Most holistic practitioners consider acne as a symptom of underlying health problems. These include hormonal imbalance, poor digestion, inefficient liver and bowel function, and poor nutrition.
In herbal healing, the treatment of acne normally involves the use of topical herbal applications and taking herbal supplements made specifically for the purpose of treating the cause of the acne.
Medical science has pointed to excessive sebum as one of the major causes of acne. Sebum is an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands to protect your hair and skin from drying out.
However, as a person reaches puberty, the sebaceous glands have the tendency to overproduce sebum which can cause oily skin, odors and acne. This is one issue that herbal and medical professionals are trying to address.
Here are some of the most popular herbs that can help to treat acne:
1. Mahonia or Oregon Grape
This herb is native to the North American west coast. It was used by early Americans as an internal medicine for the treatment of acne. One recent study confirmed that Mahonia has the ability to decrease the secretion of sebum and reduce infection and inflammation when applied topically. It also contains berbamine and berberine, two compounds which are believed to reduce sebum and kill bacteria.
You can take mahonia internally to increase bile flow and stimulate digestion. These can lead to the decrease of acne.
2. Golden Seal
This herb is a perennial plant native to southeastern Canada. It contains barberine, an anti-bacterial compound that helps to kill bacteria when applied directly on the skin.
You can also take golden seal internally as an antibiotic and liver tonic. It has the ability to increase bile production and improve elimination to enhance your body’s detoxifying capabilities.
3. Burdock, Yellow Dock and Dandelion
Herbalists use these three herbs as a tonic for the liver and the gall bladder. They also use these to improve the function of the digestive system by stimulating the gall bladder to increase its output of bile into the small intestine.
These herbs also help to improve the liver’s capability to remove toxins and metabolic by-products from our body. By improving liver function, unwanted wastes are eliminated and hormonal imbalance is normalized. This can result in the prevention of acne.