Herbs and Helpers

Herbal Services and Solutions | Herbalist | Supplier | Herbs

Oct 11

News: Health Herbal Medicine Research Latest News

News: Health Herbal Medicine Research Latest News

Latest News – For our clients and customers to keep up to date with current health and herbal medicine research and their conditions

  • Scientists claim they’ve finally cured stretch marks – with green tea! New cream uses compound to calm angry skin Friday May 27th, 2016

    The culmination of four years of research at the University of Manchester, its key ingredient is a compound found in green tea which calms red skin

    The lotion, which has just been launched, is designed to tackle marks as they appear, so is not expected to have any effect on existing ones

    Stretch marks arise when deep layers of the skin are stretched and torn, essentially creating a miniature wound

    Stretch marks may soon fade from memory thanks to a cream which is claimed to stop them in their tracks. And its secret weapon? Green tea.

    Solution for Stretch Marks is billed as the first effective treatment and could help older mothers, whose skin is more prone to scarring.

    The culmination of four years of research at the University of Manchester, its key ingredient is a compound found in green tea which calms red, angry skin.

    Stretch marks may soon fade from memory thanks to a cream which is claimed to stop them in their tracks. And its secret weapon? Green tea

    The lotion, which has just been launched, is designed to tackle marks as they appear, so is not expected to have any effect on existing ones.

    Stretch marks arise when deep layers of the skin are stretched and torn, essentially creating a miniature wound, and a wide variety of ointments claim to reverse the damage.

    However, a recent review in the British Journal of Dermatology concluded that very few actually work, causing anxiety for women.

    The name of the special compound in Solution for Stretch Marks is a trade secret but green tea is drunk in the Far East to ease eczema and other skin conditions.

    Dr Ardeshir Bayat, the lotion’s co-inventor and an expert in wound healing, said that unlike other stretch mark creams, the ointment ‘actually penetrates the skin and works on a much deeper level’.

    Douglas McGeorge, the cream’s other creator, said most existing treatments merely moisturise the skin. He added: ‘More than ever we’re seeing women have children later in life. Their skin doesn’t ‘snap back’ into shape as normally it would in younger mums.

    ‘With glamorous celebrity mothers regularly photographed in swimsuits and bikinis, there’s a natural search by women for treatments to try and maintain a youthful appearance of their tummies and thighs and combat the inevitable toll mature skin takes through pregnancy – namely stretch marks.’

    Stretch marks arise when deep layers of the skin are stretched and torn, essentially creating a miniature wound, and a wide variety of ointments claim to reverse the damage
    Stretch marks arise when deep layers of the skin are stretched and torn, essentially creating a miniature wound, and a wide variety of ointments claim to reverse the damage
    The lotion costs £39.99 for 100ml and should be rubbed in twice a day from the first sign of problems.

    Green tea has previously been found to safeguard healthy skin cells, while killing cancer cells.

    In 2003, Dr Stephen Hsu, a cell biologist at the Medical College of Georgia in the US, studied the most abundant green tea micronutrient, EGCG. His team tracked the normal growth of skin cells and compared it to the growth of cells when exposed to EGCG.

    Dr Hsu said: ‘Cells that migrate toward the surface of the skin normally live about 28 days, and by day 20, they basically sit on the upper layer of the skin getting ready to die. But EGCG reactivates them. I was so surprised.’

    Source: Daily Mail

  • Witch Hazel for Acne – The Ultimate Guide Friday May 27th, 2016

    If suffer from acne, then you know how important it is to find a treatment which is effective in getting rid of spots and pimples without causing any unwanted side effects. Unfortunately, acne is a complex skin condition which isn’t always easy to treat. However, you can use herbal remedies such as witch hazel for acne and in this article I am going to give you all the information on how to use witch hazel for skin and also why you should put witch hazel on your face.

    What is Witch Hazel?

    Witch hazel is extracted from the bark and leaves of the Hamamelis Virginiana. This plant, which is native to North America, has been used for centuries as a remedy for many skin problems. Because of its amazing healing properties, witch hazel extract is also found in many skincare products that are on the market today.

    Witch hazel is also an effective remedy to help reduce the infection and inflammation that is associated with acne. Let’s examine why witch hazel is a great product, not only for acne but for your skin in general, and how to use witch hazel for acne by preparing your own witch hazel toners.

