16 plants and herbs for boosting health and beauty

Taking care of yourself is sometimes just a matter of going to the health food store for some herbs and knowing how to use them. Here's a list of 16 plants and herbs that you can use to look and feel amazing.

16 plants and herbs for boosting health and beauty

A natural approach to fresh skin, hair and scent

  1. Nettle. An astringent herb that helps cleanse skin and speed healing. Use it in homemade skin and hair tonics and bath soaks for its stimulating properties.
  2. Olive. Extra-virgin olive oil is a good choice for homemade beauty care products, though it has a distinctive smell. Choose pure olive oil if you prefer no fragrance.
  3. Parsley. Parsley tea makes an excellent mouthwash and anti-freckle lotion. Pulp it in a food processor to add to tonics, toners and skin cleansers.
  4. Peppermint. Drink it as a tea with spearmint to freshen the breath. Once cooled, the tea can be used as a refreshing toner or blended with other ingredients to make a cleanser, hair rinse or foot bath.
  5. Potato. Mashed and cooled, it can be used as an intensive moisturizing treatment and facial mask that is particularly suitable for dry complexions. It may also be used to soothe swollen eyelids and sunburn.
  6. Rose. Use the oil in homemade perfumes and bath splashes, face masks, hand lotions and hair rinses. Rosewater is an excellent mouthwash and a soothing and softening remedy for dry skin.
  7. Rosemary. With its refreshing, stimulating qualities, rosemary is useful in facial steams, bath splashes and foot baths. The leaves can be made into a useful remedy for dandruff and a wonderful tonic for hair.
  8. Sage. Use a tea made from sage leaves as an antiseptic gargle and to strengthen gums. It darkens hair naturally and has strong deodorant properties.
  9. Savory. The leaves are sometimes used by herbalists for their mildly astringent and antibacterial properties. The essential oil is useful in skin toners and fresheners, particularly for troubled skin.
  10. Sesame. In oil form, sesame can be used in a variety of nourishing skin treatments. As it is very fine-textured and light, it has excellent lubricating qualities and makes a good base oil for massages.
  11. Sorrel. Better known as a salad herb, sorrel also has strong antiseptic properties. Apply a cooled tea as a treatment for troubled skin or acne.
  12. Southernwood. Long cultivated as a medicinal and cosmetic herb, southernwood makes a soothing bath additive and a stimulating hair tonic or after-shampoo rinse.
  13. Strawberries. Being mildly astringent, strawberries are a refreshing natural cosmetic for cleansing and toning the skin. Fresh strawberries contain an acid that whitens teeth.
  14. Tarragon. The essential oil is thought to be helpful in combating a variety of skin conditions, acting as a tonic without being an irritant.
  15. Thyme. Strongly antiseptic, thyme is useful in gargles and mouthwashes. Cooled and strained, you can use a thyme infusion to make a refreshing skin tonic and mild astringent, as well as a stimulating bath additive.
  16. Witch hazel. An alcohol-free toner good for dry complexions, witch hazel tightens the skin, has antiseptic properties and promotes blood circulation. It also contains tannins, which help soothe and heal pimples.

Next time you are looking for new skin, hair or scent products to try, why not consider a natural approach – you'll be amazed at what plants and herbs can do for you!

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