For centuries, herbs have been used for their medicinal, culinary and aromatic properties. Herbs add flavor to your favorite dish, garnish chic cocktails, and they’re often essential ingredients in many over-the-counter medications.
When it comes to skin care, these healing herbs also serve a powerful purpose — adding scent, function and healing elements to many of the beauty products you use every day. Since herbs are such an important part of day to day life in both health and beauty, we’ve picked a few varieties to explore in greater detail.
Yellow sweet clover was used by Henry VIII, which led to the common name King’s Clover. The Tudor farmers hated this herb because it overran pasturelands and ruined crops. Throughout history, this healing herb has been used topically for inflammation, ulcers, wounds and rheumatism.
Yellow sweet clover is the star ingredient in our Yellow Sweet Clover Anti-Redness Masque. This herb, along with stone crop, reduces the appearance of red, dry skin, leaving your skin looking radiant, youthful and even in skin tone. Thanks to jojoba oil and calendula, the mask also reduces the appearance of fine lines.
There’s a reason you can find lavender in a variety of tea and night care products. According to Elisa Kosonen, Best Health Magazine, “The oil in its pretty flowers gives the herb a fragrant scent that provides a calming, soothing and sedative effect." In addition to its relaxing, sleep-inducing characteristics, lavender also has natural antiseptic properties, plus it assists in stimulating circulation to support your body’s natural healing functions.
If you’d like to try our products containing this fragrant herb, try our Lavender Age Corrective Concentrate and our Lavender Night Eye Cream. In both products, lavender softens the look of skin by replenishing moisture.
Lavender isn’t the only popular herb that will help you ease into a comfortable state of calm - chamomile is another go-to if you’re looking to relax. In addition to its calming properties, chamomile has regenerative, soothing and repairing qualities that make this daisy-like herb an extremely effective skin care ingredient.
One reviewer, Tracie K., had this to say about the Soothing Chamomile Tonique: “A lovely soothing toner! I bought this Chamomile [Tonique] to use after the Yam & Pumpkin Enzyme Peel. I also often spray it over the top of the Sun Defense Minerals. Its lovely soothing scent is a welcome little spritz any time of day!”
Most commonly known as a favorite cold and flu remedy, echinacea has many other healing benefits that are worth taking advantage of. According to Best Health: “Many studies support echinacea as an aid to enhance the immune system, reduce inflammation and provide antiviral benefits. It’s also particularly useful for lessening the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections, sore throats and congestion.”
This floral healing herb also has the ability to enhance the skin’s natural immunity and protects against environmental stressors. We’d recommend our certified Biodynamic® Echinacea Recovery Cream from our Beyond Organic collection, which helps to prevent the appearance of problem skin. Echinacea, yarrow and evening primrose oil help repair the visible signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. You may also enjoy our Apricot Calendula Nourishing Cream which contains Echinacea. Its formula helps skin appear soft and supple.
The root and leaves of the comfrey plant have been used in traditional medicine in many parts of the world. In Japan, the plant has been harvested and used as a traditional treatment for over 2,000 years. If you have dry, ravaged skin on your lips, our Eminence Organics Rosehip & Lemongrass Lip Balm SPF 15 contains comfrey and was named “Winner of Best Organic Lip Balm with SPF”, thanks to Women's Health Editors Choice Awards in 2019. This lip balm is Infused with organic ingredients like rosehip oil, extra virgin olive oil, lavender and comfrey to moisturize and protect dry lips from harsh climates.
The thyme herb offers more use than acting as a food seasoning. Thyme has antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It’s commonly used as a preservative in foods, cosmetics, and toiletries. As Healthline states, there’s some evidence from a U.K. study that thyme preparation fights pimples better than many popular anti-acne products.
Peppermint is an antioxidant that relaxes the mind, body and skin, thanks to its cooling and refreshing scent. The mint herb is one of oldest medicinal herbs used in European, Chinese and Japanese folk medicine and ointment. If you’re after a stress-relieving aromatic product, the Vanilla Mint Hand Cream and Tea Tree & Mint Hand Cleanser both contain peppermint, as well aloe to soothe the skin. The inclusion of Tea Tree Oil aloe and calming chamomile helps to balance the appearance of your skin.
Last, but definitely not least, rosemary is another must-have herb for your health and well-being. From easing digestive issues, to lowering blood pressure, this nettle-like herb is a powerful healer. It also holds anti-inflammatory and natural astringent properties that help slow the skin’s aging process by eliminating free radical damage.
Our Calm Skin Products contain rosemary to rejuvenate and soothe the skin. Try the Calm Skin Starter Set, four products that come in a woven faux leather cosmetic bag with bamboo zipper. It contains the Calm Skin Chamomile Cleanser, Calm Skin Chamomile Moisturizer, Calm Skin Arnica Masque and Calm Skin Arnica Booster-Serum.
Healthy skin is a reflection of what you feed your body from the inside. Healing herbs like lavender, chamomile, echinacea and rosemary are just a few of the many natural ingredients that you can incorporate into your diet (and skin care routine) for a healthy body and beautiful skin.
What are your go-to healing herbs? Tell us in the comments below.
This article was originally published in March 2015.