    What is Acne?

    Acne forms when too much sebum (the oil that the skin produces) clogs up the skin’s pores and this combines with dead skin cells which cause bacteria to grow. The bacteria then cause infection and inflammation in the pores, which leads to the formation of blackheads, pimples, and papules. If the infection becomes very serious, nodules and cysts can develop.

    The reasons why a person develops acne can be caused by various factors, some of which are:

    • Hormones

    • Genetics

    • Digestive problems

    • Stress

    Because acne spots form when bacteria develop, it is important to find topical treatments which kill off bacteria and reduce inflammation. One way to reduce the excess oil secretions is to apply astringents to the skin, and witch hazel is a natural astringent.

    What Are Astringents and Why They Are Useful For Acne

    When astringents are applied to the skin they contract large pores and help to dry up the secretion of excess oil. This helps to unclog the pores of bacteria and dead skin that have built up.1 In fact, many commercial acne treatments also contain astringents to do just that.

    There are many natural astringents, but not all of them are good for acne because they can be quite harsh on the skin. However, the advantage of using witch hazel for acne is that it is a natural mild astringent.

    Why Witch Hazel Is Good For Acne

    One of the main reasons why witch hazel is good for acne is because it contains a high amount of tannins. Tannins are known for their astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. Although there have been no specific studies carried out on to the specific effect that witch hazel has on acne, there is enough research on its properties to show that it is good for acne.

    Astringent

    The astringent properties of witch hazel are well-known and well documented. For example, the book, Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects says that witch hazel contains a considerable amount of tannins making it a useful astringent and that it can be used safely to soothe inflammation of the skin.2

    Witch hazel bark and leaves contain up to 10% tannin which makes the extract a very effective astringent. Because of this, witch hazel is used topically to alleviate inflammation caused by acne.3

    Anti-inflammatory

    The anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel can also help reduce inflammation when it is applied to the skin. The journal Advances in Dermatology and Allergology showed that various witch hazel bark and leaf extracts reduced inflammation of the skin.4 Some other studies have also shown that a compress with witch hazel water can also help treat skin irritations.

    Antioxidant

    In a study into the antioxidant activity of 21 different plant extracts, it was shown that witch hazel had high antioxidant activity at low doses.5

    These properties of witch hazel make it a very effective topical treatment for getting rid of acne and it does this without irritating the skin. The astringent properties help cleanse the skin of dead skin cells and reduce the build of bacteria. This also allows more oxygen to enter the pores, thus helping the healing process. The anti-inflammatory properties also help to reduce swelling.

    Apart from clinical evidence into the astringent and anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel, there is much anecdotal evidence of the effectiveness of witch hazel for acne. For example, many acne suffers who use it say that it is very effective in helping to clear their skin and reduce the number of pimples they have.

    Many acne suffers who use witch hazel for acne also add a few drops of tea tree oil, which is one of the best essential oils for acne, for its powerful antibacterial activities.

    Other Benefits of Witch Hazel for Face and Skin

    The amazing properties of witch hazel mean that it is great as a general all-around skin toner and cleanser. You can apply witch hazel topically to any kind of skin irritation, blemish or bite. You will notice that the witch hazel will quickly help to reduce any itchiness and redness. In my e-book The Herbal Remedies Guide, I’ve already mentioned witch hazel as a remedy for several skin conditions.

    After-sun treatment

    Witch hazel can also be used as a great after-sun treatment for adults and children alike. For example, a study carried out in 2002 showed that a lotion with 10% witch hazel in it was effective in reducing the redness and burning sensation of a skin that was sun burnt.6

    You can also find other natural ingredients to treat sun burn or minor burns in my article about the most effective homemade minor burn treatments.

    Treat bacterial infections

    Witch hazel also has antiseptic properties which can also be used to treat bacterial infections on the skin. The most common of these are bacteria is Staphylococcus aureus which can cause atopic dermatitis (Eczema). A study into the effect witch hazel has on bacteria on the skin showed that it was an effective topical treatment for many dermatological conditions.7

    Witch Hazel as a Moisturizer

    Another great use for witch hazel is as a skin moisturizer.

    Very often commercially produced astringents dry out your skin, however, witch hazel doesn’t do that and this is a great reason to use witch hazel for skin.

