensitive). they are also an ideal way to extract and use herbs. Let this stand for 2-3 weeks in a warm place. Strain the herbs from the vinegar and store it in a clean. making sure the herbs are completely covered. or added to the bath.
Pat your face dry afterward. Pour very hot water over these herbs. Put your face in the steam that rises and cover your head with a towel to keep in the vapors.Steam Inhaling the vapors from herbs can benefit the lungs and allowing the steam to settle on the skin can benefit the skin. 32 . To do a steam facial. add about ½ cup of herbs to a large bowl.
collagen and elastin. Skin plays many roles in the functioning of your body. and hair follicles all reside in the dermis. 33 . The cells at the bottom layer of the epidermis continually divide. providing support and for sensation. but also acts as a means of communication with the rest of the world. sweat glands. is the supporting layer of skin and provides many functions.The Nature of Skin Skin not only provides a barrier between your body and the environment. It helps to regulate your body temperature by acting as an air conditioner in the summer and an insulator in the winter. depression and frustration. sebaceous or oil glands. As this occurs the top layer of the epidermis dies and flakes off. The dermis is responsible for regulating body temperature. nerve fibers. Skin is a sensory organ. every 28 days your skin completely sheds and new skin cells cover your body. Disorders of the skin can have an emotional toll on your life causing problems with self-esteem. in fact it is the first sensory system to develop as a fetus. Blood and lymph vessels. self-image. It contains the structural and support proteins. The epidermis is the outer layer of skin. or dermis. pushing upward. These are the cells that manufacture keratin. the tough protein that protects the skin and the body. Learn how to treat some minor skin disorders at home using herbs. this process slows with age. However. The lower layer. In fact. embarrassment. Thus the skin is constantly renewing itself.
dirt and makeup. moisturizing and protecting. Moisturizers are meant to hold moisture in the skin. The best time to use a moisturizer is directly after cleansing while the skin is still damp so that more moisture can be trapped against the skin. Rinse well to remove all traces of soap and then gently pat your skin dry. dead skin cells. Soap is a good choice for cleansing unless your skin is very dry or sensitive in which case you would want to use a gentle creamy cleanser. Superfatted soaps provide extra moisturizers. you are removing oily residues. Be sure to use moisturizers on all of your body including feet and elbows. such as almond oil and safflower oil. Vegetable oils. The approach should include cleansing. don’t scrub. but over-cleansing can remove the natural protective oils of the skin. 34 . Some oils. Wash gently using a mild cleanser suited to your skin type. Keep away from detergent soaps that can be drying unless they have extra moisturizers added.A Regimen for Healthy Skin Routine skin care can be personalized to suit your own needs. They can be either an emulsified mixture of water and oil or oil alone. Because soaps are very alkaline they can be followed up with an acidic toner to leave the skin with its normal acidic pH to provide protection from bacteria. By cleansing your skin. such as mineral oil and petrolatum tend to stay on the surface of the skin causing pores to clog. make better moisturizers because they are better at soaking into the skin.
Treating Skin Problems 35 .
Acne is often treated with antibiotics, but there are less severe ways to treat acne. It is important to keep the face clean and free of excess oil. Soap is probably the best tool for this, but use a vinegar-based toner afterwards to restore the natural protective acid layer of the skin. Suggested herbs to use for acne include lavender, red clover, sage, lemon balm, tansy, clary sage, and strawberry leaves. These herbs can help dry the skin and reduce excess oil. Wash the skin using a tea made from one of these herbs or use the herbs to make a vinegar toner. Tea tree oil has significant antiseptic and disinfectant properties and has been shown to improve acne. You can use a commercial product (most of which contain 5% tea tree oil) or make your own by adding tea tree oil to a balm recipe. If necessary, tea tree oil can be applied full strength, directly to the acne lesions, but stop if the skin feels irritated. Other essential oils that may have a more acceptable smell and be easier to use include bergamot, chamomile, lavender, thyme, rosemary or myrrh. Except for lavender, these oils need to be diluted to a 5% solution in water. To do this, add 15 drops of oil to about a tablespoon of water and wipe the face with a soaked cotton ball.
Aging is a normal process that is speeded up with excessive exposure to the sun. This more rapid aging of the skin is termed photoaging and can result in deep wrinkles and furrows. During aging, division of the cells of the epidermis slows down. Thus turnover of skin cells slows and cell repair takes longer. More water is lost so the skin becomes dry and cracks. Skin color may turn sallow. As if this wasn’t enough, the skin becomes thinner causing fine wrinkles and even changing the facial contour. Changes in pigmentation, called age spots, are also common. Keeping the skin well moisturized is the most important way to protect aging skin. Do not use any harsh cleansers on the skin. After washing the skin, just pat dry without rubbing and immediately apply a barrier type of moisturizer to the skin. Almond oil with your favorite essential oil added to it is a great barrier that keeps moisture in the skin. Good essential oils for aging skin include rose geranium, chamomile and ylang-ylang. Four important herbs for aging skin are rose, red clover, Lady’s mantle and fennel. The recipes in this book for rose water and herbal toner as well as the moisturizing cream are very appropriate for aging skin as well.
Fennel Facial Vinegar 1 cup vinegar ½ cup fennel ½ cup Lady’s mantle Place the herbs and vinegar together in a jar. Cover and leave for 2-3 weeks, shaking daily. Strain the herbs out of the vinegar and store in a clean bottle. Dilute the vinegar with 6 parts of clean distilled or spring water before using. This vinegar is slightly astringent and invigorating and can temporarily remove fine wrinkles. Collagen is a large protein molecule under the skin that gives the skin integrity. Although many cosmetic products hail collagen applications as a remedy for wrinkles, collagen is too large to seep under the skin where it is needed. However, since vitamin C is necessary for the formation of collagen, making sure you get enough vitamin C can help increase collagen levels. Rose hips are a good source of vitamin C and can be used internally as tea or externally to wash the face.
