Acne? Drop The Chocolate. Add Zinc.
With two teenagers in the house, my grocery cart is always full of acne medicine. It seems like my children can have perfect complexions one moment and then in a blink of an eye their skin is completely opposite. I keep telling them that they will grow out of it someday. Just like I told them that Grandpa donated Billy Goat to the Lincoln Zoo, I continue the lie that acne goes away when one becomes an adult. Like there is a magic age where “poof” acne completely goes away. This fuels my desire to find a remedy that gets to the source of their acne problems.
What Causes Acne?
For teens, the simple answer I hear most of the cause of acne is hormones (aka androgens.) This is the “go to answer” for any teen. Of course, this is one of the reasons for acne. But, there are many others.
As you know, acne happens when hair follicles in the skin become plugged usually with excessive oil or bacteria causing an inflamed pimple or bump. Pimples primarily appear on the face, chest, and upper back. But also, they can appear all over the body in areas that sweat. Although we associate acne with teens, it spares no one and can happen in adults also.
One doesn’t have to be a teen to have acne from hormones. Pregnancy and even oral contraceptives can cause acne outbreaks. Other factors that impact acne include diet, stress, and even certain medications. It is extremely hard to narrow down which reason is why one may be having increased acne. Medical sources say even eating chocolate can increase acne. I’m trying to erase that from my memory since I consider Chocolate a major food group.
Acne In The Alternative Medicine World
In the alternative medicine world, acne indicates the presence of inflammation in the body. If you are keeping your skin clean, your hormones are in balance, and you are eating a balanced diet, then an alternative medicine practitioner may look into what is causing that inflammation. Is your liver chugging along a little slower because you loading it up with toxins? Do you have nutritional weaknesses? Usually when the body is struggling to let go of something it doesn’t like inside and the liver can’t keep up, your body will try to force it out of one its “largest detoxer” called your skin.
If you are struggling with chronic acne, you may look first to drinking lemon water upon rising to flush out any toxins your body is trying to process overnight. Lemon water may help in stimulating digestive enzymes in the liver. Lemons can clean, detox, and alkalize your liver. Although lemons are considered acidic, they actually have an alkalizing outcome. It helps the body to balance its pH and optimize your overall health.
Zinc Deficiency May Be The Reason For Your Acne
One of the most overlooked reasons to chronic acne is a Zinc-deficiency. Zinc is an essential mineral found in many foods. Your body cannot store Zinc so it needs a daily supply. According to the National Institute of Health, “Zinc is involved in numerous aspects of cellular metabolism. It is required for the catalytic activity of approximately 100 enzymes and it plays a role in immune function], protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA synthesis, and cell division.”
Research about how Zinc taken orally (not topically) may treat acne. In a 1990 and 1992 research studies, participants seemed to have lower serum and skin zinc levels. Although the research may be older, it does suggest that taking Zinc orally can improve acne. In a 2001 research study, acne lesions were reduced by the use of Zinc orally.
One can take a Zinc capsule of 30 mg once a day. But, I prefer taking liquid Ionic Zinc instead. I tend to take 10 drops of liquid Zinc daily. For myself, I clearly can see a difference between how my body processes a Zinc capsule versus liquid Zinc.
Top 10 Herbs & Spices For Zinc Deficiency
If you prefer to obtain Zinc from herbs and spices instead of through supplementation, listed below are the Top 10 Herbs and Spices that contain Zinc based on levels per 100 grams:
Chervil, dried: 9 mg
Poppy Seed: 8 mg
Cardamom: 7 mg
Celery Seed: 7 mg
Thyme: 6 mg
Basil, dried: 6 mg
Yellow Mustard Seed: 6 mg
Caraway Seed: 5 mg
Anise Seed: 5 mg
Dill Seed: 5 mg
You can add many of these herbs and spices to your culinary dishes to increase your Zinc naturally. You may also create your own favorite unique tea combinations. Don’t be afraid to try out and experiment with different combinations. I’ve included a Zinc-Deficiency Herbal Tea recipe below:
Zinc-Deficiency Herbal Tea
1 tablespoons of dehydrated Thyme leaf
1 teaspoon of dehydrated Sage
1 teaspoon of Cardamom powder
1 tablespoon of Honey
16 ounces of Water
To make the tea, boil two cups or 16 ounces of water. Steep herb ingredients above for five minutes then add honey. Please do not over steep your tea using dehydrated herbs or the taste may become bitter. This tea recipe is made with dehydrated herbs and spices; yet, you can use fresh herbs and spices also. Because dehydrated herbs and spices are much more potent, you may need use about two to three times more fresh herbs for a recipe calling for dried herbs. With fresh herbs, you do not need to worry about over steeping.
If you are struggling with chronic acne and nothing else has worked, I encourage you to look into Zinc as an option to try to reduce your acne. If you try Zinc and it doesn’t help your acne, then you’ve eliminated one of the reasons that may be causing your acne.
Blessings, Herbal Farmwife
DISCLAIMER: This information should not be considered to be healthcare advice, medical diagnosis, or treatment. This information is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other healthcare professionals. Always consult a healthcare professional first before trying any herbs, spices, vitamins, or minerals mentioned in this posting. This information is merely a discussion of “thoughts” among friends. Please note that none of these statements have been evaluated by the USA’s Food and Drug Administration.
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