Natural Ways to treat Acne during Pregnancy
Several plants and plant-based preparations are used for the treatment of acne. Some of them are discussed below:
Amaranthus hypochondriacus Linn. and A. cruentus Linn. (Family: Amaranthaceae) are native to China and Mexico. Amaranthus seeds and leaves have been used effectively as an astringent and also make a good wash for skin problems ranging from acne and eczema to psoriasis. The main constituents are saponins.
Arnica is a perennial herb native to the mountainous regions of Europe to southern Russia. The dried flower heads of Arnica montana Linn. (Family: Asteraceae) and several other related species of Arnica are useful in the treatment of acne, bruises, sprains, muscle aches and as a general topical counterirritant. The plant contains a number of sesquiterpene lactones (helenalin, dihydrohelenalin, arnifolin and the arnicolides), flavonoid glycosides and about 0.3% of a volatile oil. The essential active principles are helenalin which have been shown to have strong antimicrobial, antioedema and antiinflammatory properties.
Asparagus officinalis Linn. (Family: Liliaceae) is a dioecious perennial herb, native to Europe and Asia and is widely cultivated. The fleshy roots and seeds have been used for medicinal purposes. Home remedies containing the shoots extracts are used as topical application to cleanse the face and acne form.
Betula alba Linn. (Family: Betulaceae) is found mainly in the Northern U.S, Canada and Northern Europe. The tree bark has been used successfully for the treatment of psoriasis, eczema, acne and similar chronic skin diseases. The main constituents are phenolic compound, salicylic acid and guaiacol; terpenoids, betulin, ylangene, betuloside; and flavone.
The roots and leaves of Arctium lappa Linn. (Family: Asteraceae) are most widely used for treating chronic skin problems including acne. It grows in Europe and North America. The main constituents are arctiopicrin (sesquiterpene lactone), arctigenin (lignan), inulin (fructosan) and mucilage (xylocan).
The flower heads of Calendula officinalis Linn. (Family: Asteraceae) have long been used for the treatment of various skin ailments and to facilitate healing and reduce inflammation. The herb contains flavonoids (quercetin), triterpinoid saponins (arvenoside A), essential oils and polysaccharides.
Chelidonium majus Linn. (Family: Papaveraceae) is a perennial herb. It grows in Europe and temperate and subarctic region of Asia. Any part of the broken herb exudes an acid, sticky orange juice with unpleasant odour. The sticky juice is used for the treatment of pimples.
Rheum officinale Baill. (Family: Polygonaceae) and other species of rhubarb are native to Southern Siberia, China and India. The main constituents include potassium, calcium and lesser amount of phosphorus. The anthraquinones present are rhein, emodin, chrysophanol in rhubarb are useful to relieve the itchness and pain accompanying psoriasis as well as Acne vulgaris.
The aqueous extract of the petals of the Rosa species (Family: Rosaceae) are used for the daily care of the skin. The rose water is also effective against acne and black heads. The main constituents are tanninseugeniin, pentagalloyl, pyrogallol; monoterpenoids-eugenol, geraniol; and rugosal and phenylethyl alcohol .
Saponaria officinalis Linn. (Family: Caryophyllaceae) is a perennial herbaceous plant native to Northern Europe. Soapwort has been administered topically for the treatment of acne, psoriasis, eczema and boils (Dermarderosian, 2001). It contains water-soluble steroidal saponins (saponoside D) found in all parts of the plants and acts as surface-active agent to facilitate cleaning.
Stinging nettle herb consists of fresh or dried aerial parts or leaves of Urtica dioica Linn. (Family: Urticaceae). Stinging nettle leaf and herb contains mineral salts, mainly calcium and potassium salts of silicic acid; phenolic ketones-acetophenone; amines-acetyl choline, betaine, choline, histamine, 5-HT, lecithin; flavanoidsquercitin, isoquercitin, rutin, kaempferol; β-sitosterol, tannins, volatile oil, vitamins A, B2 , C, K, folic acid and pantothenic . The alcoholic solution of distilled nettle has been used traditionally to treat acne.
