Top 21 Herbs & Spices You Can Add To Your Skin Care Routine

Upgrade your skincare game with simple and effective remedies from your kitchen.

Reviewed by Dr. Anjali Asok, BAMS, MD (Ayu) Dr. Anjali Asok Dr. Anjali AsokBAMS, MD (Ayu) linkedin_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature) Swathi E MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Edited by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Monomita Chakraborty MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
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Want to update your beauty routine and switch to natural plant-based alternatives? You can try using herbs and spices for the skin. They have been a part of traditional medicine and a go-to remedy for skin care issues, including acne, hyperpigmentation, and spots. Several herbs and spices have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may repair skin tissues and reduce the signs of aging.

In addition, these natural remedies are cost-effective and have fewer side effects compared to chemical-filled products. If you are keen to give them a try, we have curated a list of the best healing herbs and therapeutic spices that may boost your skin health and ways to use them. Keep reading.

21 Best Herbs And Spices For Your Natural Skin Care Regimen

Person using natural herbs for DIY recipes for nourished skin
Image: Shutterstock

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera contains vitamins and minerals that are good for the skin. It may help produce collagen and elastin fibers that make the skin more elastic and prevent wrinkles (1). It may also treat pigmentation and speed up wound healing by improving blood circulation and preventing cell death around the wound (2).

What You Need

  • 2-3 aloe vera leaves

How To Use

  1. Cut open an aloe vera leaf.
  2. Scoop out the gel.
  3. Apply the gel to your skin like a moisturizer.

A YouTube vlogger tried aloe vera on her skin and shared her experience in a video. She said, “I must say the tan has kind of faded away, the marks have faded away very little but it has done a lot better to my skin because the dryness which I had before is not that much right now. It is kind of okay, so if you ask me am I going to continue this? Probably a big yes (i)”.

2. Turmeric

Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that treat skin irritation, insect bites, and wounds. Studies show that it may help control inflammatory and infectious disorders of the skin (3). This herbal medicine may also help treat psoriasisi  An immune-mediated skin disease that causes scales and itchy, scaly patches and skin inflammation. and atopici  A long-term allergic, inflammatory condition characterized by itchy, red, swollen, and cracked skin. and iatrogenic dermatitis.

What You Need

  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

How To Use

  1. Add turmeric powder to the milk.
  2. Mix them well to make a fine paste.
  3. Apply the paste all over your face and neck.
  4. Leave it on for 10-20 minutes.
  5. Rinse it off with warm water.
protip_icon Quick Tip
Try an aloe vera-turmeric face mask for glowing skin. Add a pinch of turmeric to 1 tsp each of aloe vera gel and honey. Apply on your face and leave it on for 20 minutes. Wash with lukewarm water.

3. Mint

Mint soothes and refreshes itchy skin. Its strong antibacterial and antioxidant properties may help solve skin problems. It also contains salicylic acid that helps clear clogged follicles. This results in reduced acne and blackheads (4). A study also suggests that the antioxidant activities of mint may help reduce oxidative stress and hyperpigmentation (5). 

What You Need

  • 10-15 mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons water

How To Use

  1. Grind the mint leaves.
  2. Add some water to make paste.
  3. Apply the paste to the affected area.
  4. Leave it to dry.
  5. Rinse it off with lukewarm water.

4. Green Tea

Woman drinking green tea for radiant skin
Image: Shutterstock

The benefits of green tea are not restricted to weight loss alone. It may also reduce the risk of skin cancer and reactivate dying skin cells (6). Besides, green tea extracts are claimed to protect the skin from UV-induced damage and treat skin disorders like psoriasisi  An immune-mediated skin disease that causes scales and itchy, scaly patches and skin inflammation. . However, there is not enough scientific evidence to prove the same.

What You Need

  • 1 tablespoon steeped green tea
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon honey

How To Use

  1. Take one tablespoon of steeped green tea.
  2. Add one tablespoon of baking soda and honey to it.
  3. Mix them well to form a fine paste.
  4. Apply evenly over your face.
  5. Massage the skin in a circular motion.
  6. Leave the mask on for 10-15 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.

