Top Plants and Herbs for Skin Issues

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The human body is wrapped in almost two square inches of skin, which most people only address for beauty reasons. However, the skin plays an essential role in overall health. Therefore, finding the best herbs for skin problems is crucial.

hands rubbing herbs for skin issues in
  • Skin Functions of protection: The skin helps protect us against temperature changes. Also, it defends us from the many micro-organisms surrounding us.
  • Skin Functions of elimination: Water is regularly eliminated through the skin by way of sweating. Sweat and urine possess similar compositions, though sweat has a lesser concentration. Besides water, it consists of urea, sodium chlorine, and many other substances. Thus, the skin is often referred to as our “third kidney” thanks to its ability to eliminate metabolic waste and toxins.
  • Skin Sensory functions: The skin possesses many nerve terminals, which earned it the nickname “the external brain.” Also, the health of the skin is a direct reflection of the nervous system.
         The skin’s health and beauty strongly depend on the inner conditions of our body. For instance, the best herbs for skin regeneration or the best herbs for skin elasticity will not achieve great results if the blood is full of metabolic waste, nervous imbalances, or if the diet is rich in proteins and fats.
         As a result, in most cases, eczema and other skin issues will be healed not only with local applications of the following list of herbs for skincare via compresses, lotions, or poultices, which are compelling indeed. But also by administering:
    1. Depurative plants such as white birch trees or pansy promote the expelling of waste substances from the blood, forming deposits on the skin through sweat and urine.
    2. Plants that improve liver functions, in which many processes are expelling toxic substances in the blood.
    3. Laxative plants, which help prevent internal toxicity for chronic constipation.

Local applications of certain medicinal plants have a marked effect in keeping the skin beautiful.

George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 680. Print.
woman with a cut open stalk of aloe which is one of the best herbs for inflammation
Herbs for skin: Aloe

Healthy and normal skin is responsible for many essential roles; therefore, its care and upkeep should not be taken lightly. Unfortunately, too many people do not focus on their skin until an abnormality or unforeseen problems arises.

Typical skin problems that arise are oiliness, congestion, sun damage, wrinkles, and aging. However, these issues are all within the range of normal functional skin, though they may be considered challenging if severe or undesirable.

Thankfully, people with normal healthy skin that is not exposed to an unhealthy amount of physical or environmental stresses may not need any specific protection or care. For those that would like to improve the health of their skin, the following herbs for skin problems may be beneficial.

Consistency and routine are the keys to proper skincare because it can take a while to recognize results. A great daily routine to protect from the excessive UV rays of the sun, unwarranted drying and irritation, and improving the skin’s protective capabilities is to avoid irritating chemicals and soaps that dry out your skin. Also, drink plenty of water.

A healthy daily routine along with the following herbs can keep your skin looking beautiful and flawless for many years to come.

List of the Best Herbs for Skin Care

Annatto treeAvocadoBetonyBirchwort
Bittersweet nightshadeBugloss plantBurdockCalaguala
Celandine plantComfrey rootCommon alkanetCotton plant
Elm treeField scabiousFig treeGreen tomato
Ground cherryHeliotropeHorsetailHound’s tongue
HouseleekIvyLesser comfreyLivelong
Madonna lilyMilfoilOleanderOmbu
PansyPeruvian heliotropePoisonberryPokeweed
PrickwoodPrickly pearSanicleSolomon’s seal
Spindle treeSt. JohnswortTepezcohuiteWall pepper

Types of Skin Diseases

Wounds and Scores

A wound is a breakdown in the stability of the skin caused by traumatic reasons. Ulceration is also a break in the continuity of skin or mucous layer; however, it has the following features:

  • There is necrosis (destruction) of the affected tissue, either the skin or the mucosa, with loss of substance.
  • It does not tend to heal spontaneously, as in the case of wounds. One of the more frequent classes of skin ulceration is varicose ulceration, which appears on the lower extremities and is related to disorders of venous blood flow.

    Phytotherapeutic treatment of both lesions is mainly based on plants with antiseptic and wound healing properties. Clean wounds tend to heal spontaneously. What you have to do in this case is, apart from making a suture, wash them with infusions or decoctions of cicatrizant and antiseptic herbs.

