Written By Basilio Chen

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An effective TCM herbal formula for acne and pimples or just general skin care is described below.  There is a decoction for drinking and there is an external localized application.

The drinking formula ingredients are:

夏枯草 (Spica Prunellae Vulgaris).  This herb lowers the body hyperactivity (during maturing youth growth is strong and couple with process food it can result in acne).

金銀花 (Honeysuckle). Anti-inflamatory.

薏米 (Barley – Job’s Tears). A natural diuretic.

The 夏枯草 in combo with 金銀花 will reduce heat and inflammation and the 薏米 will flush it of the system thru the urinary track.

Drink during day time as it increases urination.

Deep fried food should be significantly avoided at the first sign of acne and reduction of fried food and overly stimulating food can generally heat dampness and thus imples and acne.  (Any greasy food must be cooked for more than 3 hours in low heat to transform its character or else it will also add to the promotion of dampness).

The TCM condition for pimples and acne falls into the category of Heat with Dampness Pattern (湿热证).  In TCM, a pattern can create multiple manifestation depending on the person.  For a young growing person, hormonal and internal activity is high since is in physical geometric growth phase of life.

In a mild form, and for young person (increased hormonal activity), it can result in pimples.  For other people, in more severe cases if not rid of early it can add layers of layers and as an adult it become more chronic with more severe symptoms and diseases including like pelvic inflammation, swollen glands, etc…). Like they say “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”.

This is a mild and simple formula used in our household for several decades and still taken today after a heavy greasy meal.

If too progressed and not addressed early then later it will require more drastic herbs like Huang Lian (黄连), Huang Bai (黃栢), scullcap (Huang Qin, 黄芩), and the super bitter getinna (Long Dan Cao).  Although imo Huang Lian (黄连) is more bitter.

The seeds (生天仙子, Henbane Seed, Hyoscyamine) you can see here