Comfrey and benzoin soothing hand balm may help people who suffer from skin irritation and aching joints, such as those with arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Herbs for Skin Care
There are many herbs used throughout the ages for skin care. These include calendula, marshmallow, lavender, and of course, comfrey. Comfrey is an especially powerful herb reputed to repair skin tissue.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinal) is a perennial herb native to the British Isles. It grows in damp, marshy places and can be cultivated for herbal use. Since the Middle Ages, comfrey has been an important medicinal herb. Herbalists used to call comfrey "knit bone" because it literally helped knit bones together or heal breaks. Today, scientists believe it is too liver toxic to be take frequently as a tonic, but it is safe to use externally as a skin cream. Manufacturers can remove the liver-toxic chemicals from comfrey before incorporating it into various products such as comfrey tea. For skin products, the leaves of the plant are used and blended with other botanical ingredients to make products such as comfrey and benzoin soothing hand cream.
For more information about comfrey, the Comfrey Information Clearinghouse provides the latest research studies and pictures of this valuable herb.
Benzoin may either refer to a manufactured organic compound or the resins from the Benzoin tree (Styrax benzoin). When plants such as trees are cut, they exude a sap, or resin, to close the wound. The sap from the benzoin tree contains benzoic acid, which is used in herbal preparations. It should only be used topically and it is recommended that only commercially available preparations containing benzoin are used. The acid can be very strong and cause irritation, redness, swelling and itching if too much is used. Benzoin may be marketed under the brand name Tin-Ben. If you use a hand cream containing benzoin, be sure to tell your doctor since it can react with prescription skin creams. It can also react with many over the counter skin creams, so use care and caution when first applying a benzoin skin cream. Try a test patch first to make sure you do not react to it.
Comfrey and Benzoin Soothing Hand Balm
Like an herbal salve, a hand cream containing herbs such as comfrey and benzoin is intended to be rubbed into the hands to relieve various symptoms and protect and nourish the skin. Many of the companies selling comfrey hand creams are located in the United Kingdom where comfrey grows abundantly.
Earthbound Organic sells a comfrey-based hand cream that contains benzoin. It's scented with lavender, a popular herb that also acts as an antiseptic. Check with your local health food store or natural grocery store for other hand creams containing comfrey and benzoin.
If you're curious about how to make your own, Today Health Direction offers hand cream recipes that contain comfrey and benzoin.
Many people try comfrey and benzoin hand cream to repair chapped skin and soothe aching joints. Because comfrey is known as a healing herb for bones, it may have some effect upon the joints. Many of these hand creams also contain antiseptic herbs and rich emollients such as almond oil or shea butter, which will help heal chapped skin. They are worth trying for those who suffer from skin irritations. As long as they don't interact with prescription or over the counter skin creams, they should do the trick and help heal rough skin just fine..