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Feed Your Skin
Your skin is the organ that protects your entire body from the outside world. It faces sun exposure, environmental pollutants, bacteria, and even the chemical deodorant, cosmetic, and skin care products that many of us apply on a daily basis. It also serves as an organ of elimination, acting as a conduit for waste to be removed from the body. With all that this organ is required to do to maintain balance, supporting the skin with herbs is not a bad idea. There are so many herbs for healthy skin. Find out what they are, what they have to offer, and how to use them.
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Mineral Rich Plants
One way that herbs can benefit the skin is through providing extra nutrition. Two plants in particular are ideal for supporting the growth of new, supple skin. Both oatstraw and horsetail are rich in silica, an important mineral for healthy skin. Silica is necessary for the formation of collagen. This is a very important mineral for aging skin, both because it is necessary to form new connective tissue and because levels of silica in the body decrease with age. Oatstraw makes a delicious herbal infusion as it has a mild, sweet taste. Both herbs can be taken in tea, tincture, or capsule form. There are no negative side effects of oatstraw or horsetail.
Another herbal approach to skin nutrition is to integrate plants into the diet that are abundant sources of nutrition. Nettles, chickweed, seaweed and dandelion are all incredible sources of nutrition. They are highly concentrated and easy to absorb sources of vitamins and minerals, from magnesium and chlorophyll to the carotenes and vitamin C. Fresh nettle, chickweed, and dandelion leaves can be eaten as nutritious salad greens. Sea greens can also be consumed as food. You can also choose to take the land herbs in tea, tincture, or capsule form. Sea greens can be taken as dried powders or capsules.
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Herbs for Circulation
Herbs can also promote healthy skin simply by increasing circulation. Better circulation translates into a constant supply of nutrient-rich blood to skin cells and improved skin tone. Try adding the following herbs to your diet on a regular basis:
They can simply be consumed as food or taken in supplement form.
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As the skin is responsible for eliminating some of the waste from the body, herbs that help to correct the blood of impurities or to support the liver and kidneys indirectly benefit the skin. The following plants are ideal when the skin is blemished or imbalanced:
- Burdock root
- Red clover
Try drinking an herbal infusion made from one or more of these cleansing herbs. Steep two teaspoons of the dried herb in one cup of boiling water for ten minutes. Drink one to three cups daily for one to two weeks at a time.
Herbs are a natural and very powerful tool for supporting and maintaining your skin. Whether you want to clear blemishes, improve skin tone, slow skin aging, or simply to encourage a beautiful, glowing complexion, these plants are extremely effective. Try integrating the nutritive herbs into your diet on a regular basis. Start cooking with more garlic, ginger, and cayenne. Spend a week or so once in awhile drinking cleansing teas. Nature has provided all of these herbs for healthy skin; there is no reason not to take advantage of them.
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Weed, Susan, S. "Healing Wise." (Ash Tree Publishing, 1989).
Hoffmann, David. "The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies." (Element Books, 1996).
photo by James Bowe (CC/flickr) <http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesrbowe/3513595072/>
photo by Shandi lee Cox (CC/flickr) <http://www.flickr.com/photos/shandilee/4800438606/>
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