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