If you understand the causes of acne and the type of treatments available, then it makes sense that you should incorporate acne herbal supplements into your acne regimen.
The good news is that when acne herbs are taken in conjunction with the other acne products and treatments that your dermatologist recommends, you’ll see better results. That’s because acne herbal supplements help boost your skin’s health.
Read below to learn why acne herbs should be part of your acne treatment plan and how their daily usage will bring back that glow you love.
What Causes Acne?
Acne develops in a structure of the skin called the pilosebaceous unit. The central canal of this unit is called the follicle, which includes a hair shaft and an opening to the skin or a pore. In the follicle are small sacs called sebaceous glands which secrete sebum, a skin and hair lubricant.
The adrenal hormone testosterone stimulates the production of sebum as well as keratin, a fibrous protein that lines the follicle. In acne, these skin cells shed excessively and stick together. When combined with excess sebum, an enlarged follicle or microcomedo is formed. The result? A non-inflammatory comeodome that when partially blocked is called a blackhead (the lipids or sebum involved oxidize and turn black); or when completely closed, is referred to as a whitehead.
In this ideal environment, Propionibacterium acnes or P. acnes, a bacterium that normally reside on the skin, proliferate. Their overgrowth causes a destruction of the pore lining and cellular debris enters the surrounding area, leading to inflammation.
What are Common Acne Treatments?
Common acne treatments used for mild to moderate acne include prescription topical retinoids (Retin-A, Tazorac, Differin), benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, topical and oral antibiotics and oral contraceptives. While these prescription medications display potent activity they can have significant side-effects.
Why Acne Herbal Supplements?
Studies have shown that low stomach acid is a common finding in patients that have acne. Additionally, it is recognized that if the liver is not detoxifying properly, then these toxins will be eliminated through other routes including the skin, causing acne in the process.
The traditional use of bitter herbs like burdock, Oregon Grape, dandelion and yellow dock, which act by stimulating digestive function including acid secretion, is a useful way to treat acne. Other herbs like tea tree leaf, basil and eucalyptus show potent anti-microbial action which helps to keep the P. acnes under control. However, these herbs are prepared for their oil and used topically.
Acne herbal supplements are ideal because they tend to be milder, safer and far less likely to cause negative reactions than medications. These natural acne remedies support healthy-looking skin from the inside-out. Remember what you put into your body is just as important as what you put on your skin!
What Acne Herbal Supplements are Best?
The best acne herbal supplements for acne are burdock, Oregon Grape, dandelion and yellow dock. They are known for their potent skin and blood cleansing properties to help detoxify the skin. When combined with topical retinoids, these acne herbs help support the development and maintenance of blemish free, healthy-looking skin.
Burdock Root and Acne – Skin & Blood Cleanser
- Burdock root has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of skin problems including acne, psoriasis, eczema and contact dermatitis.
- Burdock root is effective in treating acne and is the most important herb for treating all forms of chronic skin problems.
- A mildly bitter herb that stimulates the release of gastric juices and aids digestion. A favorite among herbalists to treat acne.
- The herb has several healing properties including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-bacterial effects.
Oregon Grape Root and Acne – Purifies the Blood & Cleanses the Liver
- Oregon grape has been used to treat skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and allergic rashes for centuries.
- Oregon grape root has antibiotic properties and helps to stimulate the immune system.
- Oregon grape root promotes digestion and supports liver function.
Dandelion and Acne – A Natural Detoxification Agent for the Liver & Kidneys
- Dandelion has been recognized by herbalists all over the world as an excellent liver remedy.
- Dandelion root is used to cleanse the blood and liver which helps to promote clear skin.
- Dandelion has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties that make it very effective in neutralizing acne causing bacteria in the skin.
- Dandelion root helps to stimulate the liver and digestive process which helps flush toxins.
Yellow Dock and Acne – Promotes Healthy Digestion & Liver Function
- Herbalists use yellow dock in the treatment of acne for its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Yellow dock acts as a blood purifier and cleanser which helps to promote clear skin.
- Yellow dock is a detoxifying herb used to help improve colon and liver function.
David H. Rahm, M.D. is the founder and medical director of The Wellness Center, a medical clinic located in Long Beach, CA. Dr. Rahm is also president and medical director of VitaMedica. Dr. Rahm is one of a select group of conventional medical doctors who have education and expertise in functional medicine and nutritional science. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Rahm has published articles in the plastic surgery literature and educated physicians about the importance of good peri-operative nutrition.