THE SUPERPOWERS OF PLANT EXTRACTS
Nature is truly wonderful. It produces what you need to not only maintain a healthy body, but also a glowing complexion. Used for centuries to naturally soothe and treat the skin, plant extracts are among nature’s greatest gifts.
So what’s in a plant extract that makes it so special? Well, each plant has its own unique healing properties or “superpowers,” you could say. Plants provide rich sources of active ingredients that help to treat skin conditions and diseases ranging from rashes to skin cancer, according to a 2014 literature review published in the Pharmacognosy Review.
Below are five plant extracts that have a magic touch.
It is widely known that green tea is a tasty drink with antioxidant superpowers, but did you know that green tea is just as beneficial for your skin as it is for your body? Yup, it’s true. Coming from the tea plant C. sinesis, green tea contains polyphenols, which work as antioxidants in your body. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a particular polyphenol in green tea called epigallocatechin gallate has been shown to prevent skin tumors caused by cancer from growing larger in the body. Green tea also helps with skin regeneration, rejuvenating old skin cells to work their magic and start producing again. This all keeps the skin looking more youthful, says the Pharmacognosy Review.
Aloe vera is another prime example of a miracle plant. Extracted from the leaves of the aloe vera plant, it has been shown to increase elastin and collagen production, treat wrinkles, stretch marks, hyperpigmentation and speed up wound healing by improving circulation. Aloe vera also has properties that are destructive to certain kinds of bacteria and fungi. In one study, participants were asked to apply a cream containing 0.5% aloe for four weeks. The gel reduced skin plaques that are associated with psoriasis. Other research has shown that application of aloe vera gel can help heal burns, help the skin survive frostbite injury and delay the appearance of skin damage.
Commonly used to naturally flavor foods, rosemary contains compounds such as caffeic acid and its derivatives such as rosmarinic acid, which have antioxidant effects, notes the Pharmacognosy Review. Research has shown that rosemary extract may be effective in preventing photo damage caused by UV radiation. A study 2007 published in the journal Planta Medica found that rosemary essential oil can also help with treating acne by reducing bacteria in the skin, as well as the size of the acne.
Calming chamomile helps regenerate skin cells and fight skin damage caused by free radicals. An anti-inflammatory herb, chamomile is used to treat a variety of skin irritations, such as psoriasis, eczema, bruises, cuts, blisters and sunburns, according to LiveStrong.com. To help with skin disorders and irritations, they recommend preparing a chamomile bath and adding several drops of chamomile to warm bath water and soaking in it for 20 minutes to allow the chamomile scent and essential oil to soothe your skin.
It’s no secret that we love lavender, which is a treat for both the nose and the skin. Distilled from the lavender flower, research has shown that this essential oil may help with hair growth. In a Scottish study conducted at the Department of Dermatology in the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, it was found that lavender may help with alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder that results in hair falling out in round patches on the scalp, as well as on other places on the body. Participants who massaged this essential oil into their scalp over the seven-month study period experienced increased circulation and significant hair regrowth. In addition, with its anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties, studies have shown that lavender may help with healing wounds and fighting common skin, hair and nail infections that cause conditions such as ringworm and Athletes’ foot, according to Medical News Today.
Plant extracts help to gently heal and soothe the skin. All of our products contain vitamin rich essential oils and organic plant based materials. Check out the full list of ingredients that we use in our soaps and bath care products here: http://www.soapstories.com/natural-ingredients/
Soap it up, naturally ;)