- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Herbal Remedies: Best Natural Cures for Acne
Mostcommonly, acne occurs in adolescence because of the increase in male hormonesthat girls and boys produced at this time. There are many causes of acneincluding genetic predisposition, stress, hormonal imbalance, bacteria in thepores and steroid usage. Diet can potentially be a contributing factor, butcertain rumors like “chocolate causes acne” are not substantiated by anyscientific evidence.
Smoking,not washing off your makeup, constipation and harsh chemicals are all potentialtriggers of acne.
Thereare oral and topical antibiotics to treat acne, but these are usually harsherchemicals – many don’t work on sensitive skin and some people would rather usenatural methods to cure acne. Some cultures and medical approaches also suggestdrinking water and foods like celery, watermelon and carrots (including thetops) will help cure acne.
Herbal,topical treatments for acne are typically gentle on the skin when used inmoderation. These solutions are generally available at health stores and evensome grocery stores, especially those that focus on natural and healthy foods.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a great, natural remedy for acneand will be readily available at most stores. This oil has been used since the1920s or 30s when word of its antimicrobial properties started to come out, butwas first used by indigenous tribes in Australia as a medicine to treat commonailments like colds. This spot treatment is easy to use, just dab on theaffected areas. Be sure to use diluted tea tree oil as pure oil would be toostrong and probably dry out your skin instead of help cure your acne. If youcan only find 100% pure, be sure to dilute it with water before applying toyour skin. Also, it is harmful if ingested so stick to using this as a strictlytropical treatment. One of tea tree oil’s characteristics is a strong odor,similar to that of camphor.
Neem is a common herb thatis used to alleviate acne symptoms and grows in semi-tropical and tropicalregions like India and Sri Lanka and Pakistan. It is used in everything fromsoaps to teas. The antibacterial properties of this herb make it ideal forcurtailing acne and it will be sensitive on your skin – neem oil has even beenused as a mosquito repellent. Neem is used in many Hindu traditions andceremonies. Most of the festivals, held in the summer months, celebrate usingneem bark and leaves and it is said that sleeping on neem leaves can curechicken pox! Neem teabags are available, or if you find bulk leaves, you canmake your own neem tea. Steeping the tea in hot water and a little ginger makesa comforting hot drink that also heals the skin from the inside out.
Burdock root has been usedby herbalists for centuries as a diuretic, scalp treatment that promotes hairgrowth, as a blood purifier and, of course, in applications to treat commonskin ailments. Making a burdock root tea is a great way to detoxify the body,helping to eliminate toxins and eliminate acne. By the bulk herb and steep itlike you would any regular tea using a mesh strainer, if you have one. Onepotential downside is that drinking burdock root tea will cause your bodytoxins to expel through the skin, but that is a temporary reaction. Oneinteresting fact about the burdock plant is that the seeds of the burdock plantwere the inspiration for Velcro because burrs kept attaching themselves to theclothing of George de Menstral, a Swiss inventor. He looked at them under amicroscope and the hook and loop system inspired the famous material.
While the seeds of the fenugreek plant are commonly use in cooking dishes like curry, the leaves also have additional healing properties for the skin. For the topical treatment of acne, make a paste of fenugreek leaves (not the seeds) and apply it to your face at night time for about10-15 minutes and wash with warm water. You can also choose to leave the mask on overnight if you put it on affected areas and wash it off in the morning to make this treatment affective. This mask can be used to prevent pimples instead of just treat them so be sure to use this facemask even before you see a sign of acne.
Everyone knows how aloe vera can cure sunburns, but it canbe used for most skin irriations because it is so moisturizing and soothing.Apply the aloe vera directly to your skin for an easy and soothing topicaltreatment for the skin – and, of course, don’t stop just at acne. Rashes,sunburns and eczema can be alleviated with aloe vera use. Make sure you areusing natural aloe vera – or better yet, get an aloe vera plant, which are funto keep around the house. If it is not pure (a.k.a. colored gel from the cornerconvenience store) it won’t have enough healing properties to really help cureyour acne. Early records of aloe vera use go back as far as 16thcentury BC and is used widely in herbal medicine practices from India to Japanto South Africa. Some uses include relief of irritable bowl syndrome (in juiceform), makeup, facial tissues and even some molecular gastronomists use it incooking experiments because it gels so easily.