19 Best Healing Herbs for Skin and Health Disorders

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Many people reach for healing herbs for numerous common health conditions, particularly for mild or chronic health issues. As many of these herbs have therapeutic properties, they can be an inexpensive and accessible solution. Many healing herbs have anti-inflammatory, stimulant, antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, relaxant, anticonvulsant, and anxiolytic properties among others, making them applicable for a wide range of situations.

List of Healing Herbs & Benefits


Some healing herbs can speed up the healing process and protect against infections, such as arnica, Gotu Kola, goldenrod, yarrow, and marshmallow.


In the case of slow-healing wounds, you can apply yarrow to speed the healing process and induce better circulation to the affected area. This herb has anti-inflammatory properties and has also been used in poultices for deep wounds, where it can often lead to healing without any visible scarring. [1]

How to Use – The feathery leaves of the yarrow plant can be used as a medicinal swab, or it can be ground into a poultice with other herbs and topically applied.


The root of the marshmallow plant is packed with healing antioxidants and minerals, making it an excellent wound healer. The root secretes a type of mucilage that can help to reduce inflammation and fight infections at the site of a wound. [2]

How to Use – A concentrated dose of the mucilage from the root can be topically applied, in very small amounts, directly to the site of a scratch or cut to promote rapid healing.


Studies have found the use of arnica in the healing of wounds after surgery and its effectiveness in minimizing the appearance of scars from injuries. [3]

How to Use – You can mix 1 teaspoon of dried herbs in a 1/2 cup of water to make a useful infusion or apply a more concentrated dose of arnica oil after it has been processed and steam distilled from the herb.

Gotu Kola

This legendary herb has long been known to speed up the healing of bruises and wounds, reducing swelling and pain as well. This is due to the presence of saponins in this herb, which stimulates circulation and speeds up the healing process. [4]

How to Use – You can mix Gotu Kola into many other lotions or creams to make a wound-healing solution or simply use the essential oil of this herb for a powerful dose of health benefits.


In the treatment of bacterial infections and wound cleansing as well as speeding up the healing process, goldenrod has been used for centuries. This is largely due to the presence of flavonoids and saponins in this herb. [5]

How to Use – You can bring water to a boil and brew goldenrod tea, which can be consumed for internal healing. Furthermore, you can also allow the tea to cool, soak a bandage or cotton ball, and then topically apply to your injury.

White marble mortar and pestle surrounded by herbs and spices

Herbs and spices help relieve inflammation. Photo Credit: Shutterstock


Applying healing herbs to the skin is quite popular for their anti-aging and moisturizing properties, including chamomile, lavender, aloe vera, comfrey, and tea tree.


This herb is an impressive source of antioxidants, including powerful flavonoids, that help it prevent oxidative stress in the skin and improve any inflammatory conditions. It is also able to reduce wrinkles and the appearance of scars. [6]

How to Use – Most popularly, chamomile is brewed as a tea and consumed regularly, although this tea can also be soaked into a cotton ball and rubbed on an inflamed area of skin.

Aloe Vera

This herb is known around the world for its soothing, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Whether you are healing burned skin, protecting the skin from infection, or relieving inflammation from eczema or psoriasis, aloe vera gel is an excellent all-around remedy. [7]

How to Use – Aloe vera is typically used in the form of a thick gel, which can be extracted directly from the leaves of the plant. Only a small amount is needed to provide cooling comfort and soothe inflammation.


The active ingredients in comfrey have been sought by pharmaceutical companies for decades because it has wound-healing properties that can speed the process of repair on the skin. This remedy has been used by traditional healers for hundreds of years. [8]

How to Use – Applying the leaves of the comfrey herb directly to the site of wounds can rapidly increase healing, earning this herb the nickname “knitbone”. Do not consume this herb internally. 


Not only does this herb smell sweet but it also delivers a vast number of health benefits to the body, including antimicrobial and antioxidant effects. It can remove the appearance of wrinkles and scars and leave your skin glowing with youth. [9]

How to Use – Lavender oil is commonly mixed in with cosmetic products, and lavender flowers are often infused in a bathtub for a fragrant and rejuvenating soak for the skin.

Tea Tree

One of the most powerful antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory herbs in the world, tea tree is excellent for soothing any irritation or infection on the skin. [10]

How to Use – A few drops of tea tree oil can be applied, if diluted, directly onto the skin. Tea tree leaves must be pressed for the natural oils to be released, although poultices of the leaves have also been known to work.


There are a number of healing herbs that have proven effects against certain diseases, such as turmeric, rosemary, cinnamon, and coriander.


The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has been linked to lowering the risk of heart disease, easing symptoms of arthritis and eliminating gastrointestinal problems, making this herb one of the best healing herbs you can use. [11]

How to Use – Turmeric is a popular addition to meals and many people choose to mix the yellow spice into everything from fruit smoothies to curry powder blends. It can also be brewed into a beneficial tea.


Studies have shown rosemary to have cognition-boosting properties, in addition to lowering your risk of heart disease and act as an anticancer agent. [12] [13]

How to Use – The most popular use of this herb is to add it to food. It has an earthy, almost floral taste that makes it a popular addition to meat dishes. Additionally, rosemary tea is a popular choice for many people.


The active ingredient in cinnamon, cinnamaldehyde, has been linked to lowering heart disease risk, dropping blood pressure, and reducing inflammation in the gut. [14]

How to Use – Cinnamon can be added to a variety of foods but for a concentrated dose of its nutrients, brew a strong cup of cinnamon tea.


This herb is known to control cholesterol levels, as well as blood sugar, prevent gastrointestinal distress, and strengthen the immune system, making it ideal for fighting disease. [15]

How to Use – Also known as cilantro in certain parts of the world, coriander seeds, and ground powder is extremely easy to mix in with various meals or you can dry-fry them and simply eat them whole!


Treating disorders of the body and mind is possible with healing herbs like ginkgo biloba, ginseng, black cohosh, skullcap, lobelia, and hyssop.


This unusual herb is known to directly communicate with the central nervous system and can control a variety of nervous disorders including epilepsy, as well as various cardiovascular disorders. [16]

How to Use – You can make fresh hyssop leaf tea by steeping the leaves in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Drinking this once per day can lessen your chances of nervous system episodes.


One of the most devastating nervous system disorder is multiple sclerosis but research has found that the active ingredients in lobelia can help to ameliorate some of the symptoms of this disorder. [17]

How to Use – You can make a tincture of lobelia and various other stimulant herbs that can minimize the symptoms of this and other disorders, consuming 20 drops of the tincture every 30 minutes for a period of 2 hours.

Ginkgo Biloba

When it comes to equilibrium disorders and conditions like anxiety, depression or stress, ginkgo biloba has been trusted for thousands of years. It can quickly improve mood and re-balance hormones in the body. [18]

How to Use – Most people use this herb in extract form, and you can find it in tablet, liquid or capsule form in almost any health food store.


For both hyperactivity disorder and certain emotional disorders, ginseng is known to be highly effective, as it stimulates the nervous system and balances hormone levels. [19]

How to Use – A powerful tea can be made from freshly cut ginseng root and depending on how long you steep it. You may only need 1 cup per day for a balanced and calm mind.

Black Cohosh

If you are suffering from some type of anxiety disorder, the use of this herb has been found to be quite effective, particularly in the case of anxiety manifesting from menopause. [20]

How to Use – Due to the potency of this herb, strictly measured capsules are recommended. Excessive use of black cohosh in its natural form can be toxic.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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