    If you use it straight after your shower then it will help to lock moisture in. It is also effective when used on children who have skin conditions like diaper rash or inflammation. The European Journal of Pediatrics published a study where they showed that witch hazel extract has the same effect as dexpanthenol. 8 Dexpanthenol is a popular drug used to treat or prevent dry skin, itchy skin, and minor skin irritations.

    Witch hazel is anti-aging

    Witch hazel also has anti-aging properties and can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, witch hazel can help rid the skin of free radicals. A study in into the active-oxygen scavenging activity of plant extracts showed that witch hazel has strong active-oxygen scavenging activity and has potential as an anti-aging and anti-wrinkle application.9

    You can also use these essential oils to combat wrinkles naturally, as well as eat by eating these foods against wrinkles.

    How to Use Witch Hazel for Acne

    The best way to use witch hazel for acne is either as a skin toner or a skin mask.

    To use witch hazel as a skin toner, you can either apply it with a cotton pad to the affected area up to 3 times a day, or you can keep it in a spray bottle and spray directly onto your skin.

    Witch Hazel Toner Recipes

    Here are some great witch hazel toner recipes that you can use to keep your skin and face looking great and reduce the appearance of spots and blemishes. When buying witch hazel, make sure you buy alcohol free witch hazel.

    Basic witch hazel toner for acne and for beautiful skin

    For each 1 oz witch hazel you will need to add:

    3 drops tea tree essential oil

    3 drops lavender essential oil

    Add the essential oils to the witch hazel and mix. Apply to the skin with a cotton ball as needed or use a spray bottle to spray the affected area (you don’t need to rinse it off).

    Tea tree essential oil is antimicrobial and antibacterial.10Lavender essential oil also is a potent antibacterial agent.11

    Witch hazel and aloe vera toner for face and skin

    For this, you will need the following:

    • 6 tbsp. witch hazel

    • 2 tbsp. aloe vera gel

    • 5-10 drop of tea tree essential oil or lavender oil (or you could use a mixture of both)

    Mix the ingredients in a container or spray bottle. Mist the affected area or apply it using a cotton ball.

    In addition to the tea tree and lavender essential oils, aloe vera is a wonderful product to soothe the skin and it also has proven anti-inflammatory properties.12

    Read more about aloe vera in my article about the amazing benefits and uses of aloe vera for skin.

    Witch hazel and lemon juice toner

    For this, you will need the following:

    • 3 oz glass spray bottle

    • Witch hazel

    • Lemon juice

    Fill the bottle ¾ full with witch hazel and top up with lemon juice until it’s full. Mix the ingredients together, apply the witch hazel toner with a cotton ball to your face and skin. For some people, the lemon juice can sting a little. You can try reducing the amount of lemon juice, or use a different toner if this one irritates your skin.

    Witch hazel, green tea, and baking soda toner

    For this, you will need the following:

    • Glass jar with a screw lid

    • 2 tbsp. witch hazel

    • 1 cup of green tea

    • Juice of one lemon

    • A few drops of vitamin E oil

    • A few drops of tea tree essential oil

    • 1 tbsp. baking soda

    Make the green tea by placing one tea bag in a cup of boiling water and leave it for 5 minutes and remove. Leave the tea to cool. Then pour the tea into a clean glass jar and mix well with the other ingredients. Apply with a cotton pad 2 times a day.

    Baking soda helps to calm the skin and you can read more about it in my article on how to use baking soda for gorgeous face and skin.

    Witch hazel and apple cider vinegar (ACV) toner

    For this, you will need the following:

    • Glass jar with a screw lid

    • Witch hazel

    • Raw organic unprocessed apple cider vinegar

    • Lavender essential oil

    Fill the jar with 2/3 cup of witch hazel and 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar. Add a few drops of lavender oil and mix well. Apply with a cotton ball 2 or 3 times a day.

    Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has amazing properties which help to remove excess oils from your skin and also restore the skin’s pH balance. You can read more about it in my article on why you should wash your face with apple cider vinegar.

    Witch Hazel Side Effects

    According to WebMD, witch hazel is likely safe for most adults when applied directly to the skin. In some people, however, it might cause minor skin irritation. This is why it’s always a good idea to do a skin patch test first by applying a small amount to a patch of skin to make sure you don’t develop any skin reaction.

