Organic Remedies for Acne
While we primarily associate acne with teens, in fact, common acne can affect anyone at any time. Of course, some people are more prone to acne than others, but these skin eruptions do not discriminate. You have several choices when treating acne: prescription drugs, over-the-counter products and herbal remedies. Each has its own benefits and complications, and what works for someone else may not work for you. If you choose to try an herbal regimen, there are a number of options.
Burdock root is found in many types of sushi and Indian cuisine. While the leaves of the plant can be dried and drunk in tea form (use 1 tbsp. with 2 cups of water), burdock can also be taken in capsule form or fluid extract and the cooled and strained tea can be used as a facial wash.
Calendula is just one of a number of herbs that make refreshing facial washes and can help reduce acne symptoms. An herb with bright orange flowers, calendula has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Steep one teaspoon of the dried flowers in a cup of water, allow it to cool, strain the petals and use as a wash or apply it to problem areas with a cotton ball.
A frequent component of "over-the-counter" herbal teas, chamomile flowers, which have anti-inflammatory properties, can sooth painful acne outbreaks. For the strongest effect avoid the commercial teas that contain other herbs and look for pure, dried chamomile flowers and use the tea as a wash.
Dandelion leaves are a diuretic that prompt our bodies to excrete fluids in the forms of perspiration and urine. This helps to keep pores and hair follicles clear of dirt and oils. The plant is also known to stimulate liver function, which further cleans the bodies of the free fatty acids that cause acne.
Young, fresh leaves free from pesticides are also a good source of vitamins A and C and can be added to a salad. Two tsp. of chopped dandelion root in 1 cup of hot water makes an effective tea. Follow the instructions that come with the herb for the proper method to make the tea.
Herbs Containing Berberine
In "The Herbal Drug Store," Dr. Linda B. White and Steven Foster recommend Oregon graperoot and goldenseal. "Each of these herbs may help acne in two ways," they write. "First, each promotes good digestion and liver function. Second, berberine, which both herbs contain, is a potent antibacterial herb."
Because acne is ultimately caused by germs that thrive in the protein keratin found in pores and follicles, antibacterial herbs are particularly effective. However, White and Foster caution against using either herb when pregnant.
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