What Is Acne?
Acne is a common skin condition due to bacterial infection. Acne lesions can appear as whiteheads, blackheads, small pink bumps called papules, or pimples (pus-filled red lesions).
More severe forms of acne can result in firm, painful nodules and cysts and may lead to scarring.
Acne most often occurs on the face but can also develop on the shoulders, back, chest, legs, and buttocks.
Treatment for Acne
Natural remedies are used in two ways to treat acne. One way is to use antimicrobial agents, whereby
the bacteria causing the infection are destroyed. Natural antibacterial agents include tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic and echinacea.
A second mechanism used to treat acne is to encourage the elimination of body toxins through the lymphatic system. There is a class of herbs called “alternative herbs” which are used for the purpose of cleansing body tissues. They are herbs that help the body with the detoxification process through the lymphatic system. Alternative herbs include burdock, cleavers, red clover, figwort, poke root, echinacea, and blue flag.
The only disadvantage to these herbal remedies is that they are very slow acting and the results can take up to a month to become visible. However, herbal acne remedies have a long history of successfully treating acne problems. In addition, they are completely safe so consider giving them a try.
A powerful home remedy, aloe vera is useful in the treatment of all skin lesions – dermatitis, acne, burns and minor cuts. Modern studies are confirming aloe’s topical benefits, suggesting that it speeds healing and is also responsible for pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.
Aloe’s active compounds can become destabilised during processing. Because of this, and because it is very easy to grow, it is preferable to use the live plant to treat skin lesions instead of commercial preparations wherever possible. Just cut off a lower leaf near the central stalk, remove any spines along the edge, split the leaf lengthwise and apply directly to the affected area.
You can also find pure aloe gel in health food stores which can be applied topically in the same way.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a popular home remedy for acne. It is an essential oil that is diluted and applied topically to acne lesions.
Tea tree oil contains a constituent called terpinen-4-ol that’s thought to be responsible for most of tea tree oil’s anti-bacterial activity. Because tea tree oil can kill bacteria, applying topical tea tree oil to acne lesions is believed to kill the skin-dwelling bacteria involved in causing acne.
Tea tree oil is readily available from health food shops and pharmacies.
Calendula and Chamomile Wash
Calendula and chamomile can be used to make a very effective anti-inflammatory skin wash. The astringent action will also help to control oil secretion.
Prepare an infusion with the two herbs (fresh or dry) and let it cool. When required, dab it onto affected areas. Use at least twice a day.
Store the remainder in the fridge.
Because of its well-balanced medicinal ingredients, the dandelion has played an important part as a healing supplement in traditional medicine.
Dandelion is a mild stimulant for the gallbladder and liver, helping them get rid of waste products and increasing bile flow This effect on the liver makes dandelion beneficial for treating gout, rheumatism and skin diseases such as acne, eczema and psoriasis.
Prepare a tea with the root and leaves (or dried extract) – 1 teaspoon per cup of boiling water; taken 3 to 6 times daily.
Another effective combination for the treatment of acne is a combination dandelion, sarsaparilla, and burdock. Mix them up when they are dry herbs. Prepare an infusion and have 3 cups a day.
Banana Chamomile Soother
Try this mixture to soothe angry and inflamed skin.
- 1 small ripe banana
- 2 tablespoons of strong chamomile tea
- 3 or more cotton balls.
Mix banana and tea into a smooth paste. Dip the cotton ball in the mixture and swab gently over blemishes. Take 2 or more fresh cotton balls and dip in mixture. Place over irritated areas and lie down for five minutes.
Rinse mask off with cool water.
Did You Say Ice Cubes?
Try an unusual method of treating acne – the ice cube method.
Just as you feel a pimple forming take an ice cube, wrap it in saran wrap and place it on the skin where you feel a pimple about to form. Hold it there for a few minutes. (Avoid prolonged holding as you can get frostbite skin.) Perform the above steps three times daily.
The cold from the ice cube reduces blood flow to the area and therefore inflammation and pain. It may also exert an antibacterial action.
Where to Buy?
You can buy all the above herbs from your local health food shop or pharmacy. If not available there, you can purchase them online from Amazon.
Do you have any effective herbal or other natural remedies for acne? Or any questions on this topic? Feel free to leave a comment below 🙂