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