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  • Writer's pictureJessica Luft

Holistic Skin Care: Herbs and Spices

When it comes to holistic skin care sometimes all a person has to do is look into their spice rack or, if they grow their own herbs, their garden. Humans have known for millennia that different herbs can be astringent or can help the skin hold onto valuable moisture. Some herbs and spices can clear up breakouts and make skin glow with health.


Here are just some herbs and spices to consider for skin care:

Oat Straw

Oat straw is the stem of the oat plant while it’s still green and its sap is milky. It is a great source of silica and calcium and has been used for hundreds of years for skin problems and to correct imbalances in the blood sugar. Oat straw is most often made into tea or extracts and added to food.


Horsetail, whose other name is shavegrass, used to be used as an exfoliant and probably still is in some place. An astringent, horsetail is full of silica that supports the suppleness of the skin. It can be drunk in tea but is often dried, powdered and made into a poultice to put on the skin. It can also be added to a warm bath.


The leaf and seeds of this plant are used for skin health. Alfalfa is full of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is an anti-oxidant that is vital for the health of the skin, hair and nails. Alfalfa is also full of necessary trace minerals, vitamin K, chlorophyll and amino acids.


Nettle leaves are excellent when it comes to inflammatory skin diseases, especially in children. They clear up eczema and clean ulcers and wounds. When nettle leaves are used in a tea or tincture, their stinging hairs are neutralized.

Rose Hips

This is the fruit of the rose plant. Extremely rich in vitamin C, it is an all purpose tonic. It can be taken as a tea, as capsules, as part of a mask or in a facial. It also makes an excellent jelly.


Turmeric is derived from the rhizome of a plant that resembles the ginger plant. In a compress, turmeric is used to heal injuries and skin lesions. When it is eaten, it cleanses the blood. This also contributes to the health of the skin.

Irish Moss

Yes, this is carrageenan, that additive that thickens store-bought ice cream. When applied to the skin Irish moss acts as a demulcent, which means it soothes inflamed or irritated skin.

Burdock Root

This herb can also be drunk as a tea or used as a compress for skin problems such as acne and eczema. It soothes boils, bruises, warts and canker sores.


This micro-algae is bought as a dried powder and can be sprinkled on food or mixed with drinks. It is a great source of chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and proteins. It has the ability to cleanse the blood and help circulation promotes skin health.


The aromatic leaves of this herb tones the skin and is especially good for the hair. It stimulates hair follicles and is said to put off the graying of the hair and baldness when used as a shampoo.

Aloe Vera

This herb is famous for its gel, which is used to heal minor burns. Its promotion of rapid cell regeneration helps to heal wounds, rashes, fungal infections and all types of skin problems. Aloe vera can be made into a juice drink.

Yellow Dock Root

Sip as a tea or take in capsule form, this mildly astringent root is rich in iron and can cleanse the blood. This makes it a good choice for skin conditions. Yellow dock root is also used in formulas to treat psoriasis and eczema.

Sasparilla Root

Use the oil of this root externally to heal skin conditions that cause itching and scaling such as eczema and psoriasis. It also is used to treat ringworm, athlete’s foot, acne and other inflammatory skin conditions.

So next time you have a skin condition that just won't seem to go away, your kitchen cupboards may just have what you are looking for.


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