Clinical Study Finds Herb to Treat Acne

Topical tinctures including the herb thyme could be more effective for acne than prescription creams, according to research presented at the Society for General Microbiology's Spring Conference in Dublin (March 2012).

Researchers from Leeds Metropolitan University tested the effect of several herbs, including thyme, marigold, and myrrh on the bacterium that causes acne.

“The group found that while all the preparations were able to kill the bacterium after five minutes exposure, thyme was the most effective of the three. What's more, they discovered that thyme tincture had a greater antibacterial effect than standard concentrations of benzoyl peroxide, the active ingredient in most anti-acne creams or washes.”

Wondering if you can make something like this at home? I found an organic thyme tincture for only $9.28, but if you're a DIYer, the plant material is steeped in alcohol (for days to weeks) to prepare a tincture. This procedure pulls out the active compounds from the plant. In the study, the effects of the tinctures were measured against an alcohol control, proving their antibacterial action was not simply due to the sterilizing effect of the alcohol in which they were prepared.

Most of us would agree that an herbal treatment for acne would be a welcome change, particularly for those of us who suffer from acne and are also plagued with skin sensitivity. Herbal preparations are less harsh on the skin due to their anti-inflammatory properties.

Organic Thyme Tincture 3.52oz $9.28

Society for General Microbiology. "Acne Medications May Soon Include Thyme." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 28 Mar. 2012.

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