5. Chamomile

Chamomile has traditionally been used to treat skin irritation, eczema, sunburn, sores, bruises, wounds, and even ear and eye inflammation (7). It is widely used in organic skincare products for its soothing and softening effect. However, more research is needed to prove these benefits of chamomile.

What You Need

  • One cup brewed chamomile tea
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon honey

How To Use

  1. Prepare a cup of chamomile tea.
  2. Mix it with half a cup of oatmeal and one tablespoon of honey.
  3. Make a paste of desirable consistency.
  4. Massage the paste into your skin.
  5. Rinse it off with warm water after 10-20 minutes.

6. Cinnamon

The high cinnamaldehyde content in cinnamon may promote collagen production. Thus, cinnamon extracts may help reduce the appearance of aging signs by reviving the stagnant collagen synthesis (8). The antioxidant properties of cinnamon may also help protect the skin from free radicals (9). It can also help treat mild to moderate facial acne (10).

What You Need

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
  • 3 tablespoons honey

How To Use

  1. Mix one tablespoon of cinnamon powder with three tablespoons of honey.
  2. Warm up the mixture in the microwave. Make sure it is not too hot.
  3. Apply it on your face like a mask.
  4. Rinse it off after 10 minutes.

7. Neem

The antibacterial and antifungal properties of neem may aid in treating inflammation, infections, and other skin issues (11). Studies suggest that neem is an effective herb that may boost collagen and elastin production. It is also shown to reduce the signs of aging like wrinkles, water loss, thickening, and skin rashes (12).

What You Need

  • 8-10 neem leaves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

How To Use

  1. Crush 8-10 neem leaves.
  2. Mix it with one teaspoon of turmeric powder to get a paste-like consistency.
  3. Apply it to your face or the affected area.
  4. You can leave it on overnight or rinse it off after 20-30 minutes.
protip_icon Quick Tip
Try a DIY neem face scrub. Mix 1 tbsp each of neem powder, Multani mitti, and rose water to form a thick paste. Scrub your face gently and wash it off with warm water. Use it twice a week for rejuvenated skin.

8. Thyme

Thyme-mixed water treats wounded skin
Image: Shutterstock

The phenolic compounds in thyme make it a powerful antiseptic. It can replace your toner and may fight against infectious bacteria on the skin. Its antibacterial and antifungal benefits may help treat pain, rashes, wounds, acne, and sores (13).

What You Need

  • 2-3 thyme stems
  • 1 bowl of water

How To Use

  1. Soak thyme in hot water for 20 minutes.
  2. Apply the thyme-infused water to the affected area with a cotton ball.
  3. Wait for 20 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.

9. Basil

Basil’s unique combination of antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities helps in treating skin diseases, infections, and acne. It also accelerates wound healing (14).

What You Need

  • 10-15 basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater

How To Use

  1. Make a paste of basil leaves with rosewater.
  2. Apply it to the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for 20 minutes.
  4. Rinse it off with cold water.

10. Calendula

Calendula boosts skin hydration and firmness (15). A study shows that ointments and creams that contain calendula are more effective in healing wounds and other skin irritants (2). The anti-inflammatory properties of this flower accelerate wound healing, and the sulfur derivatives in it help dry out acne (16).

What You Need

  • 10-15 calendula petals
  • 100 ml olive or almond oil

How To Use

  1. Leave some calendula petals out to dry in the sun.
  2. Fill a jar (up to 75%) with these petals.
  3. Add olive oil or almond oil to it.
  4. Seal it with a lid and leave it in a warm place.
  5. Shake it every few days for 2-3 weeks.
  6. Strain it with a fine sieve and separate the flower and oil.
  7. Apply the oil to the affected area as a moisturizer or use it as massaging oil.

11. Lavender

The topical application of lavender oil stimulates collagen production and improves wound healing. It accelerates the formation of wound-healing tissues and the contraction of a wound (17). Its anti-inflammatory properties may also help manage the inflammation caused by psoriasisi  An immune-mediated skin disease that causes scales and itchy, scaly patches and skin inflammation. effectively (18).

What You Need

  • Brewed lavender tea
  • ¼ cup of alcohol-free witch hazel
  • 2 drops of vitamin E oil

How To Use

  1. Brew lavender tea and let it steep for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Add the alcohol-free witch hazel and vitamin E oil to the tea.
  3. Combine all three ingredients and store the mixture in a cool place.
  4. Apply the mixture to the skin like a toner.
  5. Shake well before each use.

