Ashwagandha for Acne: Can it Clear Breakouts?
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We all dream of having perfectly clear skin for our entire lives, but few of us actually receive that gift. Acne afflicts countless people throughout their lives, can appear at any stage in life, and appears with varying degrees of severity. Most common in adolescents, acne can also occur at any stage in adulthood. It is a condition in which oils and skin cells from your body clog hair follicles found in your skin. It can present in many forms, including as whiteheads, blackheads, and raised red bumps of various sizes, and is most commonly found on the face, back, chest, and upper arms. These areas of the body have the highest concentrations of glands that create oil, thus lending themselves to the highest propensity for acne.
What Causes Acne?
There are multiple possible causes of acne, including hormonal imbalances, use of particular medications, nutrition and dietary health, as well as stress levels. Acne is more prevalent in adolescents because when we go through puberty, our bodies increase the production of androgens, which are hormones that stimulate increased oil production in the glands of our skin. Going through pregnancy can also alter the hormonal balance in your body as can using a contraceptive medication, bringing on a season of acne-ridden skin. Other medications that contain certain elements, such as testosterone or lithium, can also trigger acne. Nutritionally, acne can be worsened by a diet high in carbohydrates and some people may find their skin is worse if they consume dairy products. As such, some people may benefit from eliminating certain foods from their diets. In addition to potentially helping with skin, a low carbohydrate diet has also been shown to have health benefits for the general population. And finally, stress can worsen acne, with a plethora of research indicating that stress affects the chemical balances in our bodies. Stress can be brought on by a number of things, including your work environment, a lack of sleep, or problems in your social life.
What Do I Do to Help My Acne?
Acne can clear up on its own but does often require treatment if you are wanting to avoid the potential negative effects in can bring on, including decreased self-confidence and the development of scar tissue. It may be better to try some natural remedies for acne treatment before seeking medical help as prescribed medications can often have negative side effects on your body. For example, some doctors prescribe antibiotics for severe acne, which can damage the healthy gut flora in your digestive tract, leading to other issues such as diarrhea or yeast infections. In severe cases of acne, the benefits of prescribed medications just may outweigh the potential negatives. But not all cases of acne require intensive intervention such as that. If you opt to try a natural remedy, consider using ashwagandha.
What is Ashwagandha and How Can it Help With Acne?
Ashwagandha is an herb with origins in Indian medicinal practices. The phrase itself stems from the Sanscrit language and is a combination of words that mean ‘horse’ and ‘smell,’ as the aroma of ashwagandha smells as such. The root and berry of the plant are used to treat various ailments and have been used accordingly for thousands of years. Research performed on this plant have indicated that it is an adaptogen, which basically means it can help normalize systems in the body and decrease stress within those systems. Since 6000 B.C., ashwagandha has been used for many problems, including rheumatism, constipation, ulcers, painful joints, and pimples. Research indicates that this herb may contain components that decrease inflammation as well.
The adaptogenic properties of ashwagandha lend to its usefulness in rebalancing your hormonal system. This can result in calmer skin and reduced acne, all while reducing feelings of stress as well. Some sources cite additional benefits of using this herb for acne as including antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties as well as being able to help with wound healing. Ashwagandha is typically taken orally either in powder form or in pill form. The powder can be consumed by mixing it into beverages. Some companies are also developing beverages to be sold at market that include the adaptogen!
Skin problems can be frustrating, especially acne. While ideally, appearances should not matter, it can be hard to remind ourselves of that. Luckily, there are treatments for the common ailment of acne. Ashwagandha may be the answer to the itchy, red, and patchy skin problem you have been dealing with. Research has shown its potential to bring calmness to our systems and to reduce stress, so it may be worth giving a try. If you do try ashwagandha and find it does not help, and other remedies you try also don’t help, you may want to consider seeking medical advice. In some cases, a dermatologist may be a more appropriate option. In older adults, a sudden onset of severe acne could be signifying that there is a more serious condition going on in the body and may necessitate medical attention.