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Herbs for Hormonal Acne

Herbs for Hormonal Acne

Fluctuating hormone levels may contribute to the development of acne, which is an inflammatory skin condition characterized by sore red pustules that affect skin on the face, neck, chest and back. As such, it often affects teenagers and pregnant women. Some women also experience acne around the time of their period. Acne can often be treated effectively with over-the-counter preparations; however, severe acne may require oral antibiotics. A course of oral contraceptives may also benefit women with hormonal acne. While herbs are sometimes used to help lessen the severity of acne, there is little scientific evidence to prove they work. Talk to your doctor before using herbs to treat hormonal acne as they may cause side effects.

Tea Tree

Topical application of tea tree oil may kill bacteria and reduce acne-associated inflammation, the University of Maryland Medical Center notes. The results of a randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled trial published in a 2007 issue of "Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, Leprology" showed that tea tree oil effectively reduced acne lesions. The study's lead author, S. Enshaieh, concluded that tea tree oil is effective treatment for mild to moderate acne. Tea tree oil is likely safe when applied externally, notes MedlinePlus. However, it may cause burning and redness. Do not take tea tree oil orally as it may cause serious side effects including confusion, unsteadiness and even coma.


The results of an early study published in the October 1994 issue of the "Journal of Dermatology" show that gugulipid, the active ingredient in guggul, lessened the severity of nodulocystic acne. Data also show that guggul was as effective as tetracycline, a commonly-prescribed treatment for acne. Guggul, which is extracted from the resin of a plant used in Ayurvedic medicine, may cause side effects including nausea, headache and loose stools. Do not use this herb alongside anticoagulant drugs such as aspirin or warfarin as it may heighten the effects of these drugs. Also avoid this herb if you have hyperthyroidism because it may make your condition worse.


Turmeric's active ingredient, curcumin, suppresses the production of inflammatory chemicals that play a role in acne, according to the results of a study published in the January 2003 issue of "Phytomedicine." Turmeric is commonly used to flavor foods but can also be applied topically to aid skin healing, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine notes. Turmeric is likely safe for most adults but high doses may cause gastrointestinal problems.

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