Natural Herbs and Plants for Skin Care
Various plant foods and herbs have a revitalizing influence on the blood and circulatory system and act as tonics.
Include these in your diet, especially during the cold winter months when blood flow is always more sluggish. Use these herbs when you need to restore skin's tone and vitality.
Beetroot - Rich in iron, vitamin C and folic acid. A good blood builder. Add beetroot juice to fresh vegetable juices and shred into salads.
Blackcurrants - Powerhouses of vitamin C and minerals. Tone and cleanse the blood. Make a syrup from the fresh berries and drink with pure spring water. Stew with other summer fruits.
Cinnamon - A delicious warming spice. Gently boosts blood circulation and tones the lungs. Sprinkle powdered cinnamon into breakfast cereals, and stew fruits like apple and pear with cinnamon sticks.
Ginger - Warms and stimulates blood flow to the extremities. Grate fresh root ginger into stir-fries and vegetable dishes. Use powdered ginger in baking and sweet puddings.
Ginkgo biloba (maidenhair) - Improves circulation all over the body. Contains flavonoids called ginkgolides that strengthen and protect the blood capillaries. May be helpful in shifting cellulite. Available in supplement form.
Ginseng - One of the so-called 'superior' Chinese medical herbs, ginseng is an adaptogen which ensures tissues receive enough oxygen in times of stress. Strengthens the heart and circulatory system, boosts energy and stamina. Sip three cups of Panax ginseng tea a day until your energy returns.
Prunes and plums - Rich in iron and superb sources of lung-protecting antioxidants. Ideal for breakfasts, snacks and puddings.
Rosemary - An excellent tonic and all round stimulant. Warms and energises the body and strengthens the capillaries that feed the skin. Season dishes with fresh rosemary, sip infusions of the leaves and flowers.
Watercress - Rich in iron, vitamin C, folic acid, beta-carotene. Cleanses and fortifies the blood. Add small quantities to vegetable juice. Sprinkle in salads and add to soups.
Mix together 30g (1oz) each of lavender, thyme, marjoram, rosemary and peppermint, place in a muslin bag and hang from the bath taps to allow water to run over it. An ideal morning pick-me-up.
For face massage - 6 drops of essential oil in 30ml (2 tablespoons) of carrier oil.
For body massage - 12 drops of essential oil in 30ml (2 tablespoons) of carrier oil.
For an energising bath - Dissolve 10 drops of your chosen essential oil in a tablespoon of organic milk and add to the bath.
Energise in the morning to wake your body up and whenever you are in the need of a vitality boost.
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