Acne treatment Acne treatment

Natural Herbs for Acne Treatment

Natural Herbs for Acne Treatment Natural Herbs for Acne Treatment

Clogged pores, blackheads and pimples are symptoms of acne, an inflammatory skin condition. Acne is caused by a buildup of dead skin cells and sebum, a secretion that lubricates hair and skin, according to the University of Maryland Medical center, or UMMC. It usually affects the nose, forehead, cheeks, chin, back and trunk and is treated with over-the-counter and prescription topical and oral medications. Natural herbs may help treat mild or moderate acne and take six to eight weeks to work. The UMMC recommends talking with a healthcare provider before starting treatment with natural herbs.

Tea Tree

A study published in 1990 in the "Medical Journal of Australia" compared tea tree and benzoyl peroxide in their ability to alleviate acne. The study found that 5 percent tea tree oil was as effective in reducing acne as 5 percent benzoyl peroxide, a traditional acne treatment. Tea tree oil appeared to work slower than benzoyl peroxide but was also associated with fewer side effects. The UMMC says tea tree oil can reduce bacteria and decrease inflammation. Tea tree oil should only be used topically and side effects can be skin irritation and contact dermatitis, a type of skin inflammation. The Mayo Clinic says tea tree oil should not be used on the skin disorder acne rosacea.


Guggul may work like tetracycline, an antibiotic used to treat acne, according to the UMMC. According to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) guggul is a resin from an ayurvedic medicine plant that has been used to treat acne, arthritis, hemorrhoids, high cholesterol, rheumatoid arthritis and weight loss. Reported side effects of guggul are headache, mild nausea, burping, hiccups and loose stools. Experts at the UMMC warn that guggul is not for pregnant and nursing women or individuals with a history of prostate, breast or ovarian cancer. Guggul may interact with prescription blood-thinners, birth control and tamoxifen, a breast cancer drug.


Burdock has historically been used to treat skin conditions according to the University of Michigan Health System and is often combined with other herbs like yellow dock, red clover and cleavers. The MSKCC advises that burdock should not be combined with insulin and hyperglycemic medications and should be avoided by pregnant women.


Preliminary research of chasteberry suggests it may regulate hormones to alleviate premenstrual acne. Possible side effects of chasteberry according to the MSKCC include nausea, rash, headache and agitation. The MSKCC warns that chasteberry should not be taken with oral contraceptives or individuals undergoing hormone therapy.

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