Collagen makes up 40 percent of the human skeleton, and works as the primary protein within the tissues that structure and support the human body, according to Science Clarified, a science reference site. Herbs for collagen help to support collagen functions in the body. And while scientific proof is often lacking when it comes to herbal remedies, different herb types may help the body manufacture collagen and strengthen existing collagen materials. Before taking herbs for collagen, consult your physician.
Collagen consists of protein materials manufactured by different cell types throughout the body. Collagen materials appear throughout the body's connective tissues, which include bones, cartilage, skin as well as the structural tissues that reside in between the cells. Herbs that work to increase collagen production in the body include ascorbyl palmitate and calendula. According to Oregon State University, ascorbyl palmitate is a modified form of vitamin C that dissolves inside fatty areas of the body, whereas regular vitamin C only dissolves inside water-based areas. Calendula is derived from the marigold plant flower, which grows in a variety of different climates and regions, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Both vitamin C and calendula increase collagen amounts in the body by increasing production of the proteins used to make collagen.
The collagen materials contained in the bones and cartilage are made up of fiber-like strands that form a network. Herbs that strengthen the body's existing collagen materials work by increasing the number of strands that make-up collagen tissue. As the body ages, collagen materials start to thin out from the effects of free radicals, or toxins which settle in the cells and tissues. Collagen strengthening herbs have an antioxidant effect that reduces the amount of free radicals in the body. Bilberry and vitamin C both help to protect the cells and tissues from free radical damage. According to OSU, vitamin C is actually a necessary ingredient within the collagen production process and also shields cells and tissues from free radical damage. According to Herbal Medicines Online, bilberry plants grow in northern Europe and are related to the American blueberry plant. Bilberry herbs have an antioxidant effect and also reduce the damage to bones and cartilage caused by inflammation.
Collagen restoring herbs contain ingredients the body can use to repair areas where collagen damage exists. Painful or inflamed joints, tendons and ligaments can occur when collagen materials are damaged from wear and tear. Collagen restoring herbs include a tree bark material known as eucommia and an herbal plant extract known as horsetail. Eucommia herbs come in topical and oral forms that are used as a long-term remedies for injuries involving the joints, according to the Yoga Journal, an online Yoga resource site. Horsetail herbs are derived from a plant that typically grows in sandy soils in North America, Europe and Asia. The plant itself has a high silicon content, which acts as the primary collagen building ingredient, according to Herbs2000, an herbal remedy reference site. Silicon aids in binding protein molecules together, which is an important feature when it comes to manufacturing connective tissue materials.