Beautifying Herbs to Add to Your Routine
- Written By:Bobbi Brown
- Photography:Jon Paterson
Herbs have been used for beauty for centuries. Herbalists Summer Ashley Singletary and Sarah Kate Benjamin of the Great Kosmic Kitchen are experts in the art of herbal remedies. They believe in incorporating herbs into smoothies, teas, and facial care products to reap their health and beauty benefits daily. Here are six herbs to start working into your routine.
Turmeric, Curcuma longa
PLANT PARTS USED: Rhizome
WHAT IT DOES: This bitter and astringent herb has a long history of use in ancient Ayurvedic practices and is known to treat digestive disorders, skin infections, and inflammation. It increases bile production, which helps with the breakdown of fats during digestion. To use it as a skin tonic, mix turmeric powder into a warm cup of organic whole dairy milk or milk alternative (commonly called golden milk). Adding a pinch of black pepper helps activate turmeric’s healing properties for skin and inflammation.
Nettle, Urtica dioica
PLANT PARTS USED: Leaves, seeds, and root
WHAT IT DOES: Nettle is a nourishing tonic herb that feeds the entire body. This plant is packed with vitamins and minerals including calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, and vitamins C and B. Nettle helps with eczema and seasonal allergies and promotes joint health. The fresh leaves can be enjoyed as a tea or chopped and cooked as a green in frittatas, soups, or stir-fries.
Red Clover, Trifolium pratense
PLANT PARTS USED: Flowers
WHAT IT DOES: Red clover works to support the body’s natural systems of detoxification. It is a great herb to help with chronic respiratory issues or inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. This tiny purple wildflower also holds an abundance of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C. Recent studies have identified isoflavones (compounds that act like estrogen in the body) in red clover that can help women with hormone imbalances and menopausal symptoms. Try making a tea of this tasty herb to sip and enjoy, or use the tea externally, as a wash or facial steam, for extra skin support.
Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale
PLANT PARTS USED:Leaves and roots
WHAT IT DOES: One of the weeds most revered by herbalists, this bitter and delicious green can be eaten for various health benefits. The fresh, young, toothed leaves are high in vitamins and minerals. Add them to your favorite pesto recipe for a medicinal kick, slice them into your salad greens, lightly cook them in olive oil or butter, use them to garnish a soup, or eat them on their own with salt, pepper, lemon, and feta. The roots are often ingested for their bitter flavor, which stimulates the liver and helps with digestion. You can also use the plant’s dried roots with chicory and medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, combining them with hot water as an herbal coffee substitute to support the body’s natural systems of detoxification. Our favorite handcrafted blend is Reishi Roast by Farmacopia, or you can source herbs in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs to craft your own herbal beauty blend.
Burdock, Arctium lappa
PLANT PARTS USED: Primarily rootand seeds
WHAT IT DOES: Otherwise known as “gobo,” burdock is a cooling, alkalizing plant rich in iron, magnesium, and manganese. It targets the liver and helps treat stagnant conditions of the blood, and it is great for clearing skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Use the fresh roots in soups, add them to stir-fries, pickle them, or infuse them into apple cider vinegar.
Calendula, Calendula officinalis
PLANT PARTS USED: Flowers
WHAT IT DOES: Oils infused with calendula flowers can be used in soothing salves and creams or applied directly on the skin to address dermatitis, psoriasis, or eczema. Calendula is also known to aid in the speedy healing of wounds. (It was used on wounded soldiers in World War I.) Try adding these vibrant beauties to salads, herbal butters, and facial steams, or create your own calendula-infused facial oil for brighter, calmer skin. This can be done by filling a jar halfway with dried calendula flowers and topping it off with almond or sesame oil. Then seal the jar and set it on a sunny windowsill for four to six weeks. Once the petals are strained out, you can use this infused oil to nourish the skin and promote a vibrant complexion.
This story originally appeared in Beauty From the Inside Out by Bobbi Brown.