Is your anti-acne cream becoming more ineffective with every recurring episode of acne? Healing your skin from within with Ayurvedic drinks can give you a holistic acne solution.
Ancient Ayurvedic texts list down a variety of herbs that can improve your hormonal balance and regulate the secretion of sebum on your skin. These herbs are also known for their antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that aid the treatment of acne from within.
Read on to know a few of the best and easy-to-prepare drinks for glowing acne-free skin.
Our Ayurvedic Doctor Speaks
“Skin problems including acne are triggered by abnormalities of the Rasa Dhatu. Warm, herbal drinks replenish the Rasa and reduce oil production on acne prone skin. Drinks that detoxify your blood and lymph, devoid of sugar and salt, work well to manage Kapha (cystic) Acne.”
Dr. Zeel Gandhi (Bachelor Of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery), Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix
Acne is a commonly recurring skin problem irrespective of age. This inflammatory condition of the pilosebaceous unit is caused due to a blockage of your skin pores.
While there exist hundreds of topical acne treatments, according to Ayurveda, the root cause lies within. The Ayurvedic science states that one’s health and well being is dependent on the fine balance of doshas or life energies that govern various body functions.
Thus, an aggravation of the Kapha (excess sebum secretion), Vata (excess production of dead cells) and Pitta (redness and inflammation) doshas along with contamination of the Rakta (blood) leads to the formation of ‘Yuvana Pidakas’. Hence, the right dosha-balancing diet along with topical medicines is a more holistic way to treat this skin disorder.
As per Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, “Rasa - Lymph or literally body juices nurture and maintain one’s skin. Skin problems including acne are triggered by abnormalities of the Rasa Dhatu. Warm, herbal drinks replenish the Rasa and reduce oil production on acne prone skin. Drinks that detoxify your blood and lymph, devoid of sugar and salt, work well to manage Kapha (cystic) Acne. While soothing drinks with herbs like licorice, cumin, peppermint etc. help calm inflammation and help manage Pitta problems.”
Here we bring to you a healthy list of acne-fighting herbal and homemade drinks that can improve your skin immunity, reduce inflammation and heal your acne faster giving you blemish-free, beautiful skin.
9 Best Drinks For Acne-Free Skin
1. Spearmint Tea
A function unique to spearmint tea is its ability to act as a natural antiandrogenic  ingredient. It is able to reduce the level of androgen hormones in the body, a primary cause that stimulates excess production of sebum leading to acne. It is also a powerful antioxidant  agent containing terpenes such as carvone and limonene and vitamin C.
These antioxidants scavenge cell-damaging free radicals in the body and accelerate the acne-healing process. Further, the presence of Rosmarinic acid  in spearmint tea helps to reduce inflammation and pain in inflamed acne lesions.
If you are preparing your anti-acne tea with fresh spearmint leaves, you'll need to take more than the amount of dried leaves, about a handful, to get a nice strong flavour. For dried leaves take a teaspoon/cup of tea. Bring water to a boil and add the tea leaves. Let it brew for 5-6 minutes before straining. Add some honey for taste and enjoy. Consume daily one or two times for clear acne-free skin .
2. Green Tea With Lemon
Green tea and lemon make for a powerful antioxidant-rich, detoxifying drink for acne-free skin. According to research on Beneficial effects of green tea, green tea exhibits potent antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. It contains various phytonutrients such as different types of catechins, sterols and essential amino acids such as theanine, glutamic acid, tryptophan and others all of which can help treat an acne condition.
Further, polyphenols in green tea help to reduce the production of sebum  in your skin and have an anti-inflammatory  effect thus aiding the treatment of acne. Lemon juice in combination with green tea flushes out harmful toxins from the body, keeping your skin healthy.
To make a refreshing cup of lemon infused green tea, add a tablespoon of green tea to boiling hot water. Let it stand for 2-3 minutes. Run it through a sieve and add 1-2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice. You may add some honey or ginger to enhance its flavour. You can have this once or twice a day regularly till your acne heals.
