Spots and Acne
HERBS for SPOTS AND ACNE
There are herbs that have been found to be useful for spots and acne. The herbs are hormonal balancers, immuno-stimulant, anti-inflammatory, anti-infection, detoxifying.
The lotion is anti-infection, anti-scarring, protective, healing.
Spots and Acne
Acne vulgaris (acne, spots, pimples) is a common condition in teenagers and some adults.
It appears with seborrhea (scaly red skin), comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), papules (pinheads), pustules (pimples), nodules (large papules) and possibly scarring.
Acne affects mostly skin with the densest population of sebaceous follicles; these areas include the face, the upper part of the chest, and the back.
Severe acne is inflammatory, but acne can also manifest in non-inflammatory forms.
The causes are generally due to changes in pilosebaceous units, that is, skin structures consisting of a hair follicle and its associated sebaceous gland, changes that require androgen stimulation.
Acne develops as a result of blockages in follicles. Hyperkeratinization and formation of a plug of keratin and sebum (a microcomedo) is the earliest change. Enlargement of sebaceous glands and an increase in sebum production occur with increased androgen (DHEA-S) production at adrenarche. The microcomedo may enlarge to form an open comedone (blackhead) or closed comedone (milia).
Comedones are the direct result of sebaceous glands' becoming clogged with sebum, a naturally occurring oil, and dead skin cells. In these conditions, the naturally occurring largely commensal bacterium Propionibacterium acnes can cause inflammation, leading to inflammatory lesions (papules, infected pustules, or nodules) in the dermis around the microcomedo or comedone, which results in redness and may result in scarring or hyperpigmentation.
Who Gets Spots?
Acne occurs most commonly during adolescence, and can often continues into adulthood. In adolescence, acne is usually caused by an increase in testosterone, which people of both genders accrue during puberty.
For most, acne diminishes over time and tends to disappear after one reaches one's early twenties. Some people may carry this condition well into their thirties, and beyond.
This term is used to describe severe cases of inflammatory acne. The "cysts," or boils that accompany cystic acne, can appear on the buttocks, groin, and armpit area, and anywhere else where sweat collects in hair follicles and perspiration ducts. Cystic acne affects deeper skin tissue than does common acne.
Aside from scarring, its main effects are psychological, such as reduced self-esteem and depression. Acne usually appears during adolescence, when people already tend to be most socially insecure.
scientific research indicates that "increased acne severity" is "significantly associated with increased stress levels." The National Institutes of Health (USA) list stress as a factor that "can cause an acne flare."
Acne scars are the result of inflammation within the dermis brought on by acne. The scar is created by the wound trying to heal itself resulting in too much collagen in one spot.
Ice pick scars: Deep pits, that are the most common and a classic sign of acne scarring.
Box car scars: Angular scars that usually occur on the temple and cheeks, and can be either superficial or deep, these are similar to chickenpox scars.
Rolling scars: Scars that give the skin a wave-like appearance.
Hypertrophic scars: Thickened, or keloid scars.
Pigmented scars is a slightly misleading term, as it suggests a change in the skin's pigmentation and that they are true scars; however, neither is true. Pigmented scars are usually the result of nodular or cystic acne (the painful 'bumps' lying under the skin). They often leave behind an inflamed red mark. Often, the pigmentation scars can be avoided simply by avoiding aggravation of the nodule or cyst. Pigmentation scars nearly always fade with time taking between three months to two years to do so, although can last forever if untreated.
Hormonal activity, such as menstrual cycles and puberty, may contribute to the formation of acne. During puberty, an increase in male sex hormones called androgens cause the follicular glands to grow larger and make more sebum. Use of anabolic steroids may have a similar effect. Several hormones have been linked to acne: the androgens, testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), as well as insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I).
The tendency to develop acne runs in families. For example, school aged boys with acne often have other members in their family with acne as well. A family history of acne is associated with an earlier occurrence of acne and an increased number of retentional acne lesions.
Diet and Exercise
A high glycemic load diet and cow's milk have been associated with worsening acne. Other associations such as chocolate and salt are not supported by the evidence. However it is recommended that sugar should be reduced or eliminated from the diet. Junk foods and greasy foods should be cut right back. Green salads, fresh fruit and plenty of water are helpful.