however. which has given it the common name. especially in the event of panic and the unavailability of antibiotics.Anthrax. The 39 . Widespread immunization of animals has greatly diminished the occurrence of this disease. their hides. outbreaks in animals are not uncommon and can be spread easily from the blood of an infected animal. Cutaneous anthrax is the most common type and is an infection of the skin that is rarely fatal. Inhaling the spores of the bacterium. Because the organism that causes anthrax. The name anthrax comes from the Greek word for coal and refers to the black color of the infected areas. Now. Cutaneous Anthrax is one of the oldest diseases we know of. which settle deep into the lungs. cutaneous and gastrointestinal. ‘weavers’ disease. Bacillus anthracis. Once in the lungs the bacteria multiply and produce their toxin. causes pulmonary anthrax. Occasionally infection can be passed on to humans. There are three types of anthrax: pulmonary. Because knowledge is power. causing anxiety in many people. is important. anthrax has become a tool for terrorist attacks. Pulmonary is by far the most dangerous. but also the most difficult to contract. lives in the soil. knowing how to treat anthrax. It is caused when the bacteria that cause anthrax enter the skin through cuts or abrasions. It has been a cause of death in grazing animals such as cows for thousands of years even though the bacteria that causes it was not identified until 1877. often to those who work with infected animals. or their wool. The gastrointestinal type is transmitted from eating meat infected with anthrax.
characteristics of a cutaneous or skin anthrax infection include painless blisters that usually appear 3-5 days after exposure to the bacteria. Newer literature also indicates that garlic is effective against very closely related Bacillus bacteria. Many essential oils have strong antibacterial properties. oregano and rosemary essential oils have documented activity against similar bacteria in the Bacillus genus. M. we know little of agents that affect and kill the anthrax bacteria. treat them immediately by applying an antibiotic herb or ointment. just as it is against any skin disease. Although most cases of skin anthrax improve with no complications. treatment should be given because of the seriousness of the disease if it worsens. Because of the danger involved in doing anthrax research. The centers of these blisters become black and depressed and then dry out. Jean Valnet. Garlic is one herb that has shown antibacterial activity against the anthrax bacteria. Common antibiotics such as penicillin. in The Practice of Aromather40 . tetracycline and the newer ciprofloxacin. Older medical literature gives us some more natural answers. which contain carvacrol. In A Modern Herbal published in 1931. which in itself is an important protection against anthrax. If you think you may have been exposed to anthrax. Essential oils are generally considered too strong to take internally. Thyme. Garlic is also beneficial in stimulating the immune system. Grieve indicated that garlic was a treatment for anthrax in animals. or Cipro. Any of these oils can be diluted to a 5% (or higher) solution in water and used to cleanse the infected skin. Anthrax sores can often go unnoticed because they typically do not cause pain. Keeping the skin healthy and intact is the best protection against cutaneous anthrax. but Dr. If you notice cuts or abrasions in the skin. Some of the most potent are thyme and oregano oil. are effective against anthrax. wash your hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds.
To keep from getting the plague themselves they bathed in what is now called Four Thieves Vinegar. that he was able to treat a patient with anthrax using Echinacea.apy. or a similar recipe using whatever antibiotic herbs you have on hand. W. however. could also be used on the skin to prevent many types of infection. Rue should especially not be used by pregnant women. L. 41 . in 1907. suggests taking thyme essential oil at 3-5 drops diluted in a glass of water three times daily to treat infections. The recipe for this vinegar is similar to the following: Four Thieves Vinegar 1 tablespoon dried lavender 1 tablespoon dried rosemary 1 tablespoon dried sage 1 tablespoon dried rue 1 tablespoon dried wormwood 1 tablespoon dried peppermint 2-4 cloves of garlic 2½ cups cider vinegar Mix together and leave for two weeks to infuse. If taken internally. the rue and wormwood should be left out. Lewis reported in “Ellingwood’s Therapeutist”. and then strain. The patient was treated with one teaspoonful of Echinacea extract every four hours and eventually recovered. Use liberally for washing. as they are toxic. You may have heard the story of the four thieves who plundered graves of those who died from the plague (Yersinia pestis) in France during the 1720’s. All of the ingredients of this mixture have antibiotic properties and so it is likely that this did provide some protection for the thieves. This vinegar.
if for some reason that is impossible it may be helpful to have some of these herbs on hand to treat infections. Any of these herbs can also be taken in conjunction with antibiotics to boost their therapeutic potential. 42 . as well as smallpox and plague. However. Because of the seriousness of anthrax. if you suspect you have been exposed to one of them you should see a physician immediately to receive the appropriate treatment.but with nerve damage. The patient had encountered the disease from his infected livestock.
but should be diluted to a 10% solution for skin applications. If you have athlete’s foot or other related infections such as ringworm or jock itch (a fungal infection of the groin) try topical treatments such as goldenseal. When taken orally it can stimulate the immune system to help support the body in any type of chronic infection such as athlete’s foot. It can be applied full strength to the toenail. Tea tree oil has also been proven to be effective and safe for treating athlete’s foot as well toenail fungus. pallida or purpurea) is one of the most widely used herbs. rosemary.Athlete’s foot Athlete’s foot is a fungus that infects the top layer of skin. Due to its virtual lack of toxicity. which are active against many pathogens. It is usually 43 . Tea tree oil should never be taken internally. so keeping the skin dry can lower the risk of infection. Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia. Dust the skin with powdered goldenseal or wash the affected skin with a strong tea. In severe cases it can be rubbed directly on the skin. thyme and clove also have anti-fungal activity that can be used on the feet. Garlic (Allium sativum) is effective against most microorganisms that cause skin infections. including those that cause athlete’s foot. This fungus grows best in warm. infuse garlic in oil and apply that to the skin. moist areas. chamomile. it is good for routine use in preventing skin infections. Alternatively. tea tree oil or garlic. Sage. Chamomile has both antiseptic and antiinflammatory properties and can be found in many skin creams. Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) contains hydrastine and berberine.
44 .recommended to take Echinacea extract three times a day during an active infection. but not for longer than two weeks.
