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Herbs That Help to Treat Acne

Updated on August 20, 2019
Vellur profile image

Nithya Venkat is a skin care enthusiast who loves to research and write about topics that involves all aspects of skin care.

Herbs have been used to treat many skin conditions since ancient times. Herbs help to heal skin disorders naturally and have a long term effect.

Showcasing herbs that help to fight acne by controlling and preventing the condition from becoming worse. Treating acne with herbs is effective provided it is done for over a period.

Here are some of the herbs that help to fight acne and treat the condition effectively -

Holy Baisl
Holy Baisl | Source


Basil is an aromatic herb belonging to the mint family. The botanical name of Basil used to treat acne is Ocimum tenuiflorum.

Basil is rich in antioxidants and has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties that help in treating acne. It also helps in preventing further breakouts on the skin.

Basil also helps to treat a severe form of acne called cystic acne that is characterized by swelling and pain. The strong anti-inflammatory property of basil keeps the swelling down and prevents further inflammation.

The International Journal of Cosmetic Science has conducted experiments on Basil being an effective treatment for acne. The experiments proved that basil is very effective to treat and control acne.

How to use Basil to treat acne?

Basil Water

Boil 4 - 5 fresh basil leaves in one cup of water for 5 minutes. Allow the water to cool and then strain to remove the basil leaves. Crush the basil leaves before boiling in water. If fresh basil leaves are not available, use two teaspoons of organic dried basil leaves.

Take a cotton ball and dip it in the basil infused water and dab onto the entire face and leave it on for about fifteen minutes. Make sure to gently dab on the areas of the skin affected by acne.

Wash off after fifteen minutes and gently pat dry. The basil water can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about one week.

Basil Oil

Mix 3 - 4 drops of basil oil and two teaspoons of coconut oil in a small bowl. Take a cotton ball, dip it in the oil mix and dab onto the areas affected by acne. Leave on for about ten minutes before washing off.

Basil infused facial steam

Boil few basil leaves in water and take a facial steam in this water to help the basil vapor to penetrate into the skin and kill any infection in the skin and prevent breakouts. This is a preventive measure to fight acne.

Neem leaves with small white flowers
Neem leaves with small white flowers | Source


The botanical name of the Neem herb used to treat acne is Azadirachta indica. Neem is a medicinal herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine since ancient times. The leaves, flowers, twigs, fruits are all used in the treatment of many ailments.

The anti-fungal and antibacterial properties of Neem is very effective to treat acne. It also helps to ease any itching sensation on the skin and soothes inflamed skin.

Azadirachtin is an organic compound present in Neem that destroys the walls of the bacteria that causes acne. The destruction of the bacterial walls kills the acne-causing bacteria and prevent the spread of acne to the other areas of the skin.

Neem does not dry out the skin totally because it also has moisturizing properties. The healing properties of Neem help to treat skin affected by acne and lighten scar and pigmentation marks on the skin due to acne.

How to use Neem to treat acne?

1. Take two to three drops of Neem oil in a small bowl and use a small cotton ball to apply the Neem oil on the skin affected with acne.

2. Boil Neem leaves in water till the water turns green. Strain the water to remove the Neem leaves and let the Neem water cool down. Dip a cotton ball in the Neem water and apply it on the areas affected by acne. This water can also be used to wash the face.

3. Grind four to five Neem leaves with water to make a paste. Apply this paste on the areas affected by acne. Wash off after fifteen minutes.

Amaranthus hypochondriacus
Amaranthus hypochondriacus | Source


The botanical name for Amaranth that is used to treat acne is Amaranthus hypochondriacus. Amaranth is also known as the Velvet Flower, Red Cockscomb, Spleen Amaranth and Lady Bleeding. The leaves and the seeds of this herb are used to treat acne.

One of the triggers of acne is inflammation on the skin. Vitamin B 6 that is present in Amaranth fights the inflammation, thereby preventing acne from affecting the skin. Vitamin B 6 also helps to keep the skin moisturized and prevents the skin from cracking.

Free radicals that damage skin cells can also act as a trigger for acne. Amaranth is rich in vitamin C, and this vitamin C helps to prevent the free radicals from damaging skin cells, thereby preventing acne from affecting the skin.

Amaranth oil to treat acne

Amaranth oil extracted from the seeds is used to treat acne. Dab Amaranth oil directly on the area of the skin affected by acne.

Boil three teaspoons of amaranth seeds in three cups of water after it boils add few leaves of Amaranth. Strain and then cool the water. Apply it on the areas affected by acne and after about fifteen minutes wash your face with the Amaranth infused water.

Lavender Flowers
Lavender Flowers | Source


The botanical name of lavender that is used to treat acne is Lavender officinalis. Lavender has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that help to treat acne. It also helps to soothe itchiness of the acne affected skin and reduces the redness.

Lavender kills the acne causing bacteria and inhibits the multiplication of this bacteria. This herb has healing properties that help in regeneration of new skin cells and fading of scars on the skin.

Lavender oil to treat acne

Add three to four drops of lavender oil to a teaspoon or olive oil or almond oil in a small bowl. Use a cotton bud to gently dab the oil onto the areas of the skin affected by acne. Continuous treatment with lavender oil will help to cure acne and heal scarred tissues.