12. Sage

Sage oil can nourish the skin deeply
Image: Shutterstock

Sage contains antioxidants that fight aging signs and free radicals. It can also reduce UV-induced wrinkles (19). It is also a natural astringent for oily and acne-prone skin.

What You Need

  • 1 cup green tea
  • 1 teaspoon jojoba oil
  • 2 teaspoons sage oil

How To Use

  1. Brew a cup of green tea and chill in the refrigerator.
  2. Add a teaspoon of jojoba oil and two teaspoons of sage oil.
  3. Mix it well.
  4. Apply the tea to your face as a toner.

13. Witch Hazel

Witch hazel’s anti-inflammatory properties help in soothing sensitive skin and slow down skin aging (20).

The antioxidant and astringent nature of witch hazel help in treating acne, psoriasisi  An immune-mediated skin disease that causes scales and itchy, scaly patches and skin inflammation. , eczema, ingrown nails, cracked or blistered skin, and insect bites. It is also useful as an aftershave (21). 

What You Need

  • ¼ cup of witch hazel
  • ½ teaspoon of vitamin C powder
  • 6 drops of lavender essential oil

How To Use

  1. Mix the vitamin C powder, lavender essential oil, and witch hazel.
  2. Store the mixture in a dark glass bottle.
  3. Use it as a toner on your face every time you wash it.

14. Oat Straw

Oat straw contains polysaccharides and silicon dioxide in soluble form that help regulate various skin processes. It helps treat inflammatory and seborrheic skin conditions, especially those that cause itching (22).

What You Need

  • 500g oat straw
  • 2 liters of water

How To Use

  1. Add oat straw to water.
  2. Boil it for 30 minutes.
  3. Mix with your bath water.
  4. Soak in the bath for as long as you like.

15. Red Clover

A study conducted on rats has found that red clover stimulates collagen production and reduces skin aging (23). However, research on humans is required to prove the same.

It is also said to promote the healing process of the skin, sores, burns, and ulcers with its antispasmodici  A drug or agent used to relieve or suppress muscle spasms (painful contractions or tightening of muscles). and expectorant effects (24).

What You Need

  • Red clover tea
  • 3-4 drops of any essential oil

How To Use

  1. Brew a cup of red clover tea.
  2. Add a few drops of any essential oil of your choice.
  3. Refrigerate it.
  4. Apply it all over your face or to the affected area like a toner.

16. Horsetail

Horsetail mixtures can help manage skin concerns
Image: Shutterstock

A mixture containing horsetail along with various other plants and seeds was found to inhibit elastase enzymes that break down elastin and collagen. Its silicon content may also reduce the signs of aging like wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity (25). Studies have also shown that the topical application of an ointment with horsetail promotes wound healing and helps relieve pain (26).

What You Need

  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons dried horsetail
  • ¾ cup of almond oil
  • 2 tablespoons shaved beeswax

How To Use

  1. Boil the dried horsetail in the water. Let it brew for 10-20 minutes.
  2. Strain out the horsetail and retain the herbal infusion. Keep it aside.
  3. Mix the beeswax and almond oil in a cup and place it in a saucepan of water. Heat it up on a low flame until the beeswax dissolves.
  4. Let it cool for 2 minutes.
  5. Blend the herbal infusion on high speed with the lid on.
  6. Slowly add the beeswax mixture to the herbal infusion. Continue adding until the mixture attains a lotion-like consistency.
  7. Apply the lotion to your face or the affected area.
  8. Rinse off with warm water after 20 minutes.

17. Alfalfa

Alfalfa extracts have antioxidant and antibacterial properties. This herb may prevent photoaging and oxidative stress related to skin diseases (27). Alfalfa contains genistein that helps accelerate skin repair (28). Therefore, you can use alfalfa extracts to repair skin and reduce the appearance of aging signs.

What You Need

  • 2-3 alfalfa stems
  • 1 bowl of water

How To Use

  1. Soak the alfalfa stems in hot water for 20 minutes.
  2. Apply the water to your face with a cotton ball.
  3. Rinse it off with warm water after 20 minutes.

