Natural Skin Care with Roots and Herbs
Looking out into the garden you may see your favorite herbs, flowers and vegetable plants but what you may not see what is growing under the soil surface. Roots are an essential part of a healthy plant. They help your plants absorb water and nutrients from the soil. They also act as a support keeping plants in place. Some of these roots are also useful as a food source and beneficial to our skin and hair.
Many of us already enjoy roots at mealtime such as beets, turnips, carrots and radishes. You may also have had roots in your favorite herbal tea blend such as burdock, ginger or turmeric. But did you realize that these same roots could benefit your skin and hair. Roots in general are hydrating to dry skin and hair. Marshmallow root produces a thick mucilage that is becoming a popular active ingredient in many commercial products. Turmeric and Ginger are being added to bath soaks because of their anti-inflammatory properties and fresh carrots and radishes help heal and nourish dull, dry complexions.
You may use these useful plant parts in several ways. Fresh and grated finely they can be added to facial mask recipes or bath soaks. Dried and ground into a powder roots can be added to body powders and skin scrubs. If made into an infusion or tea, these plant parts help treat a variety of skin problems from insect bites to dandruff. There are also some simple applications for plant roots such as fading scars or soothing sore muscles. Here are a few recipes for you to try at home. Enjoy!
Carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which is essential for healthy skin. Fresh grated carrots hydrate the skin and also help to cleanse and clear away dead skin cells. Turmeric helps reduce inflammation and also brighten a dull complexion this mask can be used weekly and works well for all skin types.
2 Tablespoons white kaolin clay
1 /4 cup finely grated fresh carrot
1 /2 teaspoon ground turmeric root
1 -2 Tablespoons distilled water (as needed)
In a small dish mix together all ingredients until you have a smooth mixture. You may need to adjust the amount of water used depending on the moisture content of your carrots. To use: Spread onto clean face and neck and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and moisturize with a natural oil or favorite face cream.
Yield: 2 ounces
Ginger is helpful in rejuvenating dull skin and making it look younger. It stimulates your circulation and which makes your complexion look more radiant. It also helps deep cleanse your pores so your skin retains more moisture.
2 tablespoons finely ground oatmeal or oat flour
2 tablespoons strong chamomile tea
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger or 1 /8 teaspoon dried ground ginger.
In a small dish mix together all ingredients and stir well until you have a smooth mixture. To use: Spread onto clean face and neck and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat your skin dry.
Yield: 2 ounces
Note: Dried ginger is much more potent than fresh ginger. When using in cosmetic recipes it is a good idea to use 1 /8 a teaspoon of dried ginger for every teaspoon of fresh ginger called for.
The creamy roots of the Burdock plant are useful in treating dry skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis and acne. You can create a tea with the roots that is anti-bacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. This tea is a wonderful health tonic an also useful as a soothing bath. Dried Burdock root can be found at most natural food shops.
2 cups strong Burdock Tea
1 /4 cup baking soda
1 cup Epsom salts
2-3 drops essential oil of lavender (optional)
In a small container mix together all ingredients and stir well until the salts are dissolved. To use: Pour into the bath as you fill your tub with warm water. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
Yield: 16 ounces
Fresh Ginger root has an energizing and detoxing effect on the body. It boosts your circulation, which refreshes your muscles and body. This is a good bath recipe for in the morning or after exercising.
1 Tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger root or 1 teaspoon dried ginger
1 cup baking soda
1 cup Epsom salts
2-3 drops essential oil of rosemary
In a clean bowl mix together all ingredients. To use: Pour into your bath as you fill your tub with warm water. Stir well to distribute and dissolve all the salts. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
Yield: 16 ounces
Radishes are rich in vitamins, minerals and folic acid. They have a high water content and help keep your skin well hydrated and healthy. They also help fight flaky dry skin when used in this exfoliating skin scrub. Radishes also help reduce inflammation and will help keep your complexion radiant and fresh. Use this scrub weekly for clear skin.
2 Tablespoons finely grated or chopped fresh radishes
1 /4 cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Mix together all ingredients and spoon into a clean container. To use: Massage the skin scrub into damp skin and massage in a circular motion to help remove dead skin and boost circulation. This scrub can be used all over the body and on your face. Rinse well with warm water and pat your skin dry.
Yield: 2 ounces
More Simple Skin Solutions with Roots
Here are a few more ways to use plant roots in your skin care routine.
Bug Bite Cure: Radishes are perfect for soothing bug bites and stings because they have disinfectant properties. Rub a freshly cut radish over the infected spot. This also applies to pimples.
Hair Conditioner: The root of the marshmallow plant is a natural hydrator and produces a thick mucilage that can condition and treat dry hair making it look thicker and fuller. Simply massage a small amount into your hair after cleansing to protect and make your hair appear fuller.
Dandruff Cure: Burdock root tea will soothe an itchy scalp and is a useful cure for dandruff, which is often caused by dry skin on your scalp. Mix up a strong tea and use as a final hair rinse after shampooing.
Heat Rash: Orris Root Powder is a useful aide for keeping your skin fresh and dry. Use this lightly scented powder as a body powder after bathing. You may also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for more scent.
Fade scars: Fresh ginger is useful in fading scars because of its toning and antioxidant properties. Simply rub a small slice of fresh ginger root over the area and let dry. Do this twice a day and you should see results in a few weeks.
For more recipes and ideas check out my DIY beauty books and workbooks -Happy Spring