Mint Leaves
Mint Leaves | Source


The botanical name of the Peppermint herb that used to treat acne is Mentha piperata. The Peppermint herb has antiseptic properties that help to control the multiplication of the bacteria that causes acne thereby preventing it from spreading to other parts of the skin.

The leaves of Peppermint have an organic compound called menthol. Menthol has a cooling effect that helps to soothe acne inflammation.

Vitamin A present in Peppermint helps to control oil production by the oil glands present in the skin.

Peppermint oil to treat acne

Take few drops of peppermint oil in a small bowl. Use a cotton bud to apply onto the area of the skin affected by acne.

Take a facial steam with a few drops of peppermint oil to prevent acne outbreaks.

Crush a few Peppermint leaves to make a paste and apply this on the areas affected by acne.

Use with caution

Treating acne with herbs over a period will help to control and cure acne. If the condition is severe, consult your physician. If you know that you are allergic to any of the above-mentioned herbs, do not use them.

If you are using an essential oil for the first time, apply a little on the inner area of your elbow or knee and leave on for twenty-four hours, and if you do not have any adverse reaction, then you can safely use the essential oil.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2015 Nithya Venkat


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    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 months ago from Dubai

      Thank you Melanie, take care.

    • Lovely Day Treasures profile image


      7 months ago from Wisconsin

      Very interesting!! I did not know about neem so I'm really glad you shared this. I've been using lavender and black spruce oil on my skin to help with flare-ups for the past few years. I think I'll add neem into the mix because I do have a bit of acne scarring and also I get cystic acne from time to time. The more oils the better! This article was very helpful, thank you so much for sharing!

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      18 months ago from Dubai

      Aloe Vera is nature’s gift to us. Aloe vera gel works miracles for the skin. Thank you for the information Peggy.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      18 months ago from Houston, Texas

      This is all good information to know. Many of the herbs you wrote about also smell good which would be a plus. When I had a few pimples as a teenager my mother recommended using aloe vera gel directly from the plant. It dried up the pimples quickly. I would use it at night when I would go to bed. Aloe vera is also good to use for cuts and scrapes or mild burns. Just thought that I would add this information for those interested in using natural ingredients.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      4 years ago from Dubai

      aesta1 good to see you here, sad that the Neem plant was destroyed. Neem has many uses and medicinal benefits, thank you for your visit.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We used to have Neem in our garden until the flood came and it destroyed everything including our Neem plant. It was so useful for us to lessen the mosquitoes. I have not really used amaranth so now I will be in search for this herb.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      4 years ago from Dubai

      rasta Peppermint works magic on the skin and helps relieve acne.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 

      4 years ago from Jamaica

      This is a personal issue for me and I find that peppermint really works.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      4 years ago from Dubai

      DDE herbs are natural cures and are being researched to a great extent to utilize their full potential, thank you for stopping by.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Herbs are of greater interest and so true about these herbs

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 years ago from Dubai

      Suzanne Day basil and lavender are great for acne. Thank you for stopping by and the vote up.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 

      5 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      A useful topic - I think basil and lavendar would work for me! Salt water is also good for acne, though you have to wash with it for 2 weeks to see results. Voted useful!

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 years ago from Dubai

      Nadine May thank you and am glad you came to know about the effectiveness of lavender in treating acne. It must be great to have lavender bushes in your garden!

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 

      5 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      I often wished that I knew about all these treatments when I was a teenager. I never knew that Lavender has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that can help to treat acne. I have lots of Lavender bushes growing in our garden. Thanks for this info.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 years ago from Dubai

      Molly Laton thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • Molly Layton profile image

      Molly Layton 

      5 years ago from Alberta

      Mmmm, peppermint to treat acne. Sounds nice. I'll have to try it sometime.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 years ago from Dubai

      Frank Atanacio herbs can heal, thank you for stopping by.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      I still find it incredible.. but I guess it can be so you did your research and it seems logical.. great hub Vellur

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 years ago from Dubai

      FlourishAnway thank you for stopping by, natural remedies help to heal the natural way.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      This is a beautiful and nicely researched hub. I appreciate the availability of natural remedies where available.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 years ago from Dubai

      AliciaC thank you and it is best to go the natural way and use natural products.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You've shared some interesting information, Vellur. I love to use effective natural products whenever possible.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 years ago from Dubai

      poetryman6969 thank you for stopping by, nature is full of surprises, basil is great to treat acne and has many health benefits.

      billybuc, thank you and yes lavender has a divine smell and Neem is nature's gift to herbal medicine.

      tillsontitan thank you and you are so right,nature seldom lets us down and thank you for the votes too.

      whounwho thank you, yes most of us have struggled with acne and hoped for a magic cure.

    • whonunuwho profile image


      5 years ago from United States

      Nice work my fiend. Most of us struggled at some time in our lives with these problems, others more so. whonu

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      As always, you've done your homework and provided some valuable and useful information. If we look hard enough we will find nature seldom lets us down.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very useful article. I've never heard of Neem but now I want to grow it. Love lavender...just the smell alone makes me want hundreds of plants in my yard. :)

    • poetryman6969 profile image


      5 years ago

      I love the idea that a fairly common herb basil would be effective in this arena.


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