Herbs for Collagen
Healthy skin and connective tissue need collagen, a natural protein produced by the body. Collagen production naturally declines as you age. While there are a number of skin care products that can target collagen externally, certain herbs can help internally in the process of producing, maintaining and repairing collagen. Consult your doctor before taking any herbal supplements, especially if you are taking prescription medications.
Animal studies show that aloe helps to heal wounds by increasing collagen production, according to the University of Colorado-Denver. When aloe is applied topically, collagen production may increase more than 90 percent.
The herb bilberry helps stabilize collagen. It also has antioxidant properties and is used for certain circulatory disorders. Bilberry may also help with diarrhea.
The University of Maryland Medical Center reports research indicating topical application of calendula cream helps to heal wounds. Researchers believe calendula helps the body produce collagen. Creams or ointments containing calendula may be applied several times daily. UMMC advises not to put calendula cream on an open wound without a doctor's supervision.
Eucommia is a natural source of plant collagen, according to Yoga Journal. It can help strengthen the knees and lower back and can be used to prevent and repair injury to joints.
Hawthorn is another herb that helps to stabilize collagen. Hawthorn also produces a mild diuretic effect and dilates blood vessels. It is often used by individuals with high blood pressure, angina or congestive heart failure. The University of Chicago warns that its side effects can include a drop in blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmia.
The herb horsetail is rich in silica, which the body needs to produce collagen and to repair other connective tissues. According to the University of Virginia Health System, horsetail also strengthens bones by helping the body to utilize calcium.
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