Astringents are chemical compounds that help to shrink pores and constrict body tissue. Astringents are typically found in beauty products for treating skin irritations, such as acne. They are also used to relieve allergies, insect bites, and fungal infections. Astringents work well for those who are prone to oily skin. The following are four natural herbs that contain astringent properties.
1. Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca)
This perennial plant that produces edible fruit contains a high source of tannins - a type of compound with astringent properties. The leaves of the wild strawberry plant are used to make an anti-inflammatory tea that can reduce swollen sores inside the mouth. The astringent properties of the leaves can also offer relief from digestive issues. Strawberries are a delicious and healthy addition to your diet.
2. Witch Hazel (Hammamelis virginiana)
Witch hazel is an excellent herb to keep on hand. Like wild strawberries, witch hazel contains a high concentration of tannins, and is thus a great herbal astringent. The leaves and bark are used in preparation for products containing the herb. Witch hazel is used to protect the skin, and the herb can be used to prevent future blemishes as well. When consumed internally, witch hazel helps treat diarrhea and throat irritation.
3. White Oak (Quercus alba)
Another potent astringent, the white oak is a giant tree native to North America. The powerful astringent properties lie in the bark, and although it is used for smoking fish and furniture making, it is also a high source of tannins and iron. The white oak is drunk in tea, and used to create skincare products as well. White oak has also been known to treat infections and protect against harmful bacteria. The herb is also used as a diuretic that can improve bladder health.
4. Bilberry (Vaccinum myrtillus)
The dried berries of the bilberry plant are used for their astringent powers. Curing a multitude of illness, from stomach ails to burns, the leaves can also be used in tea to suppress coughs. Just as well, the berries aid in regulating bowel movements and stimulating appetite.
Typical over-the-counter astringents may contain potential allergens. In order to ensure you are getting the most pure and natural product with the lowest risk of allergic reaction, try out any of the above mentioned herbs that work just as well, if not better than brand-name astringents you can find in the store.