Exercise should be encouraged as this will use up androgens and testosterones.
The herbs for spots, pimples and acne are used as antiinflammatories, to regulate hormones and reduce androgens, eliminating toxins, cleansing the blood and lymphatic glands, and supporting the immune system, also herbs to reduce stress using relaxants and tranguilizers.
Herbal lotions, creams or ointments are also used by application to the skin to counteract bacterial infection, reduce inflammation, and reduce scarring.
I also recommend that your treatment of this condition includes taking half to 1tsp of the ABC Daily Herbal NutriPowder Plus - see the sizes and prices on our Store
Soapwort - Pure Herbal Soap for Skin and Hair
To imorove the condition and function of your skin, especially if your health is compromised, it is recommended that you avoid all the chemicals, petrochemicals and animal products (tallow) found in commercial soaps and shampoos, even found in so-called 'natural' products.
Soapwort's native range extends throughout Europe to western Siberia. It grows in cool places at low or moderate elevations under hedgerows and along the shoulders of roadways. Soapwort was originally grown near woollen mills so it was handy for washing wool. Plants have also been found near the sites of old Roman baths. Flowers smell somewhat like Cloves.
The root is rich in saponins and produces a natural soapy lather in water. Not just used for making soap, the plant can also be used to make a shampoo for dry, itchy scalp - although try to avoid getting shampoo in the eyes as it can irritate them.
Soapwort was used to wash the Turin Shroud. Still used today in cleaning old fabrics. This probably helped in its preservation because Soapwort contains a fungicide. A decoction of the plant can be applied externally to treat itchy skin, eczema, psoriasis, acne and boils.
Our SkinClear Soap is simply a mixed powder of soapwort root, horse chestnut, comfrey, slippery elm powder, marshmallow root, oats, and lavender flowers - all perfect for your skin's health and cleanlines. It is gentle on the skin, healing for skin problems and a highly effective natural cleanser - for eczema, psoriasis, fungal infections (ringworm/tinia), and general health. Place some of the powder in your hand, add a little water and wash your whole body; or you can put some of the powder in a flannel or loofah, perfect!
Then wash your hair with our soapwort shampoo. Made from soapwort root, yucca and lavender - nothing else - pure and simple. Yucca is known for its help in hair loss, hair thinning and baldness (including tinea or ringworm in the scalp which causes bald patches). Washes and softens your hair and cleanses your scalp; conditions and cleans - couldn't be more natural. But its naturalness may take a little getting used to!
Buy our unique SkinClear Soap Powder:
see sizes and prices at our store
Buy our SkinClear Shampoo Powder
see sizes and prices at our store
Our herbal tonic medicines are carefully prepared on a personal and individual basis for your healing by medical herbalist Alan Hopking MA MNIMH FINEH.
Only whole herbs are used in our herbal medicines. Nothing else is added. If you have symptoms which you consider might be helped with herbal medicine please contact herbal practitioner Alan Hopking for a friendly confidential professional consultation. See terms and fees.
Once you have received your herbal prescription you can contact Alan Hopking at any time for more free advice (preferably by email). When you have completed your bottle of herbal medicine and if you want a repeat prescription you are requested to phone or email so that your progress can be assessed and adjustments made if necessary so that there is no break in your treatment. To order or re-order, click here.
HERBACTIVE Centre of Herbal Medicine, England, UK. Freephone 0800 0834436
General advice to consumers on the use of herbal remedies from the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (www.mhra.gov.uk) Department of Health, UK
• Remember that herbal remedies are medicines. As with any other medicine they are likely to have an effect on the body and should be used with care. • Herbal remedies may sometimes interact with other medicines. This makes it particularly important to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking a herbal remedy with other medicines such as prescribed medicines (those provided through your doctor or dentist). • Treat with caution any suggestion that a herbal remedy is '100% safe' or is 'safe because it is natural'. Many plants, trees, fungi and algae can be poisonous to humans. It is worth remembering that many pharmaceuticals have been developed or derived from these sources because of the powerful compounds they contain. Any medicine, including herbal remedies, which have an effect on the body should be used with care. • Treat with caution any herbalist or other person who supplies herbal remedies if they are unwilling or unable to provide written information, in English, listing the ingredients of the herbal remedy they are providing. • If you are due to have a surgical operation you should always remember to tell your doctor about any herbal remedy that you are taking. • Anyone who has previously experienced any liver complaint, or any other serious health complaint is advised not to take any herbal remedy without speaking to their doctor first.
