In using Chinese medicine to cure acne, it is believed that all skin disorders are the result of an imbalance in the body. This imbalance may be triggered by diet, stress and hormonal imbalance. The imbalances usually associated with acne are damp heat from the stomach and intestines, blood stasis (poor blood flow) and excessive heat in the lungs.
Every individual is different and the cause of acne can be a combination of these factors. A properly qualified Chinese medical doctor will talk to his or her patient, perform a pulse and tongue diagnosis and assess any particular imbalances. Acne, in particular, is linked to inefficient and incomplete digestion. Chinese herbs for acne can be prescribed to clear and cleanse the digestive system.
Acne can be treated successfully with Chinese medicine, although at a slower pace, and is often used in conjunction with Western medical care Chinese herbal medicine is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM has a 5,000-year history, and uses a holistic approach in treating illnesses including acne.
TCM combines acupuncture, Chinese herbs, dietary therapy, exercises in breathing and movement, such as Tai Chi, and, in some cases, massage. It is widely practised in the East, and is gaining popularity here in the West.
Studies have shown that Chinese medicine has helped acne patients who have had unsuccessful results from other conventional acne treatments. Women with hormonal acne have seen an improvement in as little as seven weeks, and are able to stop acne treatment after six months. Very often, the red and purplish color, a characteristic of adult acne skin, is due to blood stasis.
Teenage acne is usually associated with heat and an imbalance in the patient’s yin and yang. Excessive heat makes the yang too strong, thus causing an imbalance. “Heat” may be linked to an overactive lifestyle, being overworked or placing too much stress on your body. Digestion problems, polluted environments, over spicy foods, and hot weather will all contribute to an over active yang. The excessive toxic substances produced by this ‘heat’ goes into the bloodstream, causing inflammation and swelling. Teenagers will be relieved that teenage acne is generally easier to treat than adult acne.
Chinese herbal medicine for acne usually comes in the form of a hot Chinese herbal tea for acne, herbal skin lotions and sometimes acupuncture. A combination of Chinese herbs for acne and acupuncture is used to rebalance the body, thus removing the root cause of your acne. Chinese remedies for acne are usually administered over a few weeks.
Chinese herbal medicine for acne is usually prepared from a combination of various herbs. Each ingredient is weighed, mixed and then boiled into a soup mixture and consumed like tea. The sometimes unpleasant taste of the Chinese herbal tea for acne can be mitigated by chewing on a preserved plum.
Alternatively you can go to Chinese drugstores to buy the herb in tablets or capsules. There are also ready-made herbal acne preparations that you can buy without having to mix and boil your own herb mixture.
Here are a few Chinese herbal remedies which have been proven to help acne. However, be sure to consult an experienced herbalist before trying one of these herbal preparations.
- Chrysanthemum, dandelion and honeysuckle flowers to be taken as an infusion
- Barbes Skullcap boiled with honey
- Stellaria Root boiled with lean pork into a broth
- Roots of red peony, coptis, scrophularia, scutellaria, red sage, licorice, Chinese angelica, and platycodon boiled in water
- Dicliptera – Boiled and drunk with some honey
- Purslane – Boiled and drunk with honey