Toothpaste. Crushed aspirin and water. Benzoyl peroxide. Salicylic acid. If you suffer from acne, you may have tried one or all of these methods for clear skin. While they all have proven results -- even the toothpaste -- one remedy doesn't always suit everyone.
If you're still battling a speckled complexion into adulthood, an herbal remedy may be the solution. Burdock root has been used for centuries to rid the body of harmful substances and its benefits on the skin have made it a popular alternative treatment for those unsightly blemishes.
A Little Bit About Burdock Root
Burdock root (Arctium lappa) can be harvested throughout North America in the fall and winter months and also grows in Europe and Asia. A member of the daisy family, burdock root grows roots deep into the ground, has bright purple flowers and is considered by many to be a weed. It should be harvested when the plant has bright green leaves. As it ages, burdock root will develop prickly burrs that can catch on clothing or animal fur. In Asia, burdock root is often eaten for both a food source and for its medicinal benefits. The root is commonly made into teas, tinctures or supplements in capsule form.
Burdock Root and Your Skin
This herb has been used for centuries for its cleansing properties, particularly for the blood and liver. Burdock root contains active compounds called polyacetylenes, that have antifungal and antibacterial properties. The liver is responsible for filtering out all of the bad stuff we ingest and are exposed to on a daily basis. These toxins -- medications, personal care products, pollution, etc. -- can affect the health of the entire body if the liver isn't functioning properly to get rid of them in our bile. Burdock root can also help regulate blood sugar and reduce the inflammation associated with arthritis.
Burdock root, therefore, supports the function of the liver, helping it produce bile efficiently while providing anti-inflammatory support. It also contains the antioxidants quercetin and luteolin which protect the body's cells from free radical damage. These actions improve the health of the entire body, but can be seen most noticeably in the condition of the skin. By cleansing the body from the inside out, burdock root helps clear skin that's inflamed due to bacteria. In terms of acne, this means a reduction in redness as well as the appearance and frequency of blemishes. Burdock root can also help treat psoriasis and eczema and promote wound healing.
How to Try It
As mentioned before, burdock root is available in ingestible forms, with tea being the most popular. You can drink the tea up to three times a day. In capsule form, adults should consume 1 to 2 g up to three times a day. You can also find burdock tinctures (containing alcohol) and liquid extracts sold individually. These can be used topically, but be sure to follow product instructions carefully. Burdock root extract can also be found in topical creams, toners and serums to benefit the skin.
Now that you know more about burdock root, stop picking and scratching at your pimples or burying them beneath gallons of makeup. Check out our selection of burdock root products at eVitamins and go herbal to get clear.