herbal skin care from www.glenbrookfarm.com

How does what you put on your skin affect you? What herbs should be used externally and when and for what reasons? These questions are important and asked often. We will make an attempt to help sort this out and explain why we use a particular herb....

Arnica : 
This herb is considered an anti-inflammatory. It is best used where there is swelling from bruises and sprains, cartilage stress and rheumatoid arthritis. Arnica is not taken internally as it can be toxic, although there are safe homeopathic remedies . Just don't buy loose arnica and consume it. It is not to be used on broken skin

Aloe: 
The virtues of aloe vera is well known. Aloe promotes healing of burned skin either by the sun, fire,chemical or x-ray. The active ingredients in aloe is called Aloin. Aloin consists of vitamins, minerals, silicon, iron, enzymes, amino acids, trace sugars.

Alkanet root:
This was used centuries ago to help heal deep wounds and skin ulcers. Today it is used to color wines and soaps.

Annatto:
This is a seed and is used to color soaps and ointments a yellow-orange color. They are a deep brick red color and are used to make rice yellow.

Borage:
A poultice of borage leaves is an excellent choice to reduce swelling from inflammation

Calendula:
pronounced ca-lynn-jew-la. What a powerhouse herb this is or flower petal I should say. This has been used in ointments and oils and teas for hundreds of years. It can also be added to handcrafted soaps to provide texture and beauty. Calendula is best suited for healing ointments and infusions or tinctures for any kind of skin problem from wounds to frostbite, burns, boils, bruises, sprains. This petal of power has a strong antibiotic, anti-fungal effect on germs. A study done at National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland Or. showed calendula tincture to be as effective as bleach in killing germs, but it is not toxic or harsh, nor will it burn the skin. 

Chamomile:
This is another useful herb for the natural beauty. Instead of drinking the tea rinse your face with the tea to give the skin a healthy soft glow. Blondes can use the tea as a hair rinse also to add shining highlights to the hair.
This makes a good mouth rinse for teething infants and has good antiseptic properties. Chamomile is another good herb to add to herbal soaps to give texture and healing properties.

Chickweed:
This herb brings relief from chronic itching caused by eczema, and psoriasis and other rashes. It is also used in poultices to help pull toxins from a wound. According to Mike Tierra in "Way of Herbs" "Chickweed is particularly useful for reducing excess fat, having also mild diuretic and laxative properties when taken internally." Good deal, stop the itch and lose weight too!

Cleavers:
While doing research for this article I found an interesting statement about Cleavers. It helps to tighten loose old wrinkled skin, I'm heading to the herb cabinet right now. You are suppose to lay a wet compress of cleavers tea on the old skin 3 times a day for 10 minutes and it will take two weeks for this to work. Cleavers is best used on skin conditions that are dry like Psoriasis or wrinkles.