18. Chickweed

Chickweed helps boost wound healing. Its emollient properties soothe the skin affected by itching and irritation (29). It can also be used as an antirheumatic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, antipruritici  A medication used to treat a variety of skin conditions, like allergies or rashes, and to relieve itching. , and emollient agent. The whole plant can be applied as a plaster on swollen areas due to its anti-inflammatory properties (30).

What You Need

  • 8-10 chickweed leaves
  • 1-2 teaspoon rosewater

How To Use

  1. Make a paste of chickweed leaves with rosewater.
  2. Apply to the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for 20 minutes.
  4. Rinse off with cold water.

19. Rosemary

Rosemary contains caffeic and rosmarinic acids that have antioxidant effects. These help prevent the signs of aging caused by the UV rays of the sun. Its antibacterial property is also effective against acne (2).

What You Need

  • 3 tablespoons oats
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon honey or water

How To Use

  1. Grind the oats and rosemary together.
  2. Add some cold water or a teaspoon of honey and mix to form a paste.
  3. Apply the paste all over your face.
  4. Scrub it in circular motions.
  5. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then rinse it off.

20. Dandelion

Dandelion may protect the skin from sun damage and photoaging (31). Its extracts may also reduce acne, and treat warts, eczema, and other skin conditions (32).

What You Need

  • 3-4 dandelion roots
  • 5-6 calendula flowers (if needed)

How To Use

  1. Add dandelion roots to boiling hot water. You may also add some calendula flowers.
  2. Take steam with this water for about 15 minutes.
  3. Once cooled down, it can also be used as a facial scrub.

21. Oregano

Oregano oil is recognized for its antiseptic attributes. You can apply creams, ointments, and lotions infused with oregano oil to alleviate skin infections and inflammation (33). It contains carvacrol, an active compound that also aids in the restoration and regeneration of injured tissues. It helps inhibit several inflammatory biomarkers in the body (34). This property of oregano oil makes it a potential solution for reducing several inflammatory skin conditions such as acne.

What You Need

  • 1-2 drops of oregano essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon of carrier oil (e.g., coconut, olive, or jojoba)

How To Use

  1. Dilute 1-2 drops of oregano essential oil in a carrier oil to avoid skin irritation.
  2. Apply the diluted oregano oil to the affected areas.
  3. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and wash off with lukewarm water.
  4. Use it once daily for better results.

Wondering if these herbs and spices cause any harmful effects on your skin?

Well, the answer mainly depends on your skin condition. If you have sensitive skin, do a patch test on your forearm before incorporating these herbs into your skincare routine. Consult a healthcare professional for infections and chronic issues that require immediate attention.

Infographic: Top 5 Herbs & Spices For Glowing Skin

Many women across the globe have chosen to shift to chemical-free, plant-based products that are safe and beneficial for skin. You can also make your own face packs with such ingredients from your kitchen. In the infographic below, we have listed the top 5 easy-to-find herbs and spices known for their anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and antimicrobial properties. Start using them today to keep your skin radiant.

top 5 herbs & spices for glowing (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Herbs and spices have been used to treat several skin issues for ages. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of several herbs and spices make them wonderful choices to solve issues like acne, hyperpigmentation, blackheads, and dark spots, and for holistic health. In addition, you can use herbs and spices for skin rejuvenation and moisturization. The 20 herbs discussed here may help you achieve healthy skin, minimize the signs of aging, heal skin irritations, and get glowing skin. The more consistent you are, the better the results will be. Also, always do a patch test before using these to avoid adverse effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

What herbs tighten the skin?

Turmeric, Porphyra red algae, comfrey, aloe vera, and witch hazel are some herbs that help tighten skin.

What spices help you look younger?

Cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, and ginseng are some spices that have anti-aging properties and may help you look younger.

Can herbs and spices help with specific skin conditions, such as acne or eczema?

Certain herbs and spices, such as turmeric, mint, thyme, witch hazel, and chamomile are traditionally known to reduce redness, irritation, and inflammation associated with acne and eczema. However, we recommend using them under the guidance of a dermatologist to avoid adverse effects or interactions with other medications.

Are there any potential side effects of using herbs and spices for the skin?

Yes. Some common side effects include skin irritation, itching, redness and swelling, photosensitivity, and interactions with other medications. We recommend doing a patch test before adding a new herb or spice to the skincare routine.

