Western Herbalism

Herbal skin care

Skin care is not a topic of recent times; it has been in practice since ancient times, when herbal skin care was probably the only way to take care of skin. However, skin care has transformed in a big way. Herbal skin care routines have been replaced by synthetic/chemical-based skin care routines. The herbal skin care recipes which once used to be common place are not so popular today (and even unknown to a large population). This transformation from herbal skin care to synthetic, can probably be attributed to two things – our laziness (or just the fast pace of lives) and the commercialisation of skin care. Even herbal skin care products have been commercialised. These commercial herbal skin care products have to be mixed with preservatives in order to increase their shelf-life, hence making them less effective than the fresh ones made at home. However, it seems that things are changing fast and more people are now opting for natural and herbal skin care routines. But still, none want to make them at home and hence the commercial market of herbal skin care products is on the rise.

So what are these herbs or herbal skin care mechanisms?

Aloe vera, which is an extract from Aloe plant, is one of the best examples of herbal skin care product. Freshly extracted aloe vera is a natural hydrant that helps in soothing skin. It also helps in healing cuts and treating sun burns.

A number of herbs are known to possess cleansing properties. Dandelion, chamomile, lime flowers and rosemary herbs, are a few examples of such cleansers. Their herbal skin care properties get invoked when they are combined with other herbs like tea.

Antiseptics are another important part of Herbal skin care. Lavender, marigold, thyme and fennel are good examples of herbs that are known to possess antiseptic properties. Lavender water and rose water also form good toners.

Tea plays an important part in herbal skin care. Tea extracts are used for treatment of skin that has been damaged by UV radiation.

Oils prepared from herbal extracts present another means of herbal skin care. Tea tree oil, Lavender oil, borage oil and primrose oil are some popular oils used in herbal skin care. Some fruit oils (e.g. extracts from fruits like banana, apple and melon) find use in shower gels (as a hydrating mix)

Homeopathic treatments and aromatherapies also come under the umbrella of herbal skin care remedies.

Herbal skin care is good not only for the routine nourishing of skin but also for treatment of skin disorders like eczema and psorasis. Most herbal skin care products don’t have any side effects (the most important reason for preferring them over synthetic products) Moreover, herbal skin care products can be easily made at home, hence making them even more attractive. So, herbal skin care is the way to go. However, this does not mean that you totally discard the synthetic products. Some people go to the extent of debating with their dermatologist, if he/she suggests a synthetic product. You should accept the fact that some skin orders might need usage of clinically proven non-herbal skin care products.

How to Make a Herbal Tea

Part of the art of herbal medicine is to knowing what technique to use in preparing the remedies.
We will show you perhaps the simplest way of making a herbal remedy that almost everybody has already done before, maybe without realizing it. We are making a medicinal herbal infusion (tea) using dried herbs. If you want to replace them for fresh herbs, please keep in mind that you use 3 times as much for the fresh one. That means 1 teaspoon dried for 3 teaspoon fresh. This is because of the higher water content of the fresh herb. The tea may be drunk hot or cold.
If you normally are used to put milk or sugar in your tea, please try this first without, if you don’t like it, sweeten with licorice root or honey. Try to avoid sugar, especially white sugar because this doesn’t help you to relax.

Because of the medicinal qualities a herb has we have to be careful and should only take a herbal tea for medicinal reason, it is not meant to be drunken because we like it so much.
The best tea you can drink for pleasure are: white tea, green tea and redbush.

Standard dosage medicinal use: Take 3 times a day a teacup. The dosage for children and elderly people should be less. For elderly people use half the dosage (this because the metabolism slows down with age) and children under two years a fifth of the adult dose and let this slowly up to a quarter for children of 3 or 4 years (depending on the weight of the child), a third for children of 6 or 7 years, half of children aged 8 or 9 years, until the full dose in puberty.

1. Take a china or glass teapot which has been warmed and put one teaspoonful of the dried herb or herb mixture into it for each cup of tea that you intend to brew.

2. Pour a cup of just boiled water in the teapot for each
teaspoonful of herb that is already in the pot and then
put the lid on. Leave too steep for ten to fifteen minutes.

Introduction to Western Herbalism

Western herbal remedies can help to heal many chronic conditions which conventional drugs help only by relieving symptoms. They are gentle yet powerful healers that can help restore and rebalance both body and mind. They work with your body to promote its healing and, in most cases, have no side effects at all. The benefits of herbs result from the combination of many different active ingredients acting in harmony in each remedy.

Western Herbal medicines work by affecting the organs and systems of the body directly. They are said to have three functions: to cleanse, heal and nourish. Before the body can restore full health, it needs to get rid of chemical and other imbalances. Herbs can be used as diuretics and laxatives to help this re-balancing process. The next step is to use herbs to stimulate the body’s own self-healing powers and attack the cause of illness. Thirdly, herbs can nourish all the different systems and organs of the body.