Move beyond chamomile to discover a wealth of beauty benefits offered by other traditional herbs.
Anise: The aromatic seeds freshen the breath, as well as having mildly antibacterial properties. The tea is a digestive aid, useful for colic.
Cornflower: Has soothing and healing properties. Use an infusion as an eyebath, a facial steam treatment or a bath additive, or apply as a dressing for itchy skin.
Eyebright: Contains anti-inflammatory plant glycosides. Use the strained tea in a compress or eye bath for sore eyes and dark under-eye circles.
Lemon balm: The tea has soothing and digestive properties, and is recommended for sleeplessness and toothache. Use the crushed leaves in bath sachets and cosmetic vinegars.
Lovage: A strong tea made from the fresh leaves has mild bleaching and deodorant properties; use in skin tonics and perfumes.
Nasturtium: The flowers, leaves and seed pods all contain large amounts of vitamin C and sulphur, making it useful for fighting infections. Use tea as a wash for oily skin and pimples.
Nettle: A traditional blood tonic and systemic cleanser, being high in iron and sulphur. Use in skin and hair tonics and bath soaks for its astringent and stimulating properties.
Parsley: Good source of iron, and beneficial to digestion. Parsley tea also makes an excellent mouthwash and anti-freckle lotion.
Rosemary: Contains a camphoraceous cleansing and astringent volatile oil, useful in hair care and bath products.
Rose: Use petals in potpourri, or to flavour food. The hips are useful medicinally, making a nutritious syrup or tea. The essential oil has deeply relaxing qualities.
Sage: Use a tea made from the leaves as an antiseptic gargle and to strengthen gums. Darkens hair naturally; also has strong deodorant properties.
Be your own herbalist
Parsley tea: This acts as a mild diuretic and body cleanser. Nutritionally, parsley is also a source of vitamins A and C, iron, chlorophyll, and enzymes. Mix a little juice or cold, strained tea with moisturiser as a healing lotion.
Chop 1 bunch of parsley place in teapot, and pour over 200ml boiling water. Steep, strain, and sweeten with honey, if desired.
Sage tea: If you have heavy discharges, such as mucus from the nose or heavy perspiration from the armpits, then sage is the herb for you. Use it in the bath; or, mix with shampoo to cleanse the scalp of dandruff. Make as for parsley tea, above.
Cleansing tonic tea: This blend is an excellent blood purifier and may be taken several times a week for any complexion problems, especially acne. Strawberry leaves contains four times more vitamin C than orange juice and have a strengthening and astringent effect on skin from within.
Combine 1 tablespoon fresh strawberry leaves with 1 teaspoon each of dried dandelion, nettle, lemon balm and parsley seeds, place in a teapot and pour over 200ml boiling water. Steep, strain, and sweeten with honey, if desired.