Updated: Aug 27
Did you know you can replace many of your toxic conventional products for natural ones made straight from plants? Do you enjoy learning about the wonderful medicinal uses of plants that can be found right outside your backyard? Let’s explore my top 5 favorite plants to forage that could potentially replace your standard conventional beauty products with just a few cups of daily tea.
The way we have been conditioned and programmed to rely on everything outside of nature is surely coming to an end. The naturalists, herbalists, healers, farmers and the self-educated scientists are now becoming the leaders of the new world. This blog is a nice way to get started with exploring and expanding your views on the wonderful world of plant identification, what to look for when foraging, and simple DIY herbal teas to welcome these powerful nutrients into the body!
****These statements are not meant to be taken as conventional medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only****
Let’s start with our favorite go-to herb and probably one of the most recognizable weeds growing in our yards and in many fields- the lovely dandelion. What makes this herb a great candidate for beautification? Simple. Dandelion is a natural diuretic which means it is a natural detoxifying herb for the organs. This is important to understand because our body operates from the inside out. When our organ systems are overburdened and unable to function properly, it backs up into other areas of the body, causing hormonal issues, skin issues, and more. This is where we make the connection to start cleaning, cleansing, and detoxing from the inside to begin healing and enhancing from a natural process. All of the dandelion's parts can be used, her flowers, leaves, and roots all carry the magic of plant medicine. Dandelion leaves are often at their most sweet and tender in the springtime, although they can be eaten all summer long. They can be eaten raw in salads, or sauteed.
Red Clover can be supportive for women suffering from either high or low estrogen in the body, by binding to estrogen receptors and preventing the body's own, more concentrated estrogen from binding or by binding to "empty"receptors when the body doesn't create enough. This can be supportive for many individuals, due to the fact that endocrine disruptors that mimic estrogen are rampant in today's world. Women who are undergoing menopause can benefit from red clover due to the fact that they have declining estrogen levels, they can replace lost vitamins and minerals due to hot flashes, and can help build up bone mass lost due to osteoporosis. Red Clover has also been shown to help reduce other menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness and the amount/intensity of hot flashes. Red Clovers are great for the skin. The best way to harvest red clovers are picking off the flower tops of the head. Just like our lovely little dandelions, you can pop the tops of the flowers off and right into a fresh salad. But if you just prefer a nice cup of tea, after giving them a proper rinse, take about 3 teaspoons of the flowers and cover with boiling water. Allow to steep for minimum 20 minutes.
Burdock has a strong reputation for having an affinity for the skin. As herbalists, we know that skin issues are almost always an expression of an internal issue, and so, rather than looking at a symptomatic treatment like an antimicrobial or astringent action, burdock works on the skin as a blood purifier, specific for cases of impurities or toxins that are byproducts of our own internal organ systems and our overburdened metabolisms, rather than external factors. Burdock can be used for chronic issues such as eczema and psoriasis or hot tissue states such as topical sepsis, acne, boils, and abscesses. Burdock root contains lignans, triterpenoids, polyacetylenes and other compounds that promote blood circulation, which is needed to keep the waste products moving toward the exit. Burdock root helps with improving skin clarity, especially in teens or anyone with hormone-related blemishes. Because the liver is responsible for clearing away excess hormones and their byproducts, optimizing its function through a daily cup of Burdock root tea is essential for balancing hormones. To make a cup, place about 1 tsp. of dried burdock root in a teacup, pour hot filtered water over the root, and let it steep for about 15 minutes.
Nettle is popular for reducing stress so why wouldn’t it be on my top 5 list of herbs for natural beautification. The body's natural defenses against stress gradually break down with age. Making a nettle infusion or tea adds absorbable stress reducing nutrients into your diet. Stinging nettles are a powerhouse of gentle natural nutrition. That can make a big difference in our bodies. A well made stinging nettle infusion is very high in calcium, and magnesium which can help calm frazzled nerves. Although it is not a sedative, nettle infusion can also help with relaxation and deep sleep. The sting is not in the taste. The sting comes from the formic acid in the almost invisible tiny projections on the stems and leaves. Be mindful that the fresh herb stings on contact. So if you are going to harvest or cook fresh nettle leaves, please please wear gloves. Once nettles are either dried or cooked the sting goes away.
Red Raspberry Leaf is famed for its usage as the “pregnancy tea” but mommies-to-be must be very mindful when incorporating this herb into their regime. For centuries, red raspberry leaves have been used to treat various health ailments and even induce labor during pregnancy. But its actual role is to increase blood flow to the uterus and aid the uterine muscle fibers in more organized contraction. There is some controversy over the use of red raspberry leaf in the first trimester, because of concern of stimulating the uterine tone and potentially causing miscarriage. Use in the second and third trimester is generally considered safe. Red raspberry leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals. They provide B vitamins, vitamin C and a number of minerals, including potassium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and iron.
Fresh herbs can be brewed into an uplifting hot or cold tea. Consuming medicinal herbs in tea form is one of the most simple ways of supporting enhancing your health naturally.
No two people are the same. Some people may develop some sort of reaction that is unique to them, even with natural or organic ingredients. Be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or any indication that the herb or herbs may not be suitable for your body.