Alternative Treatments for Acne

Alternative treatments for acne focus on proper cleansing to keep the skin oil-free; intermittent fasting; eating a good diet; an elimination diet in which the individual avoids alcohol, dairy products, smoking, caffeine, sugar, processed foods, and foods high in iodine, a mineral which appears to contribute to acne.

Supplementation with herbs that are blood cleansers or blood purifiers is recommended. These herbs strengthen the action of the liver and the kidneys, helping with detoxification and excretion. Dandelion root tincture (Taraxacum officinale) is recommended.

Other recommended products include burdock root (Arctium lappa), also known as gobo, which can be purchased fresh at health food grocers or in Asian markets. It can be used either raw or cooked in salads, stir-fries, or other vegetable dishes. Burdock root tincture can also be used.

Red clover (Trifolium pratense) makes a pleasant tea that can be consumed throughout the day. Milk thistle seed (Silybum marianum) can either be taken in tincture form or the seeds can be ground up and eaten in combination with hot cereal, granola, or other foods.

Other herbs useful in the treatment of acne include Echinacea spp. and goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis). Goldenseal is particularly helpful in clearing up underlying conditions of intestinal toxicity. Herbal remedies used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for acne include cnidium seed (Cnidium monnieri), and honeysuckle flower (Lonicera japonica).

Supplementation nutrients, such as essential fatty acids (EFAs), vitamin B complex, zinc, vitamin A or beta-carotene, and chromium are also recommended. Bowel toxicity may contribute to acne flare-ups and should be addressed.

Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus should be taken in yogurt or in capsules to maintain a healthy balance of intestinal flora. Goldenseal can be used to kill toxic bacteria. Allergic foods should be identified and removed from the diet.

Dietary fiber, such as oat and wheat bran, beans, fruits and vegetables and their skins, and psyllium seed, should be increased in the diet. The fiber absorbs toxins and carries them through the colon to be excreted.

In addition, individuals with acne may want to participate in movement therapy, such as yoga or t’ai chi, or begin an exercise regimen. The person may also consider stress reduction or meditation.