Key Takeaways

  • You can add herbs and spices to your skin care regime to manage acne and pigmentation spots.
  • Aloe vera, mint, green tea, thyme, basil, calendula, red clover, horsetail, and alfalfa show effective results if included in one’s skin care routine.
  • They also combat signs of aging, soothe skin irritation, and help with faster wound healing.
Herbs And Spices For skin

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team


Explore the different herbs that work wonders for your skin. From soothing inflammation to enhancing glow, learn how these natural remedies can transform your skincare routine

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Aloe Vera: A Short Review
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC2763764/
  2. Plants used to treat skin diseases
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC3931201/
  3. Potential of Curcumin in Skin Disorders
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6770633/
  4. Therapeutic agents and herbs in topical application for acne treatment
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  5. Antioxidant Activity and Volatile and Phenolic Profiles of Essential Oil and Different Extracts of Wild Mint (Menthalongifolia) from the Pakistani Flora
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  6. Green Tea and the Skin
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  7. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/
  8. Cinnamon extract promotes type I collagen biosynthesis via activation of IGF-I signaling in human dermal fibroblasts
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22233457/
  9. Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant
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  10. Efficacy of topical cinnamon gel for the treatment of facial acne vulgaris: A preliminary study
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  11. Medicinal properties of neem leaves: a review
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15777222/
  12. Topical application of neem leaves prevents wrinkles formation in UVB-exposed hairless mice
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  13. Formulation and Characterization of Potential Antifungal Oleogel with Essential Oil of Thyme
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5933022/
  14. Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4296439/
  15. Evaluation of various functional skin parameters using a topical cream of Calendula officinalis extract
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/260228102_Evaluation_of_various_functional_skin_parameters_using_a_topical_cream_of_Calendula_officinalis_extract
  16. Topical Herbal Therapies an Alternative and Complementary Choice to Combat Acne
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  17. Wound healing potential of lavender oil by acceleration of granulation and wound contraction through induction of TGF-β in a rat model
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4880962/
  18. Anti-psoriatic effect of Lavandulaangustifoliaessential oil and its major components linalool and linalyl acetate
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874120330087
  19. Clareol isolated from Salvia officinalis improves facial wrinkles via an antiphotoaging mechanism
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27466023/
  20. Use of formulations for sensitive skin improves the visible signs of aging including wrinkle size and elasticity
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6559254/
  21. North American Virginian Witch Hazel (Hamamelisvirginiana): Based Scalp Care and Protection for Sensitive Scalp Red Scalp and Scalp Burn-Out
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  22. Medicinal plants used in treatment of inflammatory skin diseases
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  23. Effects of isoflavones from red clover (Trifoliumpratense) on skin changes induced by ovariectomy in rats
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  24. A Grower’s Guide: Red Clover
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  25. Study of the refirming effect of a plant complex
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  26. The Effect of Equisetum Arvense (Horse Tail) Ointment on Wound Healing and Pain Intensity After Episiotomy: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial
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  27. Antioxidant Activity and Cytotoxicity of Medicago sativaL. Seeds and Herb Extract on Skin Cells
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  28. Alfalfa Nanofibers for Dermal Wound Healing
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  29. Looking backward to find the path forward
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  30. Medicinal plants of the family Caryophyllaceae: a review of ethno-medicinal uses and pharmacological properties
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  31. Dandelion Extracts Protect Human Skin Fibroblasts from UVB Damage and Cellular Senescence
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  32. A Grower’s Guide: Dandelion
    https://bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/mf2613.pdf
  33. Oregano
    https://bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/mf2621.pdf
  34. Anti-inflammatory, tissue remodeling, immunomodulatory, and anticancer activities of oregano (Origanum vulgare) essential oil in a human skin disease model
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5801825/
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Dr. Anjali Asok
Dr. Anjali AsokBAMS, MD (Ayu)
Dr. Anjali is a staunch believer of Ayurveda. Her holistic approach and passion for science help her treat her clients. She has 4 years of expertise in dealing with metabolic and lifestyle-related disorders, digestive care, women's health, skin and beauty, allergic conditions, detox procedures, and rejuvenating therapies.

Read full bio of Dr. Anjali Asok