The tannins in tea can reduce swelling. Because plantain usually grows in the yard it is easy to use for immediate relief. Another option is to apply a moistened tea bag to the injury. Lavender essential oil can be applied directly and undiluted to the skin to relieve pain and reduce swelling caused by a bee sting. 45 . Plantain (Plantago spp. Mash a leaf and wrap it around the sting as needed.) has antibiotic properties. is anti-inflammatory and contains a soothing mucilage in its leaves.Bee Stings A bee or wasp sting is usually accompanied by the injection of venom that causes pain and swelling so use herbs that relieve pain and inflammation.
anger. These skin bacteria grow and multiply digesting the dead layer of skin that produces the foul odor.Body Odor Body odor is caused by bacteria that thrive on secretions from the sweat glands. If this doesn’t seem to be enough. Use these herbs in a tea to wash the skin or powdered as an addition to body powder. Heat. stress. several herbs can help. 46 . Some individuals find relief from body odor by eating fennel seeds and this is an early treatment recommended by mystic Hildegard of Bingen. The best way to eliminate these odors is with good hygiene. Use powdered sage in a body powder or wash with a tea made from sage. while the oils in sage are antiseptic and antibiotic. Rosemary (Rosmarinis officinalis) and thyme are additional aromatic herbs that contain antiseptic and antibiotic agents. nervousness and sexual excitement can all increase these secretions. Sage (Salvia officinalis) produces tannins that can help dry up perspiration.
For mild burns. take a cold bath. add a teabag of green tea to the bath. Lavender can be used as a strong tea to relieve pain or lavender oil can be applied to the skin. if you have an aloe plant. and lemon balm. calendula. Lemon balm can be especially soothing to a sunburn. 47 . comfrey (Symphytum officinale). Also. lavender. Put lemon balm in a bath bag and soak for a while. Calendula and comfrey contain healing components that can help heal the sunburn after the initial pain is gone. Herbs for treating burns include aloe (Aloe vera). For sunburn that might cover a large area of the body. Either buy a product containing aloe or. the first thing to do is to immerse the area in cold water to stop the heat from causing more damage. Use these either as a compress or in an infused oil. break off a leaf and squeeze out the gel from inside. Aloe vera can be applied to the skin as a gel several times a day. Vitamin C found in many herbs including rose hips can help heal sunburns as well. Green tea has been found to contain compounds that can prevent skin cancer.Burns A burn damages the surface of the skin or even below the skin surface with more serious burns.
For extra power.Dandruff Dandruff. flaking scales of skin along with redness. rinse the hair with a tea made from herbs that have antimicrobial properties such as thyme and sage. 48 . stomach and folds of the body. medically referred to as seborrheic dermatitis. Because dandruff may be caused by a skin infection. Hair Rinse for Dandruff Sage (Salvia offcinalis) Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Put a handful of one or more of these herbs in a glass jar and completely cover with apple cider vinegar. Use the vinegar as a scalp and hair rinse after washing. rinse hair with the following hair rinse and follow with corn oil or flaxseed oil rubbed into the scalp. In the morning. dilute the vinegar 1:4 with water. Dandruff can also appear on the face. Allow this to set for 1-2 weeks. At night. wash the oil out of the hair. Rubbing corn oil on the scalp can help moisten the skin and reduce inflammation. add 10 drops of essential oil such as rosemary to ¼ cup of corn oil to rub into the scalp. If this feels harsh on the skin. is an inflammation of the scalp that causes dry. back. shaking daily to infuse the vinegar.
Because wet skin is more easily abraded make sure to change the diaper often. For more severe diaper rash.Diaper Rash Diaper rash is an inflammation of the skin that can easily become infected if not properly cared for. Dilute this half and half with a carrier oil such as almond oil and apply directly to the lesions on the bottom. chamomile is a common allergen. Although diaper rash typically affects infants. sometimes with raised bumps or scaling and abrasions under the diaper covered area. keep in mind that many adults. Essential oil of chamomile can be diluted 5 drops of essential oil to 2 ounces of almond oil and applied to the skin for protection. try a 5% solution of tea tree oil. so keep close watch on the baby’s skin. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory. healing and antimicrobial properties. wear diapers due to bladder problems. Use a tea made from chamomile to clean the bottom during a diaper change. swollen skin. especially the elderly. Take care when putting anything on a baby’s skin since allergies can be acquired easily. This oil has proven antimicrobial activity against a number of pathogens. 49 . However. Lavender essential oil is usually safe to apply to an infant’s skin. Diaper rash appears as reddened.
Above all. try soaking the area in mint tea followed by a balm made with calendula infused oil.Dry Skin Dry skin is not only itchy and uncomfortable but can cause the skin to crack leaving it more vulnerable to infection. For rough skin that is in danger of cracking. Try adding 10 drops of your favorite smelling essential oil to four ounces of almond oil or make an infusion of a healing herb such as lavender. especially on the hands and the heels. Gloves or socks worn overnight after applying balm can greatly improve the condition. To treat dry skin. 50 . calendula or chamomile. make sure you drink plenty of water. pat the skin dry after showering and apply a moisturizer immediately to help hold the moisture in. Many things can be used as a protective moisturizer for the skin.
It occurs when the skin cells reproduce too rapidly and then pile up on the skin before they can be shed. Eczema is often associated with hypersensitivity or allergy and so eliminating possibly allergens should be a priority. Both are noncontagious. Drinking burdock tea is also a traditional treatment for these types of skin disorders. Chamomile has sedative and anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve the itching associated with inflammation. These herbs are helpful because they contain antimicrobial compounds. and skin that is constantly itched can be more susceptible to infection.Eczema and Psoriasis Eczema and psoriasis are not the same. Psoriasis patients often have trouble regulating their body temperature due to their skin condition. sock or scrap of muslin to use as a sponge on affected areas. calendula and red clover. 51 . scaly patches on the skin. or you can make your own infused oil to apply to the skin. inflammatory. chronic skin rashes accompanied by itching that can be severe. Psoriasis is characterized by red. which can cause side effects that include thinning of the skin. but their symptoms and treatments are similar. Both conditions are chronic diseases that are often difficult to treat and temporary relief may be all that can be expected. Use oatmeal in the bath to soothe the skin by putting it in a cloth bag. Many commercial creams can be found containing chamomile. Herbs that can help these conditions include chamomile. licorice. Typical treatment for psoriasis and eczema is corticosteroids. Use any of these herbs in the bath or as a tea to wash the skin.