    When the case is that of infected or open wounds with a slow healing process, applying poultices or compresses with these herbs can be helpful. Cleansing compresses and poultices with cicatrizant and antiseptic plants can also be used for skin ulcerations. We also recommend astringent plants, which eliminate the tissues suffering from necrosis and dry ulcers. Sanicle is one of the plants with higher capabilities to destroy necrosis-suffering tissues.
Herbs for Wounds and Sores
SorrelGerman chamomileLesser centaury
St. Benedict thistleWalnutLoosestrife
Hedge garlicCalendulaStorksbill
St. JonhnswortSanicleLivelong


Also called corns. These are roughening of the skin caused by excessive friction or pressure, which appear mainly on the fingers or toes. When locally applied, these medicinal plants soften callus since they contain substances such as salicylic acid, which can break the skin’s corn layer.

Herbs for Calluses
Garden marigoldCelandine
Fig treeOrpine


These are skin excrescencies caused by the excessive growth of specific cells. In many cases, they have a viral causative agent. When applied locally, these herbs exert antimitotic (prevent mitosis or cell division) and soothing actions on the skin.

Herbs for Warts
Wild lemonHoligold
TetterwortCommon fig

Condyloma and Papilloma

These are small skin tumors similar to warts caused by a virus and usually appear near the anus or the genitals. Papilloma is a general term for benign tumors on the skin and the mucosa.

Herbs for Condyloma and Papilloma
Wild lemon

Skin Cracks

These are small skin fissures, which are generally painful, affecting the epidermis and the superficial part of the dermis. They are usually located on the palms of the hand and feet. Their causes are not well-known, though they are related to an allergy to certain chemical products and a lack of vitamins and trace elements. Besides treating the causative factors, we recommend local applications of these herbs to heal this condition.

Herbs for Skin Cracks
Oak treeLungwort
Wild strawberryPellitory of the wall
AloeHound’s tongue

Skin Pruritus

It is commonly known as skin itching; it can be caused by skin afflictions such as scabies and blood or liver ailments (jaundice usually goes with intense itching). Once the diagnosis of itching is known, these herbs, with sedative and soothing properties, can be locally applied.

Herbs for Skin Pruritus
ElecampaneSweet flag

Skin Irritation

This can be caused by mechanical (bruises), chemical (irritant substances), or physical (sunlight or other radiations) reasons. Local applications of these herbs with soothing properties can help the skin recover its usual appearance and smoothness.

Herbs for Skin Irritation
LindenOlive treeWild clover
High mallowMary budPrickly pear


The term eczema is a synonym for dermatitis. It comprises all skin inflammations with valuable features, both from a clinical and a histological (microscopic) point of view. Many agents can lead to eczema; some are known, and others aren’t. Besides the aggressive local factors that directly affect the skin, such as chemical products, radiation, bacteria, virus, fungi, and parasites, toxins in the blood can also be the causative agent of eczema since they are eliminated through the skin, then irritating it. It is what is popularly called “dirty blood.”

Therefore, the phytotherapy of eczema and dermatitis demands:

  • Local applications as lotions, compresses, and poultices.
  • Internal treatment consists of depurative herbs such as pansy or the white birch tree and plants that promote liver functions, such as dandelion and fumitory.
Herbs for Eczema
CarrotQuercus roburEvening primrose
BilberryScurvy grassNettle
LicoriceSoapwortMatricaria chamomilla
FumitoryDandelionRainbow weed
PsylliumCastor beanWhite birch
Wild teaselNoble yarrowBarbados aloe
Bittersweet nightshadeGarden violet 


This is an ailment of unknown causes, in which the cells of certain epidermis areas reproduce at a higher rate than usual. This gives birth to the formation of thick scales, with skin reddening. Up to now, no treatment has been able to heal psoriasis completely. These plants benefit the entire skin and thus can positively influence the course of this ailment.

Herbs for Psoriasis
Sweet licoricePine treeRue
Curacao aloeGround cherryCalaguala
Viola tricolorEchinacea 

Skin Beauty

External applications of these plants help clean and naturally soothe the skin. However, skin beauty depends on our body’s interior and exterior conditions. A healthy diet and “clean blood” are required to maintain skin in optimum conditions.

Herbs for Beautiful Skin
CornflowerBeesnest plantLime tree
Witch hazelSpeedwellStrawberry
RoseAloe veraSolomon’s seal


This is an inflammatory process of subcutaneous conjunctive tissues caused by the deposit of toxins and water retention. Phytotherapy provides medicinal plants in local applications, which clean skin impurities and other plants that, when taken orally, eliminate excess liquids, and purify the blood.

Herbs for Cellulitis
Silver birchWrack
True ivy 


This ailment is characterized by pimples from the skin’s sebaceous glands. Anaerobic bacteria usually infect acne pustules. The ultimate contributory agent of acne is still unidentified, though it is associated with hormonal and genetic factors. A diet high in fats and core toxicity caused by chronic constipation are some of the issues that make it more severe. Local applications of these herbal remedies can dry the pimples and better the skin’s appearance.

