We have a huge number of herbs and spices and their beneficial use in various ailments, the links are spread across these 5 pages, towards the bottom of the page:
Of all the herbs and spices to choose from my top 5 would be:
Witch hazel is a botanical extract derived from flowering plants. What makes it unique is that it contains tannins, naturally occurring compounds that are only found in certain types of plant. These are similar tannins to those found in grapes and wine we we are probably more familiar with.
Tannins are important for the skin and work as an astringent, absorbing excess oil. Witch hazel also has anti-inflammatory properties that make it a good skin-soothing ingredient for soreness and irritation, and is traditionally used to calm insect bites, stings, sunburn, poison ivy, and even hemorrhoids.
Witch Hazel (Hamamelis) is a flowering plant popular for its health benefits and is also commonly used for decorative purposes. It grows in clusters of rich yellow to orange and red flowers. Its North American species are also known as Snapping Hazel, Spotted Alder, Tobacco Wood, and Winter-bloom since the flowers begin to grow in the autumn and continue to expand throughout the winter.
Due to its antiseptic and antibacterial qualities the extract derived from the twigs, bark, and leaves of Witch Hazel is often used in skin ointments, astringents, aftershave lotions, soaps, and shower gels. Unknown to most, he seeds of Witch Hazel are Hazel Nuts and of course, are edible and often used to extract oil for use in the treatment of skin and other health conditions.
According to Nausheen Qureshi, skincare biochemist, witch hazel is an effective anti-inflammatory and very helpful in the treatment of acne. “The distillate you get from the witch hazel shrub’s leaves and bark is used in skincare as an astringent due to the high levels of tannins (the same ingredient in red wine and grape skins), particularly in toners,” she explains. “Tannins have shown really good results in studies for their anti-acne benefits, so witch hazel distillate has been widely touted as an anti-inflammatory ingredient.”