Plants used for everything from medicine to cosmetics

July 19, 2013 2:00:43 PM PDT
The secret to having beautiful skin might just be right in your backyard.

"There are hundreds of wonderful plants here and they all have transformative qualities,"Karen Daubmann of the New York Botanical Garden said.

As in the kind of qualities that can help your skin look great. Yarrow, for example, helps soothe and calm sensitive skin. Angelica helps plumps wrinkles and how about ginseng?

"This case is air conditioned because ginseng really grows in a moist cool environment in the wild. It's good for brightening and helping the skins elasticity," she said.

Karen Daubmann knows her stuff. There are 500 plants on display in the exhibition at the New York Botanical Garden. Many have medicinal properties, but many are also used for skin care, such as a pomegranate plant.

"You can eat pomegranates but it's really good for beauty regimes because it's an exfolliant," Daubmann said.

So are papayas.

"It's a really nice gentle exfoliant and it's a cell rejuvenator," she said.

The list goes on: Olive and eucalyptus trees are great for moisturing. As is the sap from bamboo. One of the ingredients you'll find in Amore Pacific products. The Korean skin care line is sponsoring the exhibit, which also includes a tea tasting area because green tea is found in just about all of the Amore Pacific products.

"It's a potent anti-oxidant. It's promoting healthy skin collagen production. Green tea is 200 times more powerful than vitamin c," Daubmann said.

So while you can eat consume many of these plants, you may just want to slather them all over your skin.

"To see that it's actually a living thing, that's been used for generations, derived from the earth, I think that's a comforting thing. To learn it's what you're paying money for is really good for you," she said.

To learn more about the exhibit, please visit the New York Botanical Garden online by clicking here.