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Medicinal Herbs & Skin Care

Medicinal Herbs & Skin Care Medicinal Herbs & Skin Care

Overview

In today's world, many of the latest and greatest skin care products can contain a very old remedy: herbs. While herbs have been used for a variety of reasons for many years, it has been only recently that scientists, researchers and dermatologists have begun to investigate the uses of these herbs for modern uses in skin care regimens and include them in commercial products. More research has been focused on how these herbs work, and what the best uses of each individual herb may be.

Comfrey

Comfrey is a medicinal herb that is normally used to reduce inflammation whenever you get a sprain or broken bone, states the University of Maryland Medical Center. Comfrey's roots and leaves contain allantoin, which assists in new skin cell growth as well as reduces inflammation. Historically, it was not uncommon to apply a comfrey ointment or compress to the surface of the skin to speed healing for bruises, pulled muscles and ligaments, fractures, sprains and strains.

German Chamomile

German chamomile has been used for thousands of years to treat certain skin conditions like abscesses, psoriasis, eczema, minor first-degree burns and acne, explains UMMC. The Egyptians, Romans and Greeks all praised this herb's medicinal properties. Today, German chamomile is used to speed wound healing and reduce inflammation, as well as in cream form to relieve irritated skin. Research is currently under way to explore the herb's antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties as well as its use for eczema treatments.

Aloe

Many people know that aloe, the spiky green plant with the oozing center, can be directly applied to a sunburn or first-degree burn. However, aloe has also been used for wounds and skin irritations for many thousands of years in addition to burns, states UMMC. Today, this medicinal herb can be spotted in a variety of cosmetics and skin lotions and is known for its calming properties -- not just calming of the skin, but the calming of pain as well, as aloe contains compounds that decrease pain. UMMC states that aloe also stimulates skin growth and repair. There is some evidence to show that aloe may help psoriasis; more research is needed to establish this herb as a treatment for this condition, however.

Gotu Kola

Gotu kola has many names: centella, thick-leaved pennywort, Indian pennywort and white rot, to name a few. Whatever you call it, this medicinal herb has been used topically as a way to aid in healing wounds and reducing the appearance of scars. You will want to talk to your doctor prior to including this herb into your skin care regimen, as it may elicit an allergic reaction.

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