Licorice can be used externally. lavender. Oil of borage can be a less expensive alternative to evening primrose oil. Evening primrose oil either taken internally or applied directly to the skin has been reported to be beneficial for treating eczema. three times daily). Sometimes eczema can be the result of a deficiency of some essential fatty acids. Use carefully though. directly on the skin. Do not use internally if you have heart conditions. Additional essential oils that can help eczema include geranium. Do not use products that have had glycyrrhizin removed. shaking daily. Skin oil for Eczema 1 cup almond oil infused with red clover 20 drops of chamomile essential oil 1 tablespoon of borage oil or evening primrose oil 1 teaspoon vitamin E To make the infused oil. or geranium is added. Any of these can be added to a carrier oil and applied to the skin. because licorice can cause side effects that include water retention and high blood pressure. After it has steeped. Take licorice internally as a tea (up to three cups per day). Add the remaining ingredients and mix. a tincture (20 drops three times daily) or capsules (400 mg.Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) contains potent antiinflammatory agents that are similar to corticosteroids. chamomile. Let this steep for 1-2 weeks. Apply liberally to the affected skin. Ingesting more foods such as fatty fish 52 . hyssop. filter out the flowers. as a poultice or tea. put a handful of dried red clover flowers into a jar and cover completely with the almond oil. Almond oil and avocado oil can bring relief when applied to the skin. sweet orange and sage. as they are not useful for inflammatory conditions. especially if essential oil of lavender.
53 . homemade soaps can help sooth inflammation. superfatted. seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin or flaxseed oil can be helpful.(salmon. See the recipe for soap later in this book. Many individuals with eczema and psoriasis have said that gentle. herring). nuts. Soothing essential oils such as chamomile and lavender can be added to these soaps.
such as thin. drink eyebright tea daily. 54 . cool slices of cucumber. can bring comfort and relief. Compresses on the eyelids. soak a washcloth in the tea and then lay the washcloth over your eyes while you lay back and rest for a while. make sure to look away often and focus on an object far in the distance several times an hour to prevent eyestrain. It is related to the mints and has a pleasant taste. If eye problems are the norm for you. Warm. fennel seed or eyebright. Eyebright is a traditional treatment for the eyes as well as mucous membranes. brew a tea from any of these herbs or a combination of them if available. Compresses of eyebright can also help with weeping or inflamed eyes and conjunctivitis. When cool enough. moist teabags are also good eye compresses. calendula. To make a compress. or even put them in the freezer for a few minutes for a cool compress. Other options are to make compresses from the herbs chamomile.Eyes Do your eyes show signs of strain and sleeplessness: dark circles and puffiness? Many times this can be caused by keeping your gaze fixed. If your work involves this. such as working in front of a computer monitor for long periods of time.
so make sure you know what you are dealing with first. spurs and fasciitis. warts. For sweaty feet without underlying disease wear absorbent cotton socks and use an absorbent foot powder containing antiperspirant herbs such as sage to help control moisture (see recipe). and pain caused by arthritis. Feet can also suffer from sweating. Diabetes can also cause ulcers on the feet that can lead to amputation if not properly cared for. since stress can have negative effects on the entire body. infections. Feet can suffer from many problems. can be caused by stress and nervousness. the most common being corns caused by shoes that don’t fit properly causing pressure at certain points. dry skin. the bones of your feet number 26 and there are 20 separate muscles. another name for sweaty feet. poor circulation.Foot Care Just because your feet are kept hidden inside shoes all day is no reason to forget about them. Excessive perspiration of the feet can also be caused by a number of more serious diseases such as anemia and thyroid problems. Hyperhydrosis.000 steps per day. taking an average of 5. bunions. Believe it or not. If this is your problem. try stress reduction techniques. 55 . odor. ingrown toenails. Your feet work hard for you.
Ingrown toenails are a result of the toenail growing into the surrounding skin.Foot Powder 1 cup cornstarch ½ cup clay ¼ cup baking powder 1 teaspoon ground. powdered sage 5 drops peppermint essential oil 5 drops of cypress essential oil Mix all these together and put into a shaker container. dilute to 10% in a carrier oil such as olive or almond oil or in water. Bromhydrosis is the medical term for smelly feet caused by bacteria growing on normal secretions of the sweat glands. chamomile. Prevent this odor with foot powder and occasional footbaths containing antibacterial herbs. in which case. If the toe should become painful and infected try an antiseptic footbath that include herbs such as thyme. 56 . You can also put drops of lavender essential oil directly on the painful area. Cutting the toenails straight across the top rather than rounded can sometimes prevent this condition. Apply it full strength unless you experience irritation from it. medically referred to as onychomycosis. and sage. Tea tree oil applied to the nail has been shown to be effective in treating infected toenails. Use in the shoes and on the feet to control perspiration as often as needed. Thickening and discoloration of the toenails can be caused by a fungal infection of the toenails.
One symptom of this is cold feet. pine. blood can pool and tend not to circulate as well. Pour hot water over the bag to infuse the herbs into the water. use a more concentrated oil. cayenne pepper). Poor circulation in the feet is a common problem. especially as we age. rosemary or thyme to a cup of almond or canola oil. try a foot soak with pain relieving herbs (California poppy. For a massage oil try adding 20 drops of essential oil of birch. willow. Sit down and soak your feet for 15 minutes or so. thyme or rosemary to improve circulation. an inflammation of the ligaments that causes heel pain. ginger. If you sit for long periods make sure to put your feet up as well as take breaks for walking and stretching. lavender. ginger. essential oils and Epsom salts or massage the feet with a pain relieving essential oil. For painful conditions. Rub into the area that is painful each night before bed. ¼ cup thyme ¼ cup chamomile ¼ cup sage ¼ cup lavender ¼ cup Epsom salts Add these herbs and salts to a cloth bag.Antiseptic Footbath Use this footbath for itchy feet that may suffer from athlete’s foot or ingrown toenails. Try point and flex exercise first thing in the morning and as you sit on your bed. cayenne pepper. A foot massage can 57 . You can add a few drops of tea tree oil to the bath if you need a stronger antiseptic. If you sit for long periods of time. ginger. Then pour this tea into a pail of warm water. half almond oil and half essential oil. It is also important to stretch your feet to work the muscles and ligaments. If this doesn’t help. Rest your feet in a warm foot bath containing peppermint. Pain in the feet can be caused by a number of conditions including arthritis and fasciitis.
add essential oil of pine. Corns. eucalyptus. infections.also improve circulation. Make sure you check your feet daily and tend to any problems that may arise. see a doctor. swelling and blisters may be painless. rosemary. calluses and bunions are common foot problems that can be related to improperly fitting shoes. especially if you have diabetes. Cuts. Make sure your shoes fit properly so they are not inhibiting blood flow. 58 . thyme. or coriander to your massage oil. If these skin problems on the feet do not clear up in a few days.