    Resources:
    1. Astringents.
    2. Herbal treatment for dermatologic disorders.
    3. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of witch hazel extracts.
    4. Medicinal plants used in the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases.
    5. Antioxidant activity of extracts from 21 plants.
    6. Anti-inflammatory efficacy of witch hazel in UV erythema test.
    7. Antiseptic effect of a topical dermatological formulation containing witch hazel.
    8. Witch hazel in children with skin disorders.
    9. Anti-oxygen scavenging activity of plant extracts.
    10. Tea tree oil antimicrobial properties.
    11. The antimicrobial activity of lavender oils.
    12. Anti-inflammatory potential of aloe vera gel.

  • The best exercise for the menopause? Pilates Thursday May 26th, 2016

    Stretching actions of Pilates can help strengthen the bones and muscles

    Exercise makes it easier for body to deal with the lapses in heat control

    Weightlifting and interval training also recommended by Spanish scientists

    These types of exercise are also beneficial as they improve balance

    Pilates could help take some of the pain out of the menopause.

    The yoga-like stretching exercises help strengthen the bones and muscles and boost quality of life, Spanish doctors and scientists said.

    For those who would prefer to do something a bit more active, weightlifting and trendy interval training are also recommended.

    It is thought that exercise makes it easier for the body to deal with the lapses in heat control that occur around the menopause due to hormonal changes.

    Researcher Dr Helen Jones said the results were so impressive that exercise could be a natural alternative to HRT.

    The yoga-like stretching exercises involved in Pilates help strengthen the bones and muscles and boost quality of life, Spanish researchers found

    Exercise also brings other benefits from healthier hearts to weight loss, the European Menopause Society’s journal reports.

    The typical British woman goes through the menopause at 51.

    Symptoms, which range from hot flushes to sleepless nights, headaches and depression, can last for 14 years.

    Hormone-replacement therapy is the main treatment, but is not suitable for all and many who could take it are put off by fears that it may trigger breast cancer.

    Those who do start on it can suffer unpleasant side-effects, from headaches to heartburn, leading many women to try things like acupuncture and herbal supplements.

    To find out of exercise could be a suitable treatment, the study’s authors, from the Spanish Menopause Society, the Spanish Cardiology Society and the Spanish Federation of Sports Medicine, reviewed published studies on the topic.

    The benefits were so pronounces, the exercise could be a natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy, researchers said

    They said that while swimming, dancing and other forms of activity all have benefits, Pilates, weight lifting and high intensity interval training are likely to be the most beneficial.

    High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, involves doing short bursts of hard exercise are interspersed with rest periods, and is particularly popular with time-pressed young professionals.

    Writing in the journal Maturitas, the researchers said that these three forms of exercise are especially good because they improve balance, which helps prevent falls.

    They concluded: ‘Physical inactivity not only places women’s health at risk but also increases menopausal problems.

    ‘Abundant evidence links habitual physical exercise to a better status on numerous health indicators and a better quality of life and to the prevention and treatment of ailments that typically occur from mid-life onwards.

    ‘We can infer that physical activity is something more than a lifestyle; it constitutes a form of therapy in itself.’

    The recommendations come a few months after a British study endorsed the benefits of an active middle age.

    Research from Liverpool John Moores University found that women who worked up a sweat in the gym suffered fewer hot flushes than those with a more sedentary lifestyle. And the flushes they did experience were less severe.

    This is important because hot flushes are the most common and distressing symptom of the menopause and can disturb sleep, drain energy and cause embarrassment. A single flush can last from a few seconds to as long as an hour.

    It is thought that exercise makes it easier for the body to deal with the lapses in heat control that occur around the menopause due to hormonal changes.

    Source: Daily Mail

News: Health Herbal Medicine Research Latest News

– Most days (not Sundays/Holidays)

Donate: If reading Herbs and Helpers Latest News and using the Knowledge Base is part of your essential daily routine then please donate (Any amount will do!):





HERBS AND HELPERS | Lorraine Hodgkinson AHG MRCHM | 6, Butts Fold, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 9HY. UK. | Tel: +44 01900 826392 | Text: 07761 489838 | Email: info@herbalmedicineuk.com