3. Neem With Honey
Neem is probably one of the oldest Ayurvedic herbs used in the treatment of acne. According to Ayurveda, neem’s cooling and astringent nature balances the Pitta and Kapha doshas. Its therapeutic properties are due to the presence of active components such as azadirachtin , nimbolinin, nimbidin, quercetin and others.
Consumption of neem reduces oxidative stress, prevents inflammation, aids wound healing and treats bacterial infection in your pores thereby healing an aggravated condition of acne. Adding honey to neem juice not only enhances taste but also increases its overall antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
To prepare this drink for acne-free skin, blend a handful of tender, new neem leaves ( these are usually reddish in colour and less bitter) with 1 cup of water. Strain and add ½ to 1 tablespoon of honey to it. Consume this daily in the morning till your acne improves.
4. Turmeric Tea
Turmeric is an antibacterial herb used to treat various skin and health diseases. Its main compound curcumin is known for its powerful, immune boosting, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties . Due to this, turmeric extracts are often added to anti-acne creams and ointments.
Making turmeric tea from fermented turmeric further enhances its medicinal properties by making its nutrients more available. To prepare turmeric tea at home, immerse a small piece of peeled, crushed. raw turmeric rhizome in water. Boil the water for a minute and let it stand for another 5 minutes. Strain and consume.
You can add some ginger, honey or cinnamon for flavour. You can consume turmeric tea in the morning or before going to bed for treating your acne.
Turmeric tea originated in Japan on the island of Okinawa. It is known as ‘Ukoncha’ and is made from fermented turmeric rhizomes.
5. Japanese Matcha Tea
The Japanese Matcha tea, though derived from the green tea plant, is carefully cultivated in the shade to increase its chlorophyll and amino acid content. This is why matcha has stronger detoxifying, antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits when compared to regular green tea.
According to research on Health Benefits and Chemical Composition of Matcha Green Tea, matcha can be considered a major source of polyphenol catechin in one’s daily diet. It is also proved that catechins have greater free radical scavenging abilities than the well-known antioxidant vitamin C.
Further, Epigallocatechin-3-gallate , the main active catechin in matcha tea, is capable of inhibiting bacterial growth on the skin and accelerating quick healing of acne lesions. This makes matcha tea a powerful anti-acne remedy.
To prepare Japanese matcha tea in the traditional way at home, you will need a ceramic tea bowl, a matcha whisk and matcha tea powder. Now begin by pouring a small amount of hot (not boiling) water into the tea bowl. Add a teaspoon of matcha powder and whisk it to form a froth. Once done, transfer to a cup and enjoy it hot. Drinking 1-2 cups of matcha tea can greatly improve your acne condition.
6. Dandelion Tea
Dandelion tea is a great drink for acne. It is rich in antioxidants like polyphenols, carotenoids, tocopherols and flavonoids,  and has amazing detoxing abilities. This helps to remove harmful toxins, balance your hormones and help your body fight acne causing bacteria.
According to research, severe acne vulgaris can indicate a pre-diabetic condition where your body shows intolerance to insulin. As a result your pancreas releases more insulin to control blood-sugar levels. Excess insulin triggers excess secretion of other hormones that lead to acne. Bio-active components in dandelion tea exhibit anti-diabetic  properties that help prevent diabetes-induced acne.
To prepare a refreshing cup of anti-acne dandelion tea, take a handful of fresh dandelion petals or a tablespoon of dandelion tea powder in a saucepan. Add a cup of water to this and boil for a minute. Cover the vessel and allow the tea to brew for 5-10 mins. Strain and consume once or twice a day for acne-free, glowing skin.
7. Manjistha and Guduchi With Aloe Vera Juice
The ancient Ayurvedic herb Manjistha has miraculous blood purifying (raktashodhak) properties and helps to balance the Pitta and Kapha doshas. It is thus used to treat various skin conditions including yuvana pidakas or acne.