Few conventional medicines have been established as safe to take during pregnancy and it is generally recognised that no medicine should be taken unless the benefit to the mother outweighs any possible risk to the foetus. This rule should also be applied to herbal medicinal products. However, herbal products are often promoted to the public as being “natural” and completely “safe” alternatives to conventional medicines. Some herbal ingredients that specifically should be avoided or used with caution during pregnancy. As with conventional medicines, no herbal products should be taken during pregnancy unless the benefit outweighs the potential risk.
Many herbs are traditionally reputed to be abortifacient and for some this reputation can be attributed to their volatile oil component.(6) A number of volatile oils are irritant to the genito-urinary tract if ingested and may induce uterine contractions. Herbs that contain irritant volatile oils include ground ivy, juniper, parsley, pennyroyal, sage, tansy and yarrow. Some of these oils contain the terpenoid constituent, thujone, which is known to be abortifacient. Pennyroyal oil also contains the hepatotoxic terpenoid constituent, pulegone. A case of liver failure in a woman who ingested pennyroyal oil as an abortifacient has been documented.
A stimulant or spasmolytic action on uterine muscle has been documented for some herbal ingredients including blue cohosh, burdock, fenugreek, golden seal, hawthorn, jamaica dogwood, motherwort, nettle, raspberry, and vervain. Herbal Teas Increased awareness of the harmful effects associated with excessive tea and coffee consumption has prompted many individuals to switch to herbal teas. Whilst some herbal teas may offer pleasant alternatives to tea and coffee, some contain pharmacologically active herbal ingredients, which may have unpredictable effects depending on the quantity of tea consumed and strength of the brew. Some herbal teas contain laxative herbal ingredients such as senna, frangula, and cascara. In general stimulant laxative preparations are not recommended during pregnancy and the use of unstandardised laxative preparations is particularly unsuitable. A case of hepatotoxicity in a newborn baby has been documented in which the mother consumed a herbal tea during pregnancy as an expectorant. Following analysis the herbal tea was reported to contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are known to be hepatotoxic.
A drug substance taken by a breast-feeding mother presents a hazard if it is transferred to the breast milk in pharmacologically or toxicologically significant amounts. Limited information is available regarding the safety of conventional medicines taken during breast-feeding. Much less information exists for herbal ingredients, and generally the use of herbal remedies is not recommended during lactation.
Herbal remedies have traditionally been used to treat both adults and children. Herbal remedies may offer a milder alternative to some conventional medicines, although the suitability of a herbal remedy needs to be considered with respect to quality, safety and efficacy. Herbal remedies should be used with caution in children and medical advice should be sought if in doubt. Chamomile is a popular remedy used to treat teething pains in babies. However, chamomile is known to contain allergenic sesquiterpene lactones and should therefore be used with caution. The administration of herbal teas to children needs to be considered carefully and professional advice may be needed.
The need for patients to discontinue herbal medicinal products prior to surgery has recently been proposed. The authors considered eight commonly used herbal medicinal products (echinacea, ephedra, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, kava, St John’s Wort, valerian). On the evidence available they concluded that the potential existed for direct pharmacological effects, pharmacodynamic interactions and pharmacokinetic interactions. The need for physicians to have a clear understanding of the herbal medicinal products being used by patients and to take a detailed history was highlighted. The American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) has advised patients to tell their doctor if they are taking herbal products before surgery and has reported that a number of anaesthesiologists have reported significant changes in heart rate or blood pressure in some patients who have been taking herbal medicinal products including St John’s Wort, ginkgo and ginseng. MCA is currently investigating a serious adverse reaction associated with the use of ginkgo prior to surgery. In this case, the patient who was undergoing hip replacement experienced uncontrolled bleeding thought to be related to the use of ginkgo.
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