Herpes (Cold Sores) Cold sores or fever blisters usually occur in or near the mouth and nose. Both lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) and cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) are known to have activity against the herpes virus. Glycyrrhetinic acid creams may be found commercially or make your own. Echinacea also has demonstrated anti-herpes activity. make it into a lip balm and use regularly to prevent a cold sore or use when a cold sore occurs to help rid it. or emotional stress. put a clove bud between your lips. as it is missing the important ingredient. Other herbs with activity against the cold sore virus include sandalwood (Santalum 59 . hormonal changes. A component of licorice root. The skin lesions associated with herpes are groups of small. This compound has anti-viral activity against a variety of viruses including HSV-1. glycyrrhetinic acid. To use lemon balm. Drink a cup of lemon balm tea – it can also help relieve stress and calm you. which can lie dormant until cold sore formation is triggered by UV light. It can be used topically directly on the lesion. Make sure you do not use a deglycyrrhizinated licorice product for cold sores however. painful vesicles that become crusted over after about a week. When you feel the first sign of a cold sore. is often recommended by herbalists for topical treatment of herpes. They are caused by herpes simplex virus type I (HSV1). as well as taken orally to stimulate the immune system. keeping it there as long as possible.
Cover with one cup of almond oil and shake daily. stirring until mixed. Make sure the leaves are completely covered with oil. Melissa Lip Balm 3/4 cup of almond oil infused with lemon balm 1 ounce of beeswax 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil To make an infused oil. After two weeks strain the oil through cheesecloth to remove the leaves. Melt beeswax in a small pan and add the infused oil. Keep one out to use and put the rest in the refrigerator to increase shelf life. mullein (Verbascum thapsus) and licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra). Add a few drops of essential oil if you like and pour the balm into small jars for storage. Remove from the heat and add vitamin E oil. put a handful of dried lemon balm leaves into a glass jar. 60 . John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum).album). St. The vitamin E oil is not only good for your skin but acts as a preservative.
and eczema in children. Researchers are now linking too much hygiene with increased allergies. But if you think you need an antibiotic soap to get your hands clean. In fact. The widespread use of antibiotic soap today has led to the emergence of additional antibiotic resistant bacteria. we want these normal flora present to protect us from pathogenic bacteria that may take up residence if normal flora is destroyed. asthma. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests only thorough hand washing of at least 15 seconds to effectively remove bacteria from your hands. Many bacteria live harmoniously with us on our skin without ever causing harm. think again. Antibiotic soaps can also alter the normal bacteria of the skin and cause irritation. Wash your hands regularly but don’t try to live in a sterile world. These bacteria are referred to as normal flora. Use common sense where hygiene is concerned – too much hygiene is not good. 61 .Hygiene for the Skin and Hands Washing your hands is the single most important thing you can do to decrease the spread of disease.
Infections Minor infections of the skin include boils. 62 . impetigo. and folliculitis. sage. however. contact a physician. Use a warm poultice of goldenseal directly on the infected area or apply tea tree oil diluted to 10% in a carrier oil. In some cases. goldenseal. lavender. One remedy for small sores is to directly apply a slice of garlic. rosemary. as it could be a sign of something more serious. myrrh. Essential oils diluted in carrier oils can be used on the skin after cleaning. If the infection does not clear up in a couple of days. Treating minor skin infections is relatively simple – wash the skin with a strong tea or infusion made from an antimicrobial herb such as chamomile. Taking echinacea and or garlic internally can also help by stimulating the immune system. or thyme. ringworm. When the skin becomes dry or injured it is more subject to infection. a dusting of powdered goldenseal on the infected area can cure the infection.
or nylon net to wash with. but will help to remove the dead cells that pile up on the skin. Afterward. Try the recipe in the back for exfoliating salts. luffa. apply an acidic toner with a vinegar base followed by a moisturizer.Keratosis These are harmless tiny bumps on the skin often seen on the upper outer arms. The bumps are merely dead skin cells that project from the hair follicle and can be removed by exfoliating. Although this may sound scary it simply means to use something rough such as a washcloth. 63 . This rough surface will not hurt.
cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum). called nits. patchouli essential oil (Pogostemon cablin). Since neither is a life threatening disease. lemon (Citrus limonum). leave overnight and wash out in the morning.Scabies and Pediculosis (lice) Both of these diseases are caused by tiny parasitic insects on the skin. which occurs on the head or pubic area and causes itching. Scabies is caused by an itch mite. Sarcoptes scabiei. 64 . and is more commonly called bed bugs. The lice lay their eggs. Head and body lice cause pediculosis. This will require several applications. which explains its common name of the "itch". lavender (Lavandula angustifolia). Outbreaks of both tend to occur where people are in close proximity such as schools and nursing homes. rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis). alternative treatments should be tried first. orange flower (Citrus aurantium). If applying to the hair. Apply lavishly to the affected skin and comb through the hair in the case of lice. Add 20 drops of an essential oil of choice to 4 ounces of corn or almond oil. clove oil (Eugenia caryophyllata or Syzygium aromaticum). Using lavish amounts of oil should help suffocate the parasites as well as essential oils killing them. Several essential oils have pesticide activity including: tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia). at the bottom of hairs. There are no scientifically documented treatments for either disease. The main symptom of scabies is a severe itch. oregano (Oreganum vulgare) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris). but chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides are commonly prescribed.
