the family medicine chest is an ongoing series on the fourth Thursday of each month.
I apologize for the shortness of this article…i dumped water into my keyboard and can’t use several keys. next month, i will go more in detail about the beauty side of herbs in the home.
Herbs have been popping up on shelves everywhere, and not just for cooking. Lately, they have become more popular for treating illnesses and health problems and because they work so well without all the harsh side effects that can be obtained from their chemical cousins, it is easy to see why.
Another aisle that herbs are gaining popularity is the Beauty Aisle. When so many reports of the alarming side effects mainstream products can cause, it is reassuring to know that herbs can be both beneficial and safe to use on a daily basis on our skin.
Herbs come in all forms for beauty: essential oils, salves, lotions, oils, splashes, bath salts, bath teas, powders, lip balms and eye pillows are the most common. Here are a few herbs that might be found in such products:
Lavender: Helpful with acne, abscesses, allergies, athlete’s foot, dandruff, dermatitis, earache, eczema, insect bites and stings, scabies, sores, spots, sunburn and wounds. Use as a compress, a few drops in cleanser/moisturizer/toner or as a facial steam. May be applied directly to affected area (suggested to use a carrier oil such as jojoba or sesame as it helps to spread oil further as little is needed).
Patchouli: It is effective for fungal and bacterial infection, insect bites, an insect repellant, has a great deodorizing action, assists with wound healing, a tissue regenerator which helps to stimulate the growth of new skin cells and in wound healing it not only promotes faster healing, but also helps to prevent ugly scarring when the wound heals. Also effective to sort out rough, cracked and overly dehydrated skin and is used to treat acne, acne, eczema, sores, ulcers, any fungal infections as well as scalp disorders.
Peppermint: What a great energizing herb this one is! It’s a natural remedy for aches, pains and itches. The Food and Drug Administration has accepted Menthol as an effective topical treatment for pain and stiffness of joints and muscles. The oil cools the itch because it increases blood flow to the skin to reduce pain and discomfort. Peppermint can also invigorate the senses. Research in England has proved that peppermint successfully reduced daytime sleepiness. Look for peppermint in lip balms, foot salves, soaps and shampoos.
Rose Geranium: Helpful to all skin types but especially dry skin. Add a few drops to boiling water for a facial steam, add a few drops to your moisturizer for face and body. This herb is also excellent for relaxing and calming the mind.
Rosemary: Strong antiseptic. May be added sparingly to cleanser for use with oily skin to treat acne, greasy skin. Add a few drops to a tablespoon of jojoba oil and apply to scalp to help clear scalp and promote hair growth.
These are just a small sampling of herbs that can be found in beauty products. All of these herbs in essential oil form can be added to the bath for a treat and healing beauty bath. Try this simple recipe:
Aromatherapy Soda Bath
Baking soda softens the bathwater and helps to soften and smooth the skin. It also has an alkalizing and deodorizing effect. Essential oils increase the therapeutic action.
1 cup baking soda
20 drops essential oil (choose according to your personal need)
Place baking soda in a glass jar and add the essential oil drop by drop, stirring them in well. Tighten the lid and shake well. Add ¼ cup per bath.