Four fab herbs for glowing skin | with Lauren Glucina
There are so many beautiful herbs that benefit the skin, a few of my favourites are listed below. The beauty of them, is that they are all common weeds or herbs that you can grow yourself at home or harvest from a nearby park. You can look out for them in prepared herbal creams – or you can get to know them and use a little in your every day cooking.
Chickweed (Stellaria media)
Feminine, ruled by the moon, water element.
Chickweed is a tiny little flowering plant with star shaped leaves, a common garden weed that grows all over the world. Freshly picked and roughly chopped, it is great to add to your salads – such a mild, sweet taste – and extremely nutritious. Chickweed has a cooling effect (referred to as a refrigerant) when applied topically (keep an eye out for it in herbal creams) so it is very soothing on hot and inflamed skin. It has demulcent and astringent actions, meaning it soothes irritated tissues (demulcent) and dries and draws the skin together (astringent). In folk medicine, chickweed is well known for treating warts – its high saponin content helps dissolve them. You crush the fresh leaves and flowers, apply as a poultice, and cover with a band aid. The moon’s influence over this plant helps it soften and nurture.
Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)
Masculine, ruled by Mercury, air element
Red clover is another highly nutritious weed with many uses, but especially so for the skin. Often skin conditions are due to accumulation and stagnation of metabolic wastes under the skin’s surface, and this is what Red Clover goes in and clears for us (this action is referred to as an alterative or depurative). The simplest way to take it is as a tea, but if you can take the time to prepare an overnight infusion, you can use the liquid as a base for your smoothies. I have recently done a post on this – you can read it in depth here.
The planet Mars has a stimulating influence over the plant and his actions, while the air element has a mutable (changeable) quality – so together you can see how it is that this herb helps to stimulate and move the blood.
Calendula / Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis)
Masculine, ruled by the sun, fire element, folk name; Bride of The Sun.
Calendula is an easy plant to grow in your own garden, and is a favourite in Herbal Medicine making for skin conditions. It is used topically for wounds, and for any inflammation of the skin (eczema, psoriasis, itchy skin). At the forefront, it is considered a lymphatic herb (this means it helps clear the lymphatic system) benefiting the skin by clearing away any toxic build up. Look out for it in herbal creams or in herbal teas. The flowers are edible – the petals look great in salads, or you can try out this recipe:
The influence of the sun and the fire element heartens and warms.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
Masculine, ruled by the sun, water element.
Chamomile is another easy plant to grow at home – nothing smells as sweet as a fresh chamomile flower! It pairs really well with Calendula in a herbal cream and also has anti inflammatory actions. If you use it topically like this you will also find it speeds wound healing and helps ease any pain. If you grow your own, pick a handful of the leaves and flowers together and add them to your smoothie.
Images care of Lauren Glucina via Ascension Kitchen
The gorgeous Lauren Glucina is the creator of Ascension Kitchen, she is also a qualified Holistic Health and Wellness Coach, Certified Raw Foods Chef, and current student of Herbal Medicine, here in Australia.
Her philosophy is to simply feed your body and your mind with the purest, simplest foods, and the happiest, most positive thoughts.