Blue Flag: The Beautiful Plant That Aids a Clear Complexion

Hannah Charman is a Medical Herbalist and graduated from Middlesex University with an Honours Degree in Western Herbal Medicine, following four years of full-time study. Before she began studying Herbal Medicine, she trained as a Reiki practitioner, and was one of the youngest people to train in the Advanced Level of Reiki.  She is a Member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH).

Blue Flag is a truly beautiful Iris native to the swamplands of the US and Canada. It was traditionally used by the Native Americans to treat stomach problems, and they sometimes cultivated it in nearby ponds to make sure they always had a good source available

How Can We Use Blue Flag?

In European Herbal Medicine, Blue Flag is more commonly used to support the lymphatic system in clearing toxins from the body. In waste management terms, your lymphatics carry waste from the cells to the blood, so it’s a bit like putting rubbish into your kitchen bin. The liver then puts the waste from the blood into the bowels, which is rather like emptying the kitchen bin into the wheelie bin.

Of course the bowels then carry the waste out of the body altogether, which is like the dustbin lorry coming to empty the wheelie bin. The problem is that if this system isn’t working as efficiently as it should, the skin becomes the next best way out for toxins, and we can start to see skin problems. This is why the state of the skin is such a good barometer of your internal health.

How Does Blue Flag Work?

In Western Herbal Medicine we tend to see skin issues as an internal problem which is manifesting in the skin. In order to really tackle skin problems we need to go much deeper, and support the parts of the body which need some extra help.

With acne or boils, there’s usually a problem with the body’s ability to process both toxins that we make ourselves, and we take in from our environment. Blue Flag is very effective in supporting the lymphatics, blood, liver, kidneys and bowels in removing waste products. As a result, the skin will often improve within a few weeks of starting to take it.

Blue flag is a powerful remedy which improves the liver’s ability to flush toxins into the bowel. Because it’s so strong, we only need a small amount, but it combines well with other herbs which do a similar job, such as Burdock to have a synergistic effect.

Who Is Blue Flag For? 

Blue Flag is a specific herb for those who suffer from red, hot skin, acne or boils – conditions that are often accompanied by a red-looking tongue.

Some Medical Herbalists have also found it useful in supporting people with eczema and psoriasis. Being naturally very bitter, it has a cooling effect both on the skin and joints, helping to reduce pain and redness.

Medical Herbalists can also use Blue Flag to support people in the early stages of hypothyroidism, and those with blood sugar problems.

Take care with using Blue Flag if you’re also on Digoxin as the two can sometimes interact – always read the Patient Information Leaflet before taking any herbal medicine that you buy.

Try HRI Clear Complexion 

HRI Clear Complexion is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the symptomatic relief of minor skin conditions such as spots, pimples, blemishes, mild acne and mild eczema, based on traditional use.

This gentle complementary medicine contains the natural active herbal extracts of Blue Flag and Burdock Root that are beneficial for the following conditions:

– Spots or pimples

– Blemishes

– Acne

– Eczema

If you’re struggling with any of the skin problems I’ve mentioned here, try HRI Clear Complexion for a minimum of 3 months. Make sure you also drink plenty of water (until you’re going to the loo every 2 hours or so) to support the eliminatory processes.