Acne or acne vulgaris is characterized by pimples, pustules, blackheads and whiteheads. It affects both men and women although the male sex hormone, testosterone, is usually responsible for this skin condition in either case. If you are looking for ways to cure acne naturally, you can try herbs and herbal supplements for oily, acne prone skin. Herbs target the toxins and excess heat in the body and eliminate it from the root. Many plant based preparations can be used for targeting acne. Following are the main ones:
1. Arnica Montana
This is an anti inflammatory herb that can reduce inflammation of the follicles to prevent acne. It is available in the form of essential oil as well as pills.
Dosage: Take Arnica 30 X or 30 C twice a day or as based on herbalist/homeopath’s advice.
2. Aloe Vera gel
Aloe vera is antiseptic and anti-comedogenic. It can soothe and clear up acne prone skin. It is one of the best herbal remedies for treating acne in teens and adults.
Dosage: Drink Aloe juice once a day. Apply Aloe vera gel extracted from the leaves of the plant and apply on acne, morning and night.
Burdock grows in Europe and North America. It is used extensively for treating all kinds of skin problems, especially acne. It contains lignan, inulin and other acne fighting medicinal compounds.
Dosage: Eat plenty of burdock roots; the fiber content will prevent constipation. You can also take 500 mg burdock capsules once a day.
If you are looking for herbs for acne prone skin, turmeric is one of them. This yellow powder contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds like curcumin. It is readily available in whole food stores as pills. You can make it into a tea or use it topically as an anti-acne skin mask.
Dosage: Take 1 tsp powered turmeric root daily in warm milk, preferably at bedtime. If you are lactose intolerant, you can make a tea with turmeric, honey, lemon or ginger with water.Also use it as a spot treatment for acne and acne scars by mixing it with some organic raw, local honey. Be careful-turmeric can stain your skin and clothes. Leave on the acne spot treatment for a few hours before washing it off.
Eucalyptus oil is antiseptic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory. It can be applied diluted to acne to erase acne scars.
How to use eucalyptus for acne: Dilute the oil in the ratio of 1:3 (1 drop oil in 3 drops of water or olive oil). Apply it to the acne blemishes using cotton swab. Leave it on overnight. Do not let the oil get into the eyes, nose or mouth.
Goldenseal is one of the best home remedies for acne overnight. It is anti microbial and when taken internally, it can kill the bacteria causing the acne.
Dosage: Take goldenseal in the form of tincture, tea or capsules as advised by your doctor.
7. Tea tree
Tea tree is one of the best home remedies for treating pimples overnight. This essential oil is antibacterial and antimicrobial. You can apply it directly to acne blemishes to reduce scarring.
How to use tea tree oil for acne: Use it as a spot treatment. Mix it with carrier oil like olive oil or with some organic honey and apply it to the skin. Leave it on overnight. Repeat until pimple subsides. Use tea tree oil to eliminate dandruff which is often the cause of forehead acne.
Essential oil of lavender is extracted from flowers and it is known to contain more than 150 medicinal compounds including camphor, limonene etc which can all eliminate acne. This aromatic oil is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. It can be used to treat a host of skin issues. Lavender is also effective for treating dandruff.
How to use lavender essential oil for acne: Mix it up with coconut or olive oil and massage it well into the skin after cleansing. Leave it on overnight. Do not use concentrated lavender oil as it can irritate the skin.
9. Vitex agnus castus-Chaste tree
There are very few herbs for hormonal acne and Chaste tree is one of them (the other mention-worthy one being licorice). The extracts of chaste tree act on the pituitary glands to regulate production of estrogen and progesterone. A German study has proven that Chaste tree or vitex can help moderate hormonal acne in adults.
Dosage: Take 400 mg of chaste tree extracts for acne daily. It can interfere with periods, so consult your doctor. Avoid taking vitex if pregnant.
10. Other herbs for acne
- Saw palmetto- It is a great herb for treating PMS as well as acne. It can also stop breast pain. It can be used by men and women to curb hair loss.
- Vervain- This is one of the best herbs for hormonal acne. Drink vervain tea a couple of times daily.
- Partridge berry- This is another top herbal remedy for acne caused by hormonal imbalance.
- Ashwagandha or Withania Somniferra root
- Yarrow tincture
- Oregon grape tincture
Apart from using these herbal supplements for acne, you must also take Omega 3 essential fatty acids in the form of flax seed oil or fatty fish. Also eliminate dairy, animal products, carbohydrates and chocolate as well as other allergens that may be responsible for the acne. Take vitamin B 12 and zinc supplements as advised by your doctor. Make sure to wash the face twice daily with a non medicated soap. Use the above anti-inflammatory, anti microbial and anti-comedogenic herbs for acne internally and topically as described above.