Herbs for a Beautiful Complexion
Start doing away with blemishes, rosacea, wrinkles, and tired skin.
Posted October 30, 2009
Lovely skin starts clean inside and ends clean outside. A balanced, alkaline diet, including 5 - 9 servings daily of fruits and vegetables, adequate rest, fresh air, plenty of sun shine and pure water improve health, digestion, and circulation. The following herbs also improve skin quality.
Trifala, the All-in-One Cleanser/Healer
Trifala Churna (powdered herbs or pills), a powerfully rejuvenating and deep-cleansing herbal powder, contains three fruits suitable for people of all ages. They are amla (Emblica officinalis), bibhitaki (Terminalia belerica), and haritake (Terminalia chebula.) Trifala Churna is a popular cleanser/balancer for a multitude of health and beauty issues. Used daily, it tones and rejuvenates the skin, lungs, liver, and colon. As a gentle cleanser/rejuvenator, you can add 1/4 teaspoon of Trifala powder to hot water as a tea, fill an empty capsule with the powder, or drink a cup of “Get Regular” Yogi Tea from the supermarket twice daily.
Amla cleanses the mouth and strengthens teeth and gums, nourishes the bones and causes hair and nails to grow. It improves eyesight and reduces stomach and colon inflammation. Bibhitake is a tonic to the lungs and improves the voice. It is recommended for cough, sore throat, laryngitis, bronchitis, chronic diarrhea, and parasites. Haritake, sometimes called one of the most important Ayruvedic herbs, feeds the brain and nerves. It is also recommended for cough, asthma, malabsorption, abdominal distention and parasites, tumors, jaundice, heart disease, skin diseases, itching, edema, and nervous disorders. The herb does so many things, especially reduce disease, it is called abhaya--it promotes fearlessness. The combination of these three fruits in Trifala Churna, make it a supreme cleansing and balancing remedy. I recommend 1/4 teaspoon in hot water as a tea twice daily.
Dark circles under the eyes may result from fatigue and allergies. One fine remedy for both is nettle tea. Once a friend sat in my apartment suffering from cat allergies: Her eyes watered and nose became suddenly stuffed up when my cat came near her. I gave my friend a cup of hot nettle tea and she was amazed--no more choking, tearing, and coughing. Eventually, drinking an afternoon pot of nettle tea along with her daily zinc mineral supplement eliminated her allergies and dark circles.
Rosacea (red or purple broken capillaries, complexion roughness and redness, sometimes with tiny blemishes or bumps on the face) seems to affect thin-skinned blonde, blue-eyed women over forty or anyone with excess digestive acidity or an overly spicy diet. Some doctors believe that hormonal factors, including menopause, are indirectly involved. Rosacea is considered by some to be a form of acne. It sometimes feels as though heartburn is rising to spread to the neck and face leaving permanent redness and broken capillaries. The usual western medical treatment is a lifelong dose of daily antibiotics, which risks ruining digestion and eventually energy and blood production.
To help prevent or reverse rosacea, the first thing to do is to reduce intake of hot and spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol, all of which are inflammatory. One beauty specialist especially recommends eating red cabbage to “bring inflammation away from the face towards the stomach and intestines to be eliminated.” Here is a sweet, nourishing, and laxative recipe you can enjoy daily. Fermented foods made with turmeric support vital intestinal fluora that improve skin condition and boost immunity to illness.
Fermented Red Cabbage
1 red cabbage, finely chopped
2 organic apples, sliced
1 raw carrot, sliced
1/4 cup dried raisins
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 tsp. cumin powder
1/4 tsp. fennel powder
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1/4 tsp. Garam Masala powder
up to 1/2 tsp. potassium salt substitute
1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
the juice of 2 lemons
(Optional) sweeten with a few drops of stevia liquid extract
Cut the cabbage and apples into pieces and blanch them for a moment under very hot water. Rinse off the raisins and nuts. Chop or gradually blend all ingredients together in a blender until the cabbage is in small slices. Pack the ingredients tightly into sterilized air-tight glass jars and let it ferment naturally for several days. Avoid using salt or vinegar to make these mild-tasting pickled vegetables because they increase blemishes and acidity. Adjust the spices as needed and enjoy a half cup of fermented foods with protein and starch meals.
One New York plastic surgeon that I asked about acne and rosacea, recommend gentle massage of the affected area in order to increase circulation. The best complexion creams for treating inflammatory complexion problems such as acne or rough, itchy skin include cooling, antibiotic ingredients. A well-known Ayurvedic complexion cream is made by Vicco and contains turmeric and sandalwood oil. It can be applied to clean skin alone or as a makeup base in order to matte a shiny complexion and reduce blemishes by soothing irritated skin.
Letha Hadady, alternative health expert and author, leads walking tours of Asian food and herb markets through New York Open Center. She is the author of many personal transformation books, including Feed Your Tiger: The Asian Diet Secret for Permanent Weight Loss and Vibrant Health. She is widely acknowledged as a top expert on natural health and beauty. Her website is AsianHealthSecrets.com.