and milk thistle. Extracts from tea affect metabolic enzymes to decrease the risk of skin cancer as well as other cancers. a strong antioxidant. 65 . Use curcumin abundantly in foods. it is strong enough to suggest applying tea bags to the skin where needed or to use them in the bath.Skin Cancer Although skin cancer probably can’t be cured with herbs. Heredity also plays a role. Herbs that have shown some preventive activity towards skin cancer include turmeric (Curcuma longa). Curcumin is both an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory and is currently under investigation by the National Cancer Institute to prevent a variety of cancers including skin cancer. curcumin. either from the sun or from the now popular sunlamps. Successful animal studies have used tea both orally and directly on the skin. green tea. both green and black contains antioxidant polyphenols. there are many herbal treatments you can use to reduce your risk of skin cancer. with fair skinned people being more at risk for skin cancer. Tea (Camellia sinensis). The most common cause of skin cancer is overexposure to ultraviolet light. and is widely used in making Indian curries. Some studies indicate that silymarin taken orally can prevent skin tumors as well as decrease sunburn and swelling after exposure to UV light. Although this research is still preliminary. Turmeric contains the yellow pigment. Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) contains the compound silymarin.
Border irregular. 66 . stinging nettles (Urtica dioica or others) and violet (Viola odorata) are abundant in retinoids. By frequent self-examination. These herbs can also be used in the bath after exposure to the sun. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). However. Diameter greater than 6 mm. only a biopsy can determine if a suspicious mole is cancer. Color changes. suspicious skin lesions can be brought to the attention of a physician. The acronym ABCD makes it easy to remember what to look for when examining moles on your skin: Asymmetry. which are found widely in herbs.Antioxidants and retinoids. have been reported to inhibit skin cancer induced by ultraviolet light. Red clover also has a tradition of use for skin cancer.
Most warts are harmless and come and go on their own.). Essential oils of lemon.Warts Warts are raised bumps of skin that are sometimes caused by viruses.) and willow (Salix alba). and geranium applied directly to the wart may also provide relief due to their antiviral activities. but a physician can remove them through freezing or surgery. There are several traditional herbal treatments for warts. prickly poppy (Argemone spp. lavender. One treatment is to squeeze the juice from the herb greater celandine (Chelidonium majus) directly onto the wart. Since it is irritating. 67 . be careful not to get the juice on other parts of the skin. the sap from fendler spurge (Euphorbia spp. tea tree. Other plants and herbs that have been used to treat warts include papaya (Carica papaya). A powder made from bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) has also been used to treat warts and has some pain relieving qualities.
If the skin is not kept intact. Several herbs help this process and prevent infection as well.Wound Treatment One important purpose of the skin is to protect the body by preventing entrance of pathogens that can cause infection. These include chamomile. becomes more prone to infection. Skin typically heals quickly by multiplying the remaining skin cells to fill in the gap. which has been documented in animal studies. antimicrobial and wound healing activity. Use calendula as an oil extract of the flowers or as a tea. Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) has often been called knitbone because of its ability to promote healing. antibacterial and antiviral activities. Calendula (Calendula officinalis) possesses antiinflammatory activity. it cannot perform this function. Several clinical studies have found that chamomile extracts can speed wound healing. Comfrey can be used as a poultice or an infusion on the skin. comfrey and calendula. and likewise the rest of the body. Calendula also has purported immunostimulant activity that contributes to its wound healing ability. it has known liver toxicity and should not be eaten in great quantity. Because of its mild nature. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory. 68 . Although some people recommend comfrey to be taken internally. Any time the epidermis is abraded. Many commercial products are available that contain chamomile or make your own chamomile infusion. the skin. Its ability to promote healing has been well documented in both animal and human studies. German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is very useful for routine skin care.
For wounds that have begun to show signs of infection – swelling. Lavender oil can be applied directly onto the skin. It has a long folk tradition of being used on wounds to promote healing and prevent infection. Its use for this purpose is increasing recently. it is derived from herbs. Tea tree oil or thyme oil can be diluted about 1 to 10 in a carrier oil such as almond oil.Although honey itself is not an herb. Apply honey directly to abraded skin. redness or pus – an essential oil with antibacterial activity may be useful. especially in third world clinics where other medicines are too expensive and difficult to find. 69 . If the signs of infection do not clear up readily. see a physician as it may be more serious. The high fructose levels in honey both prevent the growth of microorganisms and provide the skin cells with necessary nourishment for growth.
Garlic can be used both topically and in the diet. It is the most common opportunistic infection in women. One study found that a purified component from garlic. as well as Candida. located in the mouth. Use a strong tea or infusion as a mouth rinse at the first sign of an oral infection.Yeast Infections/Candida Yeast infections are caused by a fungus called Candida and can cause severe itching. chamomile has been used orally to treat infections of the mouth. Traditionally. often occurring while taking antibiotics for another infection. the dentures can be soaked in an antibacterial herb tea such as goldenseal. a warm bath containing lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) can provide relief for chronic yeast infection sufferers. Chamomile tea has also been used successfully as a douche for vaginal infections. Most women are familiar with yeast infections. Echinacea can increase the activity of white blood cells towards Candida. For denture wearers who have problems with candida. as an estimated 75% of women get these infections sometime during their lifetime. genital area. It is usually recommended to take Echinacea extract three times a day during an active infection. Eating yogurt containing active cultures of acidophilus can also help keep yeast infections at bay. Yeast infections can be helped by keeping the area clean and dry. and relieve the stress of an infection as well. ajoene. Because healing agents are readily absorbed through the skin. inhibited a wide range of fungi. anus or in folds of the skin. burning and redness of the skin and mucus membranes. 70 .
Recipes 71 .
In the winter. cleansing the skin. 1 tablespoon chamomile 1 tablespoon fennel 1 tablespoon rose petals 1 tablespoon calendula (for dry skin – substitute lemon balm for oily skin) Place herbs in a bowl and pour one quart of boiling water over them. inhale steam from marjoram and sage to relieve cold symptoms. You can finish off using sage tea or sage vinegar to tighten the pores.Steam Facial The simplest way to use herbs for your skin is in the form of a facial steam. Close your eyes and remain this way for 10 minutes or so letting the herbal steam penetrate you skin. 72 . Facial steams are useful for opening the pores. Afterward. then make a tent over your head with a towel to keep in the steam. but first remove all makeup by cleansing the skin. rinse your face with cool water. It is good to do a facial steam once a week. put you face 10-12 inches over the bowl. Tie back your hair. removing toxins and improving the circulation.
