Best Herbs to Reduce Stretch Marks
1. Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola)
Centella Asiatica is popularly known as Gotu kola. It is called an elixir of life. Gotu kola has a strong scientific basis to prevent stretch marks and stimulate cell production and fibroblasts in striae distensae (stretch marks) (1).
In a study on 25 volunteers, the researchers found that cosmetic formulations consisting of Centella Asiatica have moisturizing and anti-inflammatory effects (2). It is mentionable that formulation with 5% Centella Asiatica provided the best result.
In another study, it is found that Gotukola Extract Lotion (Centella Asiatica) is effective to decrease skin pigmentation, and stretch marks and also to increase skin moisture (3).
In a study of 80 pregnant women ranging from the 12th week of pregnancy until delivery, application of Trofolastin cream consisting of Centella Asiatica extract, α-tocopherol, and collagen–elastin hydrolysates gave the following outcomes:
1. Striae Gavidarum developed in a lower number of pregnant women in the treatment group compared with the placebo group.
2. The intensity of striae gravidarum was significantly lower in the treatment group than the placebo group.
3. The cream prevented the formation of striae gravidarum in 89% of the Women having a history of striae during puberty whereas in the placebo group all women formed striae gravidarum.
So, it is clear from the clinical trials that Gotu Kola is highly effective for stretch marks.
How to Use Centella Asiatica for Stretch Marks
You can use centella asiatica (Gotukola) to remove stretch marks making a paste (4).
1. Collect Gotu kola leaves and crush them into fine particles.
2. Use them in the affected area.
3. Leave it for 30 minutes to 1 hour and then rinse it off.
4. Use moisturizer.
Also at the same time, you can use it as a cream having 1 percent Centella Asiatica.
You may raise a question- Why to use 1 percent of Centella Asiatica instead of 5 percent of the same?
Certainly, there is a good reason.
The reason is to avoid the side of effects of the same.
In very rare cases, there may be skin allergy and burning sensation with the external use of Gotu kola (4).
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera gel is undoubtedly effective in wound healing (6).
But what about stretch marks?
In this regard, Cleveland Clinic opines that Aloe Vera is such a useful herb that may contribute to preventing and treating stretch marks (7).
For these qualities mentioned above, Aloe Vera has been proven to be one of the best herbs for stretch marks.
In a study of 90 nulliparous women for 8 weeks long starting at the gestational age of 18/20 weeks, the researchers found Aloe Vera gel to be effective in preventing striae gravidarum (stretch marks during pregnancy) and alleviating itching and erythema (12).
How to Use Aloe Vera for Stretch Marks
1. Mix aloe vera gel and virgin coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil equally.
2. Massage the mixture on your affected area.
3. Let it stay overnight.
4. Use the mixture twice daily.
Topical Aloe Vera may cause some skin allergies such as redness, burning, stinging sensation, and itchiness.
It is scientifically known as Allium cepa L. Onion. Onion is full of amazing health benefits. It is packed with an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-biotic, and anti-septic properties (13, 14). So, it is impressively beneficial for overall skin health.
Interestingly, researchers found the onion to be highly effective to prevent and improve scars on the skin (15).
How to Use Onion for Scars?
You can use onion making gel in a combination with aloe Vera. Because onion with Aloe Vera can boost the result impressively.
Preparation and Usage
1. Mix 1 teaspoon of fresh onion juice with 1 tablespoon of Aloe Vera.
2. Use the gel on your affected area.
3. Leave it for 10 to 30 minutes and then rinse off with water.
4. Then use cold pressed olive oil on the area. In this respect avoid hot pressed olive oil.
Along with the side effects of Aloe Vera, onion may also cause some side effects such as skin irritation and eczema.
Crowberry is a fruit that has an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal effect (16). It has no single use for skin. Rather it is used as a supportive element in skin care products.
Siegesbeckia Orientalis had traditional use as a topical anti-inflammatory and analgesic (natural pain reliever) agent.
In the modern world, there is widespread use of Siegesbeckia as a supportive ingredient in anti-stretch marks products.
Actually, it does not contribute to removing stretch marks directly. Rather it contributes indirectly by its capacity of increasing the rate of wound contraction and anti-inflammatory agents (19).
It is also mentionable that only single use of Siegesbeckia does not provide good results rather it gives better when used in the herbal formulation.
Herbal Formulations Found to be Effective in Medical
Topical Oil Formulation of Plant Extracts and Vitamin
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in its research article published in 2021 claims that topical oil formulations composed of plant extracts and vitamins are safe and effective for the reduction of stretch marks (20).
In a study, it is found that cosmetic oil containing vitamins A and E and a mixture of oils calendula, lavender, rosemary, chamomile, and PurCellin Oil™ have subjectively and objectively improved stretch marks in all patients (21).
Aloe Vera and Sweet Almonds Oil Creams
In a clinical trial on 160 nulliparous women (who have not given birth before), the researchers found that the formulation alleviated the itching of stretch marks and prevented the progression of stretch marks (22).
Cosmetic Containing Punica granatum Seed Oil and Croton
Lechleri Resin Extract
In a clinical study, a cosmetic formulation having Punica granatum seed oil and Croton lechleri resin extract showed effectiveness in preventing and curing the striae distensae (stretch marks) (23).
Simple Safety Test
In order to determine the safety of any herbal juice, gel, or scrab, apply a small amount of the same to the inside of your wrist. If you have any allergic reaction, it is not safe for you and if don’t it is safe for you.
Among the herbs mentioned above, Gotu Kola is a top-rated herb that is best suited for preventing and treating stretch marks. Apart from Gotu Kola, Aloe Vera has also wide use for stretch marks, and other herbs have usage as a supportive ingredient for reducing stretch marks.
In order to get benefit from the herbs, you should use them regularly. Apart from using herbs, you should take foods rich in collagen and elastin.
Besides, before using herbs, you should undergo a simple safety test. Because all herbs may not be beneficial for you.