Healthy Magazine Healthy RGV Issue 117 - Page 32

HEALTHY LIFESTYLE · AUGUST 2018 USING NATURAL HERBS FOR SKIN HEALTH E veryone is familiar with the proverb “beauty is only skin deep,” but unfortunately, when it comes to skin health, the path to beauty actually runs much deeper. There are many factors that influence the luster of our largest organ, including not just what we put on it but what we eat, how much rest we get at night, our stress levels, hormones, acute or chronic illnesses, and so much more! The skin is so responsive that in the era before lab testing, traditional cultures would use changes in the color, tone, and temperature of different areas of the skin as a diagnostic method to make educated guesses at what might be going on inside the body. in the supermarket. As an herb, it is not Knowing that there are so many factors considered to have a very strong action, that can influence skin health, it's no meaning that it is usually taken over wonder that it often leaves people longer periods of time or in large doses. wondering where to begin. After making Two compounds in the oil fraction of as many positive changes as possible, the herb, coixol and coixenolide, have many people feel defeated when they are been found to have moderate anti- unable to find “the answer.” Oftentimes, inflammatory properties and are used a favorable way to build upon other clinically to help with cystic acne. positive lifestyle changes is dietary supplementation using traditional herbal TREE PEONY BARK medicine. (Paeonia suffruticosa) This beauty is the wilder cousin of the But why herbs? Besides the typical horticultural varieties of peony and has a nutrients like vitamins and minerals, beautiful bloom to match. Here, the bark plants produce a spectacular array of is the medicinal component and contains chemical compounds. Plants have it hard, a number of different compounds, being rooted in one spot with only four although the most important for skin organs (roots, stem, leaves, and flowers/ health is paeonol. This cool molecule is a fruit) and still doing all the things we do phenolic compound that has been shown to live. To survive in their environments, in studies to regulate both histamine and plants have to make different chemicals TNF, which gives it anti-inflammatory and to compensate for their lack of bones, antimutagenic effects. This means that muscles, nerves, blood, brains, and so on. this sweet-smelling herb is often a great Take the aloe plant for example, which choice for people suffering from either thrives in full sun and dry soil. In order allergic or autoimmune skin conditions. to do so, our prickly friend produces a number of different compounds with DRAGON'S BLOOD RESIN – water-retaining and anti-inflammatory (Dracaena spp. and properties; compounds that we can Daemonorops spp.) use to soothe our own sun-damaged Several different plants in a couple skin or inflamed bowels. Many of our of genera produce the blood-red sap pharmaceutical medications originally known as dragon’s blood. Although many came from herbs. The benefit of going skin issues can be chronic in nature, the straight to the original source is that properties of the flavans in this resin are you get the natural mix of different best for acute injury and trauma. Applied complementary compounds rather than topically, the powdered resin can stop one ingredient. bleeding, but when taken internally it improves microcirculation. In addition, Here are a few well-researched herbs the flavans are strong antioxidants, that are commonly used in clinical and have antiviral and antibacterial practice to treat various skin conditions: properties when studied in vitro. For those worried that a scrape could turn JOB’S TEARS (Coix lacryma-jobi) into a scar, or for those with circulatory This plant produces a grain that is issues and recurrent ulcers, this is often mistaken for barley, giving it the one of the premier herbs to consider common name of Chinese Pearl Barley supplementing with. INDIGO (Isatis indigotica) This deep-blue powder was once a rare commodity as it was one of the few blue dyes available. Made from the leaves of the isatis plant, this dye is also a concentrated mixture of that plant’s chemical compounds. Indican, indirubin, and glucobrassicins are just some of the many compounds that give indigo a rich blue color, and anti- inflammatory, antimicrobial, and even certain antineoplastic effects. In addition, they stimulate the body’s NK (natural killer) cells to gobble up foreign particles. Several studies have shown that the compounds in indigo exert definite inhibition on the mechanisms underlying psoriasis. This has caused a large market of natural indigo creams and ointments to pop up, but patients must use caution—as little as 3g of indigo is enough to permanently dye an outfit, so they must make sure the clothes they are wearing are already blue! If you have further questions on how herbs ɽٔȁͭѠ)ɕѼ́ЀĸعIi%1%H(ȁ!1Q!d5i%9)ȸAѕȁMѕ͕́)չɔAͥ@)ѽȁ=ɥх5=4)ݡ͕́ѥ́չ́ѡ)ɉɵ䁅ЁI饱ȁ!Ѡ)Qɕѱѽ́ɱ(ɕЁɉ́ɉ՝)ѡЁɽ͕ѼɅ)ѽѵ́ѼݥѠ)ͭѥ̸%ԁȁٕ)́ՙɥɽͭՕ̰͔)хЁȁѼЁ)ݔ