In addition to being soothing on the face.Vinegar for Skin Herbal vinegars are useful as skin toners and cleansers. 73 . Dilute vinegar with 6 parts of clean distilled or spring water before using. this vinegar is also soothing to tired or itchy feet or can be used in the bath to soothe the entire body. Use any herbs or combination of herbs for the desired effect. Herbal vinegars can restore the skin’s natural acid pH. Shake frequently for 2-3 weeks then strain herbs out of vinegar and store in a clean bottle. ¼ cup dried lavender ¼ cup dried sage 1-2 cups cider vinegar Place herbs together in a jar and cover with vinegar. decreasing its ability to fend off bacteria. Most soaps leave the skin at a very alkaline pH.
. use this bag to rub over your skin. painrelieving . put one cup of mixture into a small muslin bag and let steep in the bathtub with warm water. 74 . relaxing. For additional benefit. The oatmeal acts as a good body scrub and soothes dry. soothing. . You may also want to add a few drops of essential oil to the bath for fragrance. Mix together: 1 cup marjoram 1 cup lavender 1 cup chamomile 1 cup oatmeal Mix these ingredients together and store in a container. invigorating. When ready to use. itchy skin. an herbal bath bag can achieve a myriad of effects.Herbal Bath Bags Depending on the herbs chosen.
sit back and relax. or just use oils that smell good to you.Aromatic Honey Bath ¼ cup honey 6 drops essential oil 2 drops vitamin E Add appropriate essential oils to this bath to treat the condition you wish to treat. 75 . Add all ingredients to the bath.
1 cup sage 1 cup thyme 1 cup lemon balm Mix these herbs together and store in a container. For additional benefit. use this bag to rub over your skin. When ready to use. A few drops of eucalyptus or juniper essential oil can help improve breathing and warm the body. 76 .Bath Bag for Flu and Colds These herbs can help relieve the symptoms of colds and flu and help relax sore muscles. put one cup of herbs in a small muslin bag and let steep in the bathtub.
as a massage oil or as a base for making a balm or salve.Herbal Skin Oil (oil infusion) ¼ cup marjoram ¼ cup calendula ¼ cup chamomile 3 cups almond oil (or enough to completely cover herbs) Place herbs in a jar and pour enough oil to completely cover the herbs. Let this steep for 1-2 weeks shaking frequently. after bath as a moisturizer. Use this oil directly to add a few drops to the bath. 77 . add the herbs to the oil and heat them over the stove until almost boiling. Then strain and bottle. If you are impatient. Turn off the heat and let this steep for several hours before you strain the herbs out and bottle the oil.
Remove from the heat and add one tablespoon of vitamin E as a preservative. The salve can then be put into small jars.Soothing Salve 1 cup herbal oil (above) 1 oz of beeswax Heat the beeswax on the stove just hot enough to melt it before adding the infused oil. The jars you are not using may be kept in the refrigerator for longer storage. 78 . At this time you may also wish to add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. lemon balm or calendula flowers for your infusion. For a soothing skin or lip balm use chamomile flowers.
The fragrance itself can be very relaxing and soothing. 79 . Remove from heat and let steep 1 hour. Strain out the rose petals. Use the rose water as is or add witch hazel and glycerin or honey to give it the quality of a toner. sage or marjoram can also be used in a similar manner to make herbal water. Add a second cup of rose petals to the same water and again heat to just boiling. Let this steep for 1 hour and then strain out the rose petals.Rose Water and Herbal Toner Rose water is a hydrating agent that keeps skin moist and young looking. 2 cups rose petals 1 cups water 2/3 cup witch hazel 1 tsp glycerin or honey Heat 1 cup water and 1 cup rose petals to just boiling. These waters must be kept refrigerated and used within three days. Chamomile.
but it is important to completely mix the oil and water to keep it emulsified.Moisturizing Cream 1 cup almond oil or herbal infused oil from above 2 oz beeswax (or less depending on consistency desired) 1 tsp glycerin 2 tsp borax 2 cups herbal water (from above) or tea 1 tsp vitamin E Melt together the beeswax and glycerin. This is a little tricky. A few drops of essential oil can be added at the end and the mixture put into jars. Continue beating until it begins to cool. Dissolve the borax in the herbal water. 80 . Put the oil mixture into a blender and then slowly add the water while mixing. then remove from heat and gently mix in the oil and vitamin E.
Sweet-Smelling Body Powder ½ cup cornstarch ½ cup baking soda 1 tablespoon finely ground sage 1 tablespoon finely ground rosemary 1 tablespoon finely ground thyme Mix ingredients together and use as a dusting powder under the arms or wherever needed. 81 . If you don’t have all of these herbs. use what you have.
Use this footbath for tired, achy feet. It contains antibiotic herbs that can help prevent athlete’s foot. ¼ cup thyme ¼ cup red clover ¼ cup mint Add these herbs to a pail large enough to put your feet into. Pour hot water over the herbs. Let them steep for 5 minutes, then fill the pail with warm water. Put your feet in the tub and read a book.
Healthy Skin Tea
This tea contains a variety of antioxidants and vitamins that can benefit skin. ¼ cup chamomile ½ cup lemon balm ½ cup red clover ¼ cup crushed rose hips Mix herbs together and store in a container. Add 2 teaspoons to a cup and pour hot water over the herbs. Allow to steep for 2-3 minutes, strain out the herbs and drink while relaxing.
