Herbs for skin, bones, nails, ears, sinus and mucous membranes.

For a beautiful person! As a vegan whole-foods naturopath, I love the biocomplexity and synergism of minerals embedded within whole-foods and herbs. Here are some of my favourite herbs and foods for mucous congestion (tied in with ear and sinus problems), nail and skin health, and bone/muscle health. 


Herbal Actions: Astringent, diuretic, styptic, nutritive, bitter, antispasmodic, antibacterial. High in calcium, vitamin A, potassium and silicon, Horsetail is beautifully mineral rich and I love how the name ‘horsetail’ reflects this herb’s health-giving nourishment for hair, skin and nails. This is one of the highest silicon herbs, and the silicon is in a bioavailable form. This herb strengthens all epithelial and connective tissues, and could be considered a trophorestorative to the bones, kidneys, bladder, lungs and skin. Here are some conditions this herb is useful for:

*Chronic arthritis and frequent fractures.

*Weakness and sore muscles in the legs, knees and lower back.

*Eczema, skin rashes, dry skin, boils.

*Kidney, bladder and prostate problems.

*Ear, nose and throat problems (infection, inflammation, discharge).


Herbal Actions: Astringent, alterative, antibacterial, anticatarrhal, mucous membrane tonic, antiinflammatory. This beautiful herb is an absolutely gem for the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory system. Like Horsetail, Eyebright is full of silicon, vitamin A and calcium. It’s also rich in vitamin magnesium, and vitamins B1, B2, and B3 (especially B3!). I love using this herb for allergic conditions affecting the mucous membranes. Here are some conditions this herb is useful for:

*Urinary tract conditions.

*Vision problems, eye infections, headaches.

*Earache, sinus congestion, post-nasal drip, hayfever.

*Colds, throat and sinus infections.

*Indigestion, belly bloating, appetite loss, loose stool.


Herbal Actions: nutritive, nervine tonic, thymoleptic, anxioltyic, mucilaginous, antidepressant, diuretic (actions do depend on whether the seed or green herb/straw is used) I’ve always loved oats, partly because it belongs to a group of herbs I call ‘food-herbs’. Food herbs are non-toxic and can be used in food-like doses for long periods without any adverse effects. They also tend to be full of nutrients! Oatgrass is high in chromium (just like horsetail), magnesium, silicon, sodium, vitamin A, vitamin B3, and calcium. Here are some conditions this herb is useful for:

*Nervous exhaustion, chronic fatigue, weakness, premature ageing.

*Hormone imbalances, thyroid deficiency, hypoglycaemia

*Eczema, dermatitis, dry skin.

*Gout, sciatica, rheumatism, weak knees, sore back.

*Chronic stress, depression, anxiety, insomnia.


Radish is a wonderful food for reducing inflammation or excessive mucus of the respiratory tract, bronchitis, fever, colds, and cough. I always find myself instinctively tucking into them if I’m recovering from a cold or am suffering from hay fever or sinus congestion. Radish is a good source of vitamin B2 and B6, Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Folate and Potassium.

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