Lemony Herbs For Healthy Skin

July 6th, 2011

Summer time has finally arrived and I have lemonade on my mind. Think of how that first sip of that first tall glass of lemonade quenches your thirst in the heat of midsummer. Strawberry lemonade is the “Yum” flavor on a balmy July night. With all these thoughts of lemonade I was driven into reverie about sun-kissed skin and some lemony herbs that promote the overall health of your skin and your body as you bask in the rays of the sun.

Lemon Balm

I have bunches of this lovely leafy plant growing outside my home. When I pluck a leaf the citrusy aroma is so lovely to smell as I place it under my nose for a whiff. Lemon Balm, otherwise known as Melissa Oficinalis, is native to both Europe and the Mediterranean and is used widely for culinary and medicinal purposes. If you take the fresh leaves and rub them into your skin you have the most natural and reliable mosquito repellent on those inviting humid days. A compress of lemon balm leaves can be applied directly to the skin to treat venomous insect bites after a lake swim. Cold sores are easily remedied by placing the leaves directly to the affected area of the skin. Lemon balm in liquid form is touted as the “elixir of youth” for its ability to regulate thyroid problems and promote digestive health. ( A word of caution for culinary use: As a natural sedative that reduces sleeplessness, lemon balm has not yet been proven safe for children to take orally.)

Lemon Thyme & Myrtle

This robust herb actually boosts the production of Emilin-1, a key protein for elasticity in skin. With this abundance of an essential protein, lemon thyme restores elasticity while it prevents the loss of skin firmness due to aging, pregnancy, sun exposure and weight fluctuation. Lemon thyme has been effective in treating Molluscum, a pesky skin condition caused by a virus that hangs around for as long as 4 years in some cases, when applied topically in oil form. Australian lemon myrtle also is also a natural way to treat molluscum.

Lemon Verbana

Lemon verbena is a plant that originated in South America and was introduced to Europe through Spanish explorers in the 1600’s. The leaves have traditionally been used in potpourris and can also be placed directly on the eyes as compresses to relieve and reduce puffiness and swelling. Vinegar can be mixed with lemon verbena for the ultimate skin cleanser and toner that stimulates blood circulation for healthier skin.

Lemongrass

This aromatic perennial wonder grass from India is the perfect skin & muscle toner. Lemongrass delivers the multi-benefit skin health package as antimicrobial, fungicidal, and antiseptic making it the perfect skin cleanser. The zesty unforgettable scent of lemongrass rejuvenates the mind as it re-energizes the body. It is commonly used in aromatherapy and massage as an essential oil produced from pressing distilled leaves. Lemongrass also has wonderful repellent quality for those insatiable mosquitoes for 2-3 hours when the leaves are rubbed into the skin. You can also where the essential oils to fend off the little blood suckers. This nifty herb has also been used as a reliable natural deodorant when you swath those armpits for lemony freshness. Try this after sun refreshing scrub to refresh and invigorate your skin.

Organic Lemongrass and Sugar Scrub

½ cup of dried organic lemon grass leaves
½ cup of organic can sugar
Lemon zest of 1 whole organic lemon
5 drops of lemon essential oil
1 cup of grapeseed oil

Blend it all into a lovely paste that you can pamper and exfoliate with for healthy soft skin that’s glowingly vibrant. It’s the remedy to defy both the signs of aging and damage from exposure to that summer sun. Then lounge on that porch swing and sip our lemonade.

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