Guduchi is a tridosha balancing, kushtahara (heals skin diseases) herb that acts as a potent remedy for acne-prone skin. Aloe Vera helps reduce oxidative stress, displays antibacterial properties and improves your overall skin health.
Soak a tablespoon each of Manjistha and guduchi powders overnight in a glass of water. In the morning strain the liquid and add a tablespoon of freshly extracted aloe vera gel to it. Mix well and drink once a day for acne-free skin.
8. Licorice With Warm Water
A rise in androgen hormones is a major contributor to the pathogenesis of acne. According to research on Plant Derived Anti-Androgen, licorice or yashtimadhu can significantly reduce testosterone levels in women suffering from hirsutism.
Apart from being an anti-androgenic, licorice is also an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant  agent. This is mainly due to the presence of glycyrrhizin, licochalcone and glabridin like phytochemicals. Owing to these myriad therapeutic properties licorice is extensively used in the treatment of acne in Ayurvedic medicine.
To prepare this anti-acne drink, simply soak 3-4 small pieces of peeled licorice root overnight in a glass of water. You can also boil the roots for 5-6 minutes and let it stand for another 15 minutes. Strain and drink the decoction daily in the morning for acne-free clear skin.
9. Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus or Japa is a Kapha-balancing herb that helps regulate excess oil secretions on your skin thus preventing acne breakouts. It contains a vast range of phytochemicals such as tannins, quinines, flavonoids, saponins, phenols, terpenoids, free amino acids  and more.
All of these contribute to hibiscus’ anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. It is often referred to as the natural Botox for its ability to stimulate collagen production. This accelerates healing of your existing acne lesions.
Making hibiscus tea at home is quite simple. Take the petals of about 4-5 hibiscus flowers. Add a cup of boiling hot water to a teapot and throw in the petals. Cover and let it stand for around 5-10 minutes. Strain and enjoy this anti-acne drink once or twice daily.
Adding a pinch of cumin or cinnamon to your regular drinking water can help reduce acne problems.
Drinks To Avoid If You Have Acne-Prone Skin
According to Ayurveda, certain foods and drinks disturb the fine balance of your doshas and may aggravate an already existing acne condition. Here’s a list of drinks that are better avoided if you have acne-prone skin.
1. Carbonated Drinks
Consumption of soda-based drinks is often related to the occurrence of acne. A study conducted in 2019 to investigate the association between soft drink consumption and the prevalence of acne in 8197 Chinese adolescents revealed that soft drinks increased the risk of moderate to severe acne.
While alcohol (ethanol) consumption does not directly cause acne, it alters cytokine levels in the body which can stimulate inflammation and cell death. Long term alcohol abuse is also related to the impairment of the immune system making your body more prone to skin infections and acne.
The connection between milk and the possibility of developing acne is a debatable topic. However, Increased research shows that milk contains various steroid hormones that may trigger inflammatory responses in the body worsening not only an acne condition but also provoke certain cancers.
4. Sugary Beverages
Drinks such as sports beverages, flavoured juices and others have a high content of refined sugar that can cause an inflammatory environment in the body. This delays wound healing and causes further hormonal imbalance thus aggravating an already existing acne condition.
The Last Word
While most of us resort to topical antibiotics for a quick fix of our acne condition, treating it with medicinal herbs from within often ensures a more holistic recovery. Simple changes in your diet, practice of yoga and leading a stress-free lifestyle can all contribute to acne-free skin. So try out the herbal drinks mentioned in this article as they are easy-to-prepare and make for a great addition to your overall anti-acne skincare routine.Know Your Dosha Now
1. Spearmint Herbal Tea Has Significant Anti-Androgen Effects In Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. A Randomized Controlled Trial, 2010 February
2. Chemical Composition And Antioxidant Properties Of Essential Oils From Peppermint, Native Spearmint And Scotch Spearmint, 2019