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Herbs and Herbal Skin Care Products
While natural ingredients include an entire range of produces
derived from plant leaves, roots, bark, fruits, and even extracted
oils, herbal skin care products
derive their beneficial effects from herbs. Herbs are low-growing
aromatic plants that can be used either fresh or dried;
these include annuals (which must be seeded each year) as
well as perennial herbs (which survive the winter to grow
again in the spring). Usually, it’s herbs’ leaves
that are used to enhance skin care products’ benefits.
The Herb Research Foundation classifies herbal & organic
skin care products into one of four groups, depending
on the herbs that the products include, and the scale of sale.
The four groups are Ayurvedic, Chinese, General,
Ayurvedic herbs are the herbs used in India,
including ginger, turmeric, and frankincense as well
as pants that are less well known in English such as ashwagandha.
These four, in combination, have been shown in texts to decrease
rheumatoid factor and interleukins, which are the biological
markers of rheumatoid arthritis activity.
It’s a little-known fact that Chinese herbs
are seldom used alone, but are more often used in formulas
of four. In Chinese herbal medicine, the formula is
assembled just like the individuals in a royal court. There’s
a King Herb that has the strongest effect, a Minister
Herb that addresses the min pathology as well as
a secondary pathology, and assistant herbs.
Assistant Herbs can be helpful and strengthen the King’s
effect, corrective and eliminate the King or Minister herb’s
toxic effect, or opposing in order to decrease the King’s
General herbs are those with entries in reference publications
such as the Encyclopedia of Popular Herbs that describe their
medicinal properties. The names of many of these will be familiar
to you; you may have seen seeds to grow them in the grocery
store, or you may actually have some of them growing inside
or near by your house. And commercial herbs are those
wholesalers sell in bulk.
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