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Herb info 13/2017: Astringent.

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Herb card 13.2017: Astringent. Astringent herbs pull swollen, bogged-down tissue together.

If taken internally, they help with diarrhoea and gut problems. If used externally, they help with sunburn and gum problems.

They are locally anti-inflammatory. That means that they work in the alimentary canal (from the mouth to the anus) and on the skin. They're not anti-inflammatory elsewhere, because they can't astringe inflamed tissues in, say, the lungs, the nose or the urinary tract.

There are lots of astringent herbs. If you don't have one, use another. Do check that the secondary effects of any chosen herb fit your purposes.

You'll find many astringent herbs in the rose family. For instance, Lady's mantle, red raspberry leaf (and the leaf of other plants in the Rubus genus), strawberry leaf, rose leaf, cinquefoils, meadowsweet leaf, avens, the leaf of apple, pear and rowan and so on. There's astringent herbs in other families too, for example currant leaf, alder leaf, bark and cones, oak leaf and bark, black tea, willowherb etc.

These herbs work well with water. Use them internally as teas and externally as a bath, wash, poultice or wrap.


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