12 ounces of almond oil 12 ounces of coconut oil 19 ounces of shortening 6 ounces of lye 16 ounces of water 1 tablespoon grapefruit oil 1 tablespoon lavender oil Take care when making soap, as lye can be extremely caustic. Weigh out the lye while wearing goggles and latex gloves. Add the lye to the water slowly while stirring. Do not add water to lye! Fumes will be produced while mixing so make sure you are in a well-ventilated area. This solution will get extremely hot so allow it to cool to 100-120 degrees Fahrenheit (40-50 degrees Centigrade). Combine the almond, coconut and shortening oils and heat gently to melt. Allow these fats to cool to 100-120 degrees Fahrenheit. When both lye solution and fats are at the same temperature, between 100 to 120 degrees, slowly pour the lye solution into the fats while stirring constantly. Do not splash. Continue to stir continuously for 15-30 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly and traces (a drop on the surface will be supported briefly). After tracing occurs add the essential oils of grapefruit and lavender. When this is mixed in, pour the soap into molds, or some kind of wooden or plastic frame. Carefully put the frame in a place where it will not be disturbed for 24 hours and cover it with an old wool sweater for insulation. After 24 hours, remove soap from the mold and cut into bars – it will still be
and dry for three weeks. A layer of ash may accumulate on the bars that should be cut or rubbed off before using them. Set these bars out to cure. harden. 85 .somewhat soft.
but the scents are relaxing for the entire body. rashes. Caraway can heal the skin and add color to the complexion. scabies. Cajuput (Melaleuca leucodendron) Acne. 86 . Basil (Ocimum basilicum) Arthritis pain. rashes. You can mix and match essential oils depending upon your personal tastes and what symptoms you want to treat. Use the following list of essential oils as a guide. eczema. Chamomile. skin sores. psoriasis.Essential oils for skin Adding essential oils to recipes for skin care not only has a therapeutic value. psoriasis. etc. Chamomile can promote healing. wasp stings. You can also personalize purchased body lotion by adding your favorite essential oils. Also add ½ teaspoon of Vitamin E to prevent the oil from oxidizing. gout. irritation. mature complexions. Carrot Seed (Daucus carota) Dermatitis. Caraway (Carum carvi) Wounds.). Pick one to serve the purpose you want and add 20 drops of essential oil to 1/2 cup of carrier oil (almond. gout. psoriasis. German (Matricaria chamomilla or recutita) Inflammation. canola.
inflammation. sores. lice. infections. infections. bruises. scabies. varicose veins. dry skin. lice. wounds. Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) Scar tissue. muscle aches. wounds. skin sores. wasp stings. Garlic (Allium sativum) Corns. muscle aches. Roman (Chamaemelum nobile) Inflammation. eczema. Good for general skin cleanser and tonic. damaged skin. 87 . rheumatic pain. skin infections. rheumatic pain.Chamomile. Cinnamon is good as general skin cleanser. pain relief. varicose veins. burns. warts. Clove (Eugenia caryophyllata orSyzygium aromaticum) Scabies. Hyssop (Hyssop officinalis) General skin problems. poor circulation. dry skin. wrinkled and mature skin. Use to treat sweaty feet. burns. rashes. Geranium (Pelargonium graviolens) Bruising. poor circulation. Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) Warts. mosquito repellent. calluses. eczema. insect bites. wounds. poor circulation. toothache. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) Skin sores. cold sores. arthritis pain. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Rheumatic pain. cold toes and fingers. warts. lice. gout. Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) Scabies. burns. warts. sore throat. herpes. wounds. eczema. boils. bruises. muscle sprain.
skin infections.Juniper (Juniperus communis) Sores. Neroli or Orange blossom (Citrus aurantium) Spider veins. acne. infections. wrinkles. 88 . eczema. mosquito repellent. inflammation. scabies. premature aging. Oregano (Origanum vulgare) Rheumatic and muscular pain. dry skin. Peppermint (Mentha piperita) Scabies. spider veins. wounds. burns. muscle aches. acne. bruises. insect bites. weeping eczema. psoriasis. dandruff. acne. Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini) Wounds. dry skin. lice. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Wounds. rashes. Good vitamin C source and for general skin care. arthritic pain. Good vitamin C source and for general skin care. warts. wrinkles. acne. pain. broken capillaries. Lemon (Citrus limonum) Insect bites. scars and stretch marks. warts. after sun care. scabies. prevent infection. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citrates) Muscular aches and strains. lice. infections. If rubbed on the temples it can relieve headache. Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) Eczema. hair loss. lice. insect bites. poor circulation. scars. Lavender is one oil that is safe to use directly on the skin and is especially good for children. scars. dermatitis. after sun care. Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) Inflammation. sunburn. acne. eczema. wounds.
lice. acne. rheumatism. infections. wrinkles. dandruff. puffiness and swelling. Pregnant women should not use some essential oils. Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) Infections. poor circulation. sciatica. acne. muscle and arthritis pain. sciatica. poor circulation. lice. scars. Sage (Salvia officinalis) Eczema. The oils listed here are considered safe when used on the skin at the concentration recommended above. insect bites. poor circulation. boils. rheumatism. nail fungus. wounds. premature aging. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Muscle stiffness. insect bites. burns. scabies. dry skin. dandruff. scabies. scabies. Good as a general skin toner and in a mouth rinse (do not swallow). Do not use these oils internally. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) Infections. scabies. skin sores. athlete's foot. poor circulation. wasp stings. Rosewood (Aniba rosegodora) Inflammation. others can be irritating to the skin in higher doses. warts. wounds. be sure to learn more about their toxicities first. mucous membrane infections such as thrush. rheumatism. hair loss. excess perspiration.Pine (Pinus sylvestris) Infections. lice. insect bites. muscle and joint pain. Rosemary is good as a general skin and hair tonic. lice. wounds. 89 . boils. gout. Although higher concentrations might be safely used.
in biochemistry and works as a medical writer. consultant and educator. husband and two sons." was published in 2000. 90 . Dr. She was a contributing writer and editor to "The Herbal Drugstore" by Linda B. "The Antibiotic Alternative. White and Steven Foster.D. specializing in the evidence-based use of herbs in medicine and has written numerous magazine articles as well as educational materials for physicians and the pharmaceutical industry. Colorado where she tends her herb garden. She is the founder of Sagescript Herbs and Communications. She lives in Denver.About the Author Cindy Jones earned her Ph. Jones teaches physiology and biochemistry at local universities as well as herb classes for continuing education programs.
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