The Benefit of Herbs posted on Oct 17, 2008 Herbal medicine is an ancient and traditional practice, used in many Eastern and Western countries. In many cultures it is part of main stream living and it is the preferred source of alleviating and preventing dis-ease. For many years the medicinal properties of plants have been documented and used worldwide. There is a vast range of herbs throughout the world, they vary from area to area, and their growth and cultivation depends on the local ecosystem. The healing properties of herbs are dependent on their active constituents. Different herbs contain different constituents, and they are what determine the beneficial uses and applications of each herb. Once the healing property of the herb is identified, different extraction methods are used to obtain these constituents. Here at New Directions, we use herbs that are manufactured using a delicate extraction process known as, Cold Percolation. It is a process which requires attention to detail, so that the finished product, known as the extract, is of high quality, ensuring that you, the customer, are obtaining the maximum healing benefits of the herb. One of the unique characteristics of herbs is that they are able to work on the whole being as an integrated system, hence the name â€˜Holisticâ€™. It is common for one herb to have several therapeutic actions. This multiple action exists because of the complexity of the herbs chemistry. It is not uncommon for a herb to have a primary action and several secondary and tertiary actions that all benefit our health and well being. An example of this is Calendula officinalis, a common herb found in many gardens. Calendula officinalis also known as Marigold is a herb primarily indicated for assisting wounds to heal. Its other traditional uses include; alleviating indigestion and promoting the flow of bile. What are some uses for herbs in cosmetic preparations? Some modern uses of herbs include incorporating their healing properties in cosmetic preparations. They have been used in a variety of topical applications including; • Ointments • Creams • Compresses- a liquid extract is used when making a compress. • Poultices- the dry herb is used when making a poultice. • Liniments- a liquid extract or herb oil is used when making a liniment to massage into the skin. • Oils- try our infused herbal oils. At New Directions we sell a variety of cosmetic bases, ranging from skincare, hair products and for those who are more experimental, raw materials to allow you to experiment and come up with your own individual product.