A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.
Herbs For Beauty
There are several documentations that prove that different herbs have been used as cosmetics or beauty aids throughout the world and ever since history has been recorded. According to records available, in ancient times, the Egyptians used plant extracts to redden their lips and cheeks, outline their eyes as well as to massage and cologne their bodies. Women, in ancient times, applied the pulverized leaves and seeds of herbs on their face, hair and all over their bodies to make them appear more attractive and beautiful. They also consumed tonics prepared with herbal extracts and topically applied the oils extracted from the herbs for various types of body massages. The Romans also applied face packs prepared with herbs and soaked in baths perfumed with flowers. It may be noted that the fundamental formula for preparing cold creams dates back to the Greek physician Galen in the second century A.D.
In India, Ayurveda has also been endorsing the use of herbs for beauty and healthy skin for more than 5,000 years now. However, the fact remains that till the production of herbal cosmetics on a mass scale and commercially became prevalent during this century, majority of the herbal beauty products were prepared in small measures at home using various natural ingredients. Despite the commercial production of herbal beauty products, the skill of preparing them in the kitchen continues to thrive. Till today, several people favour making their herbal cosmetic products at home, since it not only helps to save money, but at the same time ensures that the ingredients being used are safe, natural and unadulterated. Nevertheless, the main benefit of preparing herbal cosmetics products by yourself is that you are able to try-out the ingredients to discover the amalgamations that are most suitable for you. You can also find which combination is most excellent for your skin and hair and also the aroma that is most pleasing to you.
The best part of preparing the herbal beauty care products at home is that you are able to freely obtain all the ingredients required for preparing skin lotions, facials, shampoos, rinses, conditioners, herbal soaps and aromatic baths from the market. Besides shops exclusively selling herbal products, you may get them from several drugstores and supermarkets too. What you are not able to get from these places can be obtained from a adequately stocked herbal store or a specialty druggist.
Here are some tips for those who desire to make herbal beauty products by themselves at home. It is important to use meticulously hygienic utensils and containers when you are preparing herbal products in your kitchen. It is a fact that most of the herbal beauty products that you prepare at home will have a comparatively less shelf life than those that are manufactured as well as available commercially. Usually, lotions and creams that are prepared with essential oils and different refined herbal concentrates will remain safe for several weeks, provided they are stored in a refrigerator. Similarly, vinegars as well as soaps prepared from herbal resource will last even longer. However, if you are preparing any shampoo, rinse, facial or any other beauty product using herbal tea or decoction, they need to be discarded or disposed of after three to four days if you are not using them.
For preparing beauty products, one can make use of herbs both in its original or compound form. Herbs are known to work against the impurities produced by our body internally as well as the external toxins. In addition, they provide nourishments to our body making it look healthier as well as glow. There are a number of herbs that offer natural and unblemished remedy to our skin by nourishing it from inside resulting in its internal advancement.
Below is a brief account of a few herbs that are extensively used in beauty care and, hence, are extremely popular. Details regarding their use presented below would be helpful for you.
Primarily turmeric is used to ensure good health. Face masks prepared with turmeric are widespread in the market, especially beauty parlors, and they are very popular for their skin-friendly healing that helps to avoid bacterial contagions. In fact, turmeric pastes are effective in curing pigmentation as well as sustaining the pH factor. Turmeric paste is regularly applied on the face, the neck and all over the body to improve skin complexion and its brightness.
Neem is basically a cleansing herb. In addition, this herb also helps in getting rid of foul body smell, curing acne, psoriasis as well as eczema. Often, neem is also used for treating general hair problems, such as dandruff. This herb is available in various forms in the market - neem powder, neem oil as well as neem pills. People often consume crushed or pulverized neem leaves with water with a view to get gleaming skin. The ancient stream of Indian herbal medicine Ayurveda uses the bitter leaves of neem to neutralize the high sugar levels in the bloodstream, which are known to be the basic reason for numerous skin complaints. In addition, the essential oil extracted from neem seeds is basically the preferred item for cleansing hair and its nourishment.
Beauty care products prepared with rosemary are used for three different purposes - health of the scalp, treating skin complaints and hair treatment. Using this herb makes our skin look refreshing as it invigorates and rejuvenates the dead cells. The essential oil obtained from rosemary is used for massaging the scalp with a view to prevent untimely loss of hair. In addition, several lotions, shampoos and other hair care products that contain rosemary help to nourish our hair. Rosemary extracts are also used to manufacture soaps and perfumes.
Basil is beneficial for treating blemishes and black spots on the body. In addition, the antiseptic action of basil makes its very effective as an herbal facial. Dark spot appear on our body when there is a deficiency in supply of nourishments to the skin. When this happens, prepare a concoction by blending basil, turmeric powder and rose water and apply it topically on the affected areas. In addition, basil facilitates in the treatment of black marks on the skin and also in making the skin appear naturally glowing and healthy.
Like many other herbs, chamomile too is primarily used to treat skin complaints, eye problems and for health care. Chamomile is used in several forms - oil, face masks, body lotion, cream and the herb's stem, for skin care. Precisely speaking the oil obtained from chamomile is used to get rid of acne and other comparable skin ailments. Chamomile is known to possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Applying a gentle concentration of chamomile and water to the eye helps to remove the exhausted appearance instantly and makes the eyes look glowing and shining. Chamomile hair care products are preferred to others when malnourished hair requires treatment.
Aloe vera is exhaustively used for skin care and in various forms - soaps, shampoos, sunscreens, gels and so on. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the remedial use of aloe vera as non-toxic herb to heal skin burns. Aloe vera is used to treat different skin conditions, such as scars and skin irritations. The quick comforting properties of this herb basically help to heal skin problems as well as soothe the skin. In addition to being used for skin care, aloe vera is also extensively used to treat premature hair loss.
Evening primrose is primarily as well as comprehensively used for hair care, especially to maintain healthy and deep rooted hair. The oil obtained from the evening primrose herb is used in preparing synthesized hair care products. In effect, primrose possesses an excellent reputation for healing common skin ailments. The herb has an anti-irritant impact on the skin and also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. These two are responsible for the extensive use of the herb in manufacturing several body care lotions and especially moisturizers. In addition, evening primrose is known to be very effective in maintaining the health of our nails and hair.
Seaweed is very useful for maintaining the health of the skin as well as healing various skin ailments. When seaweed is used for skin care, it works by pulling out the dirt and impurities from the skin and cleansing it naturally. Seaweed also encloses a number of minerals, which are useful for nourishing our hair and treating inflamed scalp conditions. This herb is also used in various face masks since it contains sufficient minerals and vitamins. The gels enclosed in seaweed are used in the manufacture of an assortment of cosmetics and conditioners. Seaweed is also used in various other forms, including shampoos, mineral bath, creams and powder face wash.
While henna is primarily used for nourishing the hair, it is also applied onto the skin in a number of forms. A paste (mehendi) prepared with a powdery extract from the henna plant is applied to the hair for its nourishment and glow. The henna paste is subsequently blended with the white of an egg and applied systematically for dense and shiny hair. An ideal herbal hair conditioner can be prepared using henna powder, coffee powder, amla powder and onion peels. In addition, people also use henna to color their bodies - basically the hands and feet. Some people also make temporary tattoos with henna.
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