Chinese herbal medicine is rich in knowledge and tips for skincare. Several years ago, I spent several weeks of my spare time studying and translating the skincare and dermatology chapter of the Shennong Bencaojing (Chinese: 神农本草经; also know as The Classic of Herbal Medicine), a classic herbal medicine book written by the mythical Chinese sovereign Shennong around 2800 BC. The book provides beautifying herbs used for both systematic and symptomatic skincare purpose. In this post, I am introducing you to one the best-known beauty herbs from Chinese herbal medicine, Angelica Sinenesis (known in Chinese as Dang gui).
Ancient Chinese believes that Angelica Sinensis, which is also known as “woman’s ginseng,” “tones blood and regulates menses; invigorates and harmonizes blood; moistens intestines and moves stool.” The herb is famous for restoring hormonal balance. Consequently, Angelica Sinensis is often used for treating female reproductive system related problems such as irregular menstrual cycle, menstrual cramp, even PMS.
For skincare purpose, the herb has been found to improve circulation in the skin, detoxify the skin cells, clear blemishes, and brighten the complexion. Therefore, it can be used for treating acne, brown spots, freckles, and hair loss.
Chemically, Angelica Sinensis is rich in essential oils such as safrole, ligustilide, butylidenphthalide, and valerophenone-o-carboxylic acid, falcarindio, furo-coumarin (bergapten), trace mineral elements such as selenium and zinc, and Vitamins such as nicotinic acid, folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin A.
For systematic use, Angelica Sinensis can be taken as tea or incorporated into food recipes. For tea, here is an ancient recipe you could try: stew two slices of Angelica Sinensis, one slice of Astragalus, 4-5 dried longan fruits, and 4-5 dried dates with boiling water for 10 minutes. Decant and enjoy the slightly sweet tasting tea.
For cooking, throw a few slides Angelica Sinensis in beef or pork bone stew. You won’t taste Angelica Sinensis in the soup at all. In fact, I noticed that the herb helps to bring more flavors to the soup.
For skincare application, boil Angelica Sinensis with water for 15 minutes. Use lots of slices if you want to make a concentrated herbal extract. Decant the liquid extract. You can incorporate the extract in your homemade skincare recipes such as lotions, face wash, facemask, toners, or astringents. Store the extra in the refrigerator. One last note, use ceramic, porcelain, or glass container for Angelica Sinensis skincare products. Avoid metal containers.
Thanks for reading!
Source: Informed Nutrition
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