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