May 5th, 2012


"April showers bring May Flowers,” but did you know flowers bring health and beauty? Flowers are commonly used in cosmetic preparations for skin and hair. There are hundreds of medical studies that have taken place to prove the efficacy of botanicals used for the treatment of skin and hair. Science is looking to Mother Nature for a more beautiful and youthful appearance. Botanicals have been used for thousands of years in folk remedies for beauty and now these are being proven in studies all over the world. Here are just a bouquet of a few of them and how they can improve your skin and hair from the inside out:

Roses are excellent for the treatment of skin. Rosa Mosqueta and Rosa Rubiginosa has many scientific studies backing the efficacy of this wonderful flower. A two year study was conducted at the University of Conception in Chile. Patients with surgical and post burns scars along with patients with premature aging applied Rosehip oil and it was found that both groups of patients had effective regeneration of the skin, and prevented further scars, wrinkles, loss of color and tone to the skin.

In 1988, another study entitled "Contributions to Identification and Application of Active Components Contained in Rosa Aff. Rubiginosa". (Dr B Pareja, Lima, Dr Horst Kehl, Missouri) studied photo aging in skin. Twenty women between the ages of 25-35 years of age who had significant damage from the sun in the form of wrinkles, brown spots and tanned skin applied rosehip oil for four months. By the third week of application surface wrinkles disappeared, and spots started to fade. By the end of the last month almost all the brown spots were gone and on some participants disappeared.

Rosa mosqueta oil applied to surgical scars has also demonstrated healing properties.
Ten women aged between 45 and 68, who had suffered unilateral or bilateral mastectomy applied rosa mosqueta oil after the surgical stitches were removed. After three months of applying the oil twice daily (the scars were less apparent, without lumps, and skin elasticity had improved, as had the color of the area. By four months the doctors conducting the studies indicated that the skin conditions were improving so much that implantation of breast implants had far better conditions than patients that did not apply the rosehip oil.

Rose hip oil has been found to improve the conditions of scarring from laser and surgery. With 6 months of use there was an improvement in 90 percent of the cases. Rosehip oil was effective in acne scarring as well.( Do not use if acne is currently active)

Rose hip oil has also been studied for skin burns and for patients who have had burns from radiation as well. The oil has demonstrated improvement in color and texture of scars. It improves elasticity of scars and seems to flatten them as well.

Borage is a five pointed blue flower native to the Mediterranean. It’s oil is high in gamma linoleic acid. It is used both topically and orally. When taken orally it is used to balance hormones. Topically it has show to help with the effects of seborrhoeic dermatitis and transepidemial water loss in skin. It has also demonstrated improvement in eczema and atopic dermatitis.

Leonor Greyl Regenerescence Oil. This special treatment oil is used on scalps for dandruff, dry scalp and hair. I often use this oil as well topically on skin for excema, psoriasis and even dermatitis. It contains rosa rubiginosa as well as mimosa tenuflora, and borage oil, in it. Mimosa tenuflora has been studied for its healing properties for venous ulcers on skin, its anti microbial properties and its ability to increase fibroblastic activity in the dermis. (Journal of Ethnobotnpharmacology, 2009)

Calendula or Pot Marigold has been widely studied for its healing and anti oxidant properties. It has demonstrated healing properties for dermatitis and radiation burns. (Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, 2008) It is so safe that it can be even used on babies. Calendula is used for the treatment of dry and sensitive skin. Many natural baby products chief ingredient is Calendula.

Orchids are moisturizing, fight free radicals, increase skin immunity and reducing the appearance of fine lines. Part of the species Vanda coerulea are as an agent for maintaining or restoring the hydration state of the skin. I found some research on the web that stated that orchids” hydrating effect on skin is obtained in particular by stimulating the expression of aquaporin 3 and of the LEKTI protein.” Orchid extract helps to protect the skin from moisture loss by replenishing yin in Chinese herbal medicine. Right now many high end cosmetic companies have been using orchid extract in skin care lines, especially Guerlain. Here is a link to their website and a product that was recently released:

Iris is used to help the skin regulate its moisture content. Iris extract on the skin surface, the outmost epidermal layer, holds moisture there, giving an immediate feeling of hydration. This layer of dead skin cells, the stratum corneum, is the only one reached by many skin creams. Iris, however, has fatty acids which can penetrate and nourish the lower epidermal cells which produce keratin, giving the skin resilience and melanin, the pigment which protects us from sunlight.

Over the past 30 years, extensive scientific investigations have confirmed the traditional uses of German chamomile (Matricaria recutita). Chamomile is used in general skin care, and especially where inflammation may be present, such as in various skin problems, including acne, irritation and other forms of rashes and skin complaints. Chamomile contains phenolic derivatives, which have an antiseptic and healing quality, which is most helpful in relieving skin congestion. Camomile contains azulene which helps to reduce puffiness and cleanse pores of impurities. It also contains Alpha-bisabolol that oil promotes granulation and tissue regeneration. Camomile helps to reduce capillary fragility due to the flavinoids and lipophilic compounds in the oil. Chamomile softens the skin, making it an effective ingredient in any anti-aging cosmetic product
Chamomile oil has also demonstrated efficacy in wound healing properties and is extensively used with skin problems such as rashes, acne, eczema, psoriasis, hypersensitive skin and allergic conditions.

Sea Buckthorn oil. There are very well documented studies on the benefit of both oral or topic use of this oil that has been used for centuries in Europe and asia. Sea buckthorn oil is an excellent agent for the process of cellular rejuvenation. It has been studied and demonstrated its effects from protecting skin against radiation and aid in diabetic would healing and atopic dermatitis. .(Journal of Nutrition Biochemistry , 2000). Sea Buckthorn can be taken both orally and topically. A new product called Charmi Vi will be released later this month (March 2010) . There is a clinical trial that has been taken place in Italy for the past 2 years on anti aging for both topical and oral consumption of Sea buckthorn (Adriana Bonfigli Ph.D Reasearch Director). Weleda has a good range of sea buckthorn products

Here is an article I contributed to for Orlando Magazine:

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