Healthy skin and connective tissue need collagen, a natural protein produced by the body. Collagen production naturally declines as you age. While there are a number of skin care products that can target collagen externally, certain herbs can help internally in the process of producing, maintaining and repairing collagen.
Aloe vera has a high content of collagen protein. Animal studies show that aloe helps to heal wounds by increasing collagen production, according to the University of Colorado-Denver. When using aloe, collagen production may increase more than 90 percent.
The herb bilberry helps stabilize collagen. Bilberry contains anthocyanosides which are potent antioxidants which strengthen blood vessels and capillary walls, improve red blood cells, stabalize collagen tissues such as tendons, ligaments and cartilage and has cholesterol lowering effects.
Calendula is wonderful when rubbed on the face and skin, and may help reduce and prevent wrinkles by stimulating collagen production by the body. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports research indicating topical application of calendula cream helps to heal wounds. Researchers believe calendula helps the body produce collagen. Creams or ointments containing calendula may be applied several times daily.
Eucommia is a natural source of plant collagen, according to Yoga Journal. In the late 1990s Japanese researchers became interested in eucommia bark. In in 2000, researchers at Nihon University in Chiba, Japan, published two studies showing that both the leaves and the bark of Eucommia ulmoides contained a compound that encourages the development of collagen in rats. They did found that the compound was present in much greater quantities in fresh leaves and fresh bark, and that much of it was destroyed during the drying process. It can help strengthen the knees and lower back and can be used to prevent and repair injury to joints.
Research shows that gotu kola contains substances that increase collagen production, and this is the reason it has been used for centuries to heal wounds.
Gotu kola is most useful in building healthy connective tissue, thereby reducing formation of scar tissue. The triterpenoids in gotu kola aid in wound healing, support faster healing of skin sores, wounds, and cuts. Gotu kola will beautify your skin.
Hawthorn is an antioxidant that helps to stabilize collagen. Hawthorn also produces a mild diuretic effect and dilates blood vessels. It is often used by individuals with heart and circulatory problems.
The herb horsetail is rich in silica, which the body needs to produce collagen and to repair other connective tissues. According to the University of Virginia Health System, horsetail also strengthens bones by helping the body to utilize calcium.
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