Aromatic Essentials loves Organic Herbs! I grow them, harvest them, distil and infuse them in natural oils. The oils/extracts are included in all skincare products. They benefit skin and health in multiple ways, such as ease skin rashes and flare-ups, promote healing, contain antioxidant properties which are anti-aging, rejuvenating, cell renewing and produce amazing results for all skin types. Some skincare manufacturers might use a teaspoon for herbal extracts, I use a cup. Well, why not? I want to offer the BEST products, and herbs make that happen.
Natural Herbal Skincare Favourites
Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
is a wonderful herb which has anti inflammatory, soothing and healing properties for all kinds of skin conditions. It has been known to assist people with eczema, psoriasis, dry flaky skin, irritated rashes and sores. It has a long history of use as a wound healing, skin soothing botanical. It is most often used topically for lacerations, abrasions, and skin infections. Calendula cream is a useful and versatile product to keep in the first-aid kit or fridge. In addition to treating minor cuts and abrasions, the balm is great for chapped lips and nappy rash. It is the “Grannies Magic Cream”.
Common uses of Calendula
- Varicose veins
- Leg Ulcers
- Insect bites
Self-help uses reported by Andrew Chevallier in The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants include:
- acne and boils
- athlete’s foot
- bites and stings
- breast tenderness and sore nipples
- nappy rash
- digestive infections
- inflamed skin rashes
- nettle rash
- varicose veins
- wounds and bruises
“…Calendula is rich in carotenoids that help to nourish the skin and even has small amounts of salicylic acid (the active ingredient in aspirin) that helps to reduce the pain…” Dana Ullman .
Calendula Precautions and Warnings
Do not apply any fat-based ointments, including calendula cream, to wounds that are oozing or weeping; use watery preparations only, such as calendula tea, and allow the area to air dry completely between applications. On recently stitched wounds, wait until stitches have been removed and scabs have formed before applying calendula ointments or other calendula preparations. An exception would be a very brief and light application of calendula tea applied without any rubbing or friction. Calendula should not be taken internally during pregnancy.
Side Effects of Calendula
Fortunately, no side effects are commonly reported; Calendula is considered safe and non-toxic.
Chamomile oil (Anthemis nobilis)
The therapeutic properties of Roman chamomile oil are analgesic, anti-spasmodic, antiseptic, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-infectious, anti-depressant, anti-neuralgic, antispasmodic, bactericidal, carminative, sedative and nervine. Calms acne, eczema, rashes, wounds, dermatitis, dry and itchy skin and other allergic conditions in general. Chamomile is an anti-inflammatory herb and thus works well as a soother for a variety of skin irritations, including hemorrhoids, eczema, psoriasis, cuts, bruises, sunburn and blisters. Chamomile is also proven to calm the nerves, relax the mind and body and promote sleep. Considered safe and beneficial for children and dogs.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
Comfrey contains Allantoin. Allantoin is a natural soothing, anti-irritant, and skin protectant that increases the water content of the extracellular matrix which provides structural support to cells and connective tissue. Allantoin has also been reported to increases the smoothness of the skin; promotes cell replication; and promotes the healing of wounds, burns, and scars. Our skin naturally stops producing allantoin around age 20.
Research seems to bear out the claims for the healing properties of comfrey leaf. In one major European study, an ointment based on comfrey root proved more effective at relieving both pain and swelling in 142 patients with sprained ankles. In another study with over 300 participants showed that comfrey leaf treatments of varying types (ointments, salves, compresses and other topical applications), were very effective in treating eczema, dermatitis, viral skin infections and ulcers. More recent research in the United States has shown that allantoin, one of comfreys main constituents, breaks down red blood cells, which could account for its ability to help heal bruises and contusions.
With regards to the warnings that comfrey can cause cancer and liver disease, most herbal practitioners point out that those results were from studies that isolated the pyrrolizidine alkaloids and fed or injected them into animal subjects in doses far higher than any typical usage of comfrey leaf, and that comfrey leaf has been regularly ingested by thousands of people around the world without reported ill effects. Comfrey root is used to relieve pain from blunt injuries, promote healing of broken bones, sprains and bruises, reduce swelling and oedemia, and encourage the rapid and healthy regrowth of skin and tissue cells. A strong infusion of the leaves and/or roots can be used as a skin wash to relieve irritation and promote healing.
The Allantoin contained within comfrey may help speed the healing of psoriasis patches, and may reduce the frequency of flare-ups.
CAUTION: There is some debate on the safety of internal consumption of this herb – mostly the root, due to the fact that it contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids which have been linked to liver cancer. Because comfrey may contain PAs, which have caused cancer and liver damage in animal studies, and because the root contains it in higher concentration than the leaves, internal use is not suggested. However I have met some individulas who eat a comfrey leaf daily, and swear by it’s magic. Who knows? Comfrey should also not be used by pregnant or nursing women as effects are still unclear.