There are so many healing herbs for skin we’d have to write the world’s longest blog post to talk about them all. But there are a few superstars of the herb world that we want to tell you about, because we use them abundantly in Mukti Organic Skincare products. A herb is any plant with leaves, seeds or flowers used for flavouring, food, medicine or perfume.
Each of the following herbs has been used throughout history to heal just about every skin condition there is. They are all tried and tested for their excellent ability to soothe, heal, rejuvenate, moisturise and balance the natural oils in your skin and hair.
Calendula has long been regarded as one of the safest and most effective herbs for skin. It is wonderfully healing for chapped, irritated and inflamed skin, rashes (it’s wonderful for nappy rash), dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, age spots, stretch marks, varicose veins, corns, warts, calluses, bruises, sprains, burns, ulcers, bites and stings. The oil soluble components including the essential oil are especially good at stimulating wound healing. Distillate of calendula can help soothe mouth sores and hemorrhoids. The petals of calendula are antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and immune stimulating. Calendula’s healing properties come from its high levels of carotenoids, and it also contains oil soluble sterols that plump up the skin. Some of the products we use it in are our Balancing Facial Creme and of course our luscious Calendula Creme.
Horsetail is also a healing herb for skin, and as it’s an astringent, it has a firming and tightening action on the skin. It can be effective in the treatment of acne as it helps eliminate excess oil from skin and will also help with oily hair. Horsetail has a very high silica content, a constituent of collagen. Collagen keeps your skin youthful and supple, so horsetail is one of the important anti-aging herbs for skin, and can help with thinning hair, sagging, loose or rough skin, wrinkles and premature aging. It words to bind blood vessels together, so skin stays evenly textured, and it also has antibacterial properties.
Lavender, like chamomile, is one of nature’s essential herbs for skin nourishment and healing. There are over 20 species and many subspecies in the Lavendula genus. Acne, eczema, dermatitis, insect bites, burns… you name it, lavender can help. Lavender essential oil not only smells divine, it is an antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory, helping skin to heal and renew itself. The scent of pure lavender essential oil can be very calming, and a couple of drops massaged into the temples can help relieve a headache. You can calm restless children at bedtime or soothe them when frightened by nightmares by putting a couple of drops of lavender oil on the collar of their pyjamas, or add it to their evening bath. Certified organic lavender hydrosol is the first ingredient listed on the label in our Roll-on Deodorant and is also in our Floral Hydrating Mist Toner, among other Mukti products.
Lemongrass is an astringent herb, which constricts the skin, helping to minimise pores and limit oil secretions, which makes it an effective ingredient for skincare products aimed at treating oily skin and acne. Its astringent quality also gives it a temporary skin-firming effect. It is an excellent skincare ingredient as it contains anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties, and it can also help prevent skin infections. It’s also a fungicidal, which means it can heal fungal infections on the skin. You can infuse lemongrass leaves in boiling water to make a facial steam, which opens the pores and clears pimples and blackheads. Follow the treatment by splashing cold water over your face to close the pores. It’s beautifully refreshing sipped as a tea, and it gives a lovely, fresh scent to any skincare product it’s added to — in aromatherapy it’s used as a mood lifter.
7. Gotu kola
Over 500 species of nettle grow worldwide, and it is a common weed in many countries, however few people are aware of the valuable medicinal and healing properties of the plant. It contains a very rich mineral content, being high in calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, chlorine, sulphur, copper and silica, which is essential to cell rejuvenation and youthful skin. Another of the astringent herbs for skin, nettle can help balance out oily skin and hair. It’s a brilliant addition to cleansers, such as our Gentle Foaming Cleanser, as it cleanses without stripping natural oils from the skin and hair, making it an excellent acne treatment. It deep cleans the pores and helps to remove dirt that builds up and causes blackheads, and it can help clean out infected pores that lead to whiteheads. Added to shampoo, it can help clear up a dry scalp and treat dandruff.
Burdock grows as a weed in North America but is native to Europe and Northern Asia, and can produce excellent results in the treatment of eczema, psoriasis and acne. It has not been studied for its use in skincare as much as some of the other herbs we’ve discussed, but it is known to be an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and an antioxidant. Recent studies show it contains phenolic acids, quercetin and luteolin, which are all powerful antioxidants. Burdock is a blood cleanser and can be used to treat dandruff, bites, boils, cysts, bruises, dermatitis. Made into an ointment or a hot poultice, it can provide relief from burns, skin eruptions and wounds.
10. Aloe Vera
Last but certainly not least, is the amazing aloe vera. Certified organic aloe vera forms the basis of our entire range, so we are obviously big fans. Humans have used aloe vera for skin treatment for over 5000 years. Papyrus texts from Ancient Egypt showed Cleopatra and Nerfertiti bathed in aloe juice to retain their youthful and beautiful skin, while modern research has shown the tremendous healing powers of aloe vera when used both externally and internally. Aloe vera has six antiseptic agents (sulphur, lupeol, salicylic acid, cinnamic acid, urea nitrogen and phenol), which provide antimicrobial activity. Researchers have found aloe vera applied to skin has the ability to penetrate the skin’s layers and reach the deepest body tissues. You can apply the gel straight from the leaf to burns and scalds, insect bites and stings and it’s especially soothing for sunburn. Burn clinics have found that aloe vera is 50% more effective for burn treatment than other remedies. When applied to wounds, aloe can quickly stop bleeding and the antibacterial action of aloe stops inflammation. Men can use the gel from an aloe leaf as an after-shave lotion and for a quick and soothing treatment for razor cuts. Due to its incredible healing and rejuvenating properties for skin, we use certified organic aloe vera leafe juice in most of our products. You can read more about it in this blog post.