Tea tree oil
Melaleuca alternifolia (Maiden & Betche) Cheel or tea tree (Family: Myrtaceae) is a small tree native to Australia. The leaves of the plant used medicinally are the source of valuable therapeutic oil. The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of leaves. The main constituent in tea tree essential oil is terpin-4-ol, present in concentrations of 40% or more. Tea tree oil is effective against a wide range of organisms including twenty seven of the 32 strains of P. acnes. It has good penetration and is non-irritating to the skin.
Thymus Linn. (Family: Lamiaceae) are small, perennial plants native to Europe and Asia. The three principle varieties are English, French and German and they differ in leaf shape, leaf colour and essential oil composition. Salves prepared from the leaves are useful in the treatment of cuts, burns, acne and rash in the area of the face, neck, throat or forehead. The main constituents are carvacrol, p-cymene, thymol, thymol acetate and apigenin.
Turmeric consists of dried rhizomes of Curcuma longa Linn. (Family: Zingiberaceae). The plant is cultivated widely throughout Asia, India, China and Tropical countries. The major chemical constituents include curcuminoids, the yellow colouring principle, of which curcumin constitutes 50-60%; essential oil (2-7%) with high content of bisatiolane derivatives. Turmeric exhibits remarkable anti-inflammatory activity which is attributed to curcumin.
Different species like Juglans nigra Linn.and J. regia Linn. (Family: Juglandaceae) are indigenous to East Asia, South-east Europe, North and South America. The tree of walnut makes an excellent wash for a variety of skin infections including the bad cases of Acne vulgaris. The main constituents include tannins elagitannin; naphthalene derivatives juglone, flavonoids hyperoside and quercitin.
Coriander and Turmeric
Take 2 teaspoons of fresh coriander leaf juice. To this add a pinch of turmeric powder and apply it on face 2 to 3 times daily after face wash.
Crush some leaves to form a paste; apply to acne affected areas on face. Leave for 5 to 10 minutes then wash off.
Orange/ Lemon peels
Take few orange peels and dry it under shade. Powder the dried peels and sieve them. Take one teaspoon of this powder and mix it with fresh milk to make a paste. Before going to bed, apply this paste on the face. Keep it for 10 – 15 minutes and wash it off. Take the peel from an orange or lemon or both and put in a blender. Apply the juice several times daily to the acne affected areas for about 5 to 10 minutes then wash off .
Put a handful of dried rose petals into little boiling water. Cover and let steep until cool. Drink two cupfuls a day or use externally as a wash or wet pack.
A nice salve can be made at home for helping to heal cuts, bruises, acne, rash, etc. Ghee is used as an excellent base for many herbal salves and oils in India by Ayurvedic folk healers. The method involves heating the ghee to just below the point where it will bubble without burning and smoking. Add 2 handfuls coarsely chopped and slightly crushed garden thyme to the pot. When the ghee is heated, and during the gentle cooking of the thyme for an hour, the pot should remain covered. After this, briefly uncover just long enough to strain through a coarse, wire sieve. Return to the stove and cover again to reheat for about 5 minutes. Then remove the lid and add between 1-2 tablespoons of melted bees wax and stir thoroughly. Also add ½ tsp of pure vanilla when putting the bees wax in. Finally, pour the entire contents from the pot into clean jars that are not too deep. Allow setting up before screwing the lids on. Store in a cool, dry place. Massage some of this salve on the skin each day after showering and again in the evening before retiring for the night.
Boil the walnut husks with enough water to cover them to a depth of about 2 inches for 1 hour or until half the liquid remained (no lid should be put on the pot). This is then strained and stored in corked jugs until ready to be used. The extract can be put on acne affected areas of the skin.
There are many important aspects to be considered in the treatment of acne. An integrated therapeutic approach is required in order to attain the desired results. Although there are many medicines to choose from, plants are the natural source of medicines, which play an important role in the treatment of acne, without side effects. Hence, they are the commonly used alternatives to synthetic medicines for acne.