Herbs for Acne
Queen anne’s faceFever plantSorrel
Black elder  

Excessive Perspiration

This can be triggered by acute or chronic infections, nervous weakness or imbalance, and other reasons. Before taking this plant, the cause for sweat has to be known.

Herbs for Excessive Perspiration

Dry skin

To keep the water-soaking skin tissues from quickly evaporating and the skin becoming dry and cracked, it is covered by a fine layer of waterproof fat. The mentioned medicinal herbs here protect and balance the fat layer of the skin, thus stopping the evaporation process and enhancing hydration and beauty of the skin.

Herbs for Dry Skin
CarrotLindenEvening primrose
Horse chestnutLemon treeSpeedwell
FlaxPsylliumWild strawberry

Skin Stretch Marks

Skin stretch marks are caused by a break of its elastic fibers, caused by a degeneration of the connective tissue which forms them. They usually appear during pregnancy or as a consequence of weight changes. Nervous stress and constipation promote their appearance. Local applications with these herbs help decisively reduce the disappearance of stretching marks.

Herbs for Stretch Marks

Fragile Nails

Nails are keratinized extensions of the skin. A lack of vitamins and minerals, especially silicon and iron, produce nail softening. In some cases, nail afflictions can be a symptom of body disease. These herbs, both internally and externally, can help harden nails.

Herbs for Fragile Nails
CarrotEvening primrose
Lemon treeHorsetail

Hair Loss

Hair loss is also known as alopecia. Most cases occur in men and are related to androgen production (male hormones). Local treatment with medicinal plants stimulates and gives strength to the hair follicles, from which hair grows. Hair loss may sometimes be triggered by general reasons, such as lack of nutrients, toxins, systemic ailments, or nervous tension.

Herbs for Hair Loss
Venus’ hairCastor bean


Dandruff is characterized by the production of scales all over the scalp’s surface. This is a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis. Both herbs mentioned here are an alternative to classical treatments based on sulfur, salicylic, and shampoos.

Herbs for Dandruff
Lemon treeAvocado

Furuncles and Abscesses

A furuncle is formed by the infection of a sebaceous hair gland (these are glands that produce fats and are located at the root of every hair). The causative agent is a germ called staphylococcus, which turns fat into pus. An abscess is more general for every accumulation of pus in a cavity formed by tissue integration. We could say that furuncles are specific types of blemishes. Phytotherapy provides healing and antiseptic herbs, able to ripen furuncles and abscesses, thus allowing the pus to leave and regenerate tissues.

Herbs for Furuncles and Abscesses
FenugreekFive-finger grassBramble
MilfoilAllgoodFig tree
Madonna lilyEchinacea 

Skin Mycosis

This is an infection caused by fungi and located on the skin. There are usually fungi on the skin and the mucosa, which can become pathogenic and very contagious under certain circumstances. These herbs have antifungal properties; this is to say, they eliminate fungi.

Herbs for Skin Mycosis
BalmPine tree


This is an infestation (an ailment caused by a parasite) produced by the acarus Sarcoptes scabies, which is challenging to see with the naked eye. This parasite introduces itself into the skin, where it causes intense itching, especially at night, after going to bed.

Herbs for Scabies
Pine treeOleander
PoisonberryField scabious


This is a mycosis (infection), which is very contagious, and affects the scalp, caused by dermatophyte fungi. It manifests with hair loss in localized areas, skin lesions, and itching. These herbs eliminate fungi when used in local applications.

Herbs for Ringworm


This is an infection caused by the virus of the same name, which is recidivist (it repeats with a specific frequency), can become very painful, and manifests itself by employing small blisters on the skin. These herbs are beneficial because of their antiviral and soothing properties on the skin.

Herbs for Herpes
PoisonberryElm tree

Mycosis usually occurs in the space between the toes, caused by pathogenic fungi. Mycosis becomes more severe because of moisture, diabetes, intake of antibiotics, and lack of nutrients.

Treatment of mycosis usually takes a long time (one month or more). Daily applications of the herbs mentioned in the upper table are a valuable alternative to treatment with antifungal medicines.

Compresses soaked in an infusion or decoction of the different herbs we recommended here are highly effective in combatting dryness and skin cracks, which frequently affect the palms of the hands.

Some medicinal herbs are highly effective for skin care and hygiene.

Local applications of specific herbal remedies have a marked effect on keeping the skin beautiful.


George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 680, 681, 682, 683, 684, 685, 686, 687, 688, 689, 690. Print.

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