Thursday, June 7, 2012

Benefits of Herbs for Hair & Skin

Herbs are very beneficial to use in treating scalp issues, growing healthier longer hair, and in certain cases re-growing hair that has been lost from poor hair braiding installations and chemical relaxer's. Herbal infusions, tintures and spritzes may be taken internally by making herbal teas and drinking them or tinctures to use topically on skin.  Herbal spritzes are also very beneficial and can be used for natural body fragrancing and hair revitalizing.  I've been using them often lately and really love the results.  Less tangles, shine even when my hair is completely dry.  Similar to oil mixing, herbal hair and skin care is great since it provides us with the ability customize our hair care especially to address our individual needs.  Adding dried herbs to your favorite carrier oil in a glass jar that seals air tight for 2-6 weeks is a really great and inexpensive way to make your favorite oil even more therapeutic.  Here are a few root herbs I purchased in both dried and powdered from:
 Burdock Root
[Arctium Lappa]
Do not use if pregnant or lactating. For external use only.

Burdock root is commonly used to improve hair growth, stop hair fall,  while adding  sheen, and strength to the hair.  It can be used as a final rinse in place of conditioner.  When Burdock root is infused with hot distilled water it releases the Burdock root mucilage (slippery plant proteins) & oils which helps to promote effective recovery of scalp irritation, supplying nutritional support to the hair follicles and sebaceous glands thus it promotes natural hair growth.  Burdock root is great for correcting excessivly oily hair as well.  It treats skin issues like seborrhea, acne and eczema. Infusing Burdock root in oil or mixing with hot water and allowing it to steep are great ways to apply this beneficial herb into your hair care regimen. 
Yucca Root
[Yucca Filamentosa]
Yucca has a high content of saponins which makes it a great shampoo and soap in whole plant form or powdered.  It prevents hair loss and cures dandruff.  When used in skin care has been shown to have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial qualities, benefiting dandruff and acne. It's richness in powerful anti-oxidants also makes this herb great for skin and hair care. It slows down the aging process due to its combating effect of free radicals (pollution).  Yucca root has been used for centuries by Native Americans to keep their hair shiny and clean without any harsh chemicals. Use approximately one teaspoon of dried and chopped yucca root for each cup of water. Remember to leave some room in your mug because yucca root foams up when  added to water. Allow the herbal infusion to steep in the hot water (avoid using boiling hot water as it decreases it's effectiveness) for between 15 and 30 minutes and rinse. It may also be combined with stronger herbs like Ginger root.

Dandelion Root
[Taraxacum officinale]
Dandelion Root is especially beneficial in treating those who suffer from hair loss.  Highly rich in iron, this root will treat dandruff, seborrhea, and correct dry hair issues.  It is very useful in treating black eyes, skin spots and discolorations as well.   The leaves are loaded with potassium, gluten, magnesium, niacin, calcium, phosphorus, proteins, resin, iron, sulphur, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E. The leaves are a richer source of vitamin A than carrots! (Vitamin A: it is an antioxidant that aids in the making of healthy sebum in the scalp.) Dandelion root can be infused in water and injested as a tea or used as an herbal hair rinse or added to spritz.



Marshmallow Root Powder
[Althaea officinalis]


Marshmallow root powder is a great hair conditioner that gives kinky curly textured hair "slip" it needs to prevent excessive hair loss during the detangling process.  This herb is highly emollient (moisturizing) and  mucilaginous (moist and soft) which is why it provides slip when added to any conditioning treatment, store bought or do-it yourself mix.  When mixed with apple cider vinegar it makes a great deep conditioning treatment for hair and scalp.  Apply mix to hair and scalp for 5-10 minutes and rinse before the paste dries on the hair.  Follow up with your conditioner of choice and detangle.  You will find it much easier to detangle regardless of what your texture is.

Ginger Root

[Zingiber officinale]

Ginger root has antiseptic properties that are useful in treating dandruff.  It increases scalp cirrculation thus stimulating hair follicles to encourage thicker healthier hair growth.  Rubbing a mix of ginger root powder and extra virgin olive oil or jojoba oil will stop hair loss and aid in regrowing hair as well.  1tbsp of Ginger Root Powder mixed with 1tbsp of oil and massaged into the scalp, leaving it for 30 minutes will cause a warming effect to the scalp. After rinsing shampoo and condition well. If the tingling sensation is too strong you can moderate this formula by making 1tsp of Ginger Root Powder and 1/4 cup of oil leaving it on for 10 minutes instead of 30.  It has been noted that usng fresh cut ginger root trimmed of skin and applied directly to the scalp is the most effective way to regrow hair and prevent future hair loss.





Source: Helpful Herbs for Health and Beauty by Barbara Griggs


HHG!

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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