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It has been used in herbal medicine and Chinese medicine for hundreds of years and is even today still recommended by herbalists for skin diseases. Calendula () – this herb has been known for many generations as an anti-inflammatory herb that can treat a range of different skin conditions.
This little herb exhibits extremely effective anti-inflammatory and anti-viral activity, which is due to a number of compounds it contains such as polysaccharides, flavonoids and cyclic peptides (Ma et al. Calendula is believed to benefit eczema by reducing inflammation, eliminating bacteria, and helping the skin heal.
Most documented studies have been completed in Germany using a chamomile cream or ointment.
In one trial with humans, chamomile was found to have an effect that was 60% as active as 0.25% hydrocortisone when applied topically.
Oats contain compounds called avenanthramides which are potent anti-inflammatory agents and also exhibit anti-oxidant activity (Sur et al., 2008).
This can be done by using emollients, which keep the skin moist and flexible. Chamomile is also considered to be hypoallergenic with the ability to neutralise skin irritants.
However, as the Herb Blurb blog looks at botanical extracts and how they can benefit the skin, I also wanted to cover the best herbs to treat eczema. It is one of the few herbs that has been included in clinical trials to look into its effectiveness in skincare.
It contains a compound called glycyrrhizin, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory activity.
In 2003 a clinical trial was undertaken to look at the effects of applying a liquorice gel to people with dermatitis.
Its flowers are a fantastic natural source of lecithin, which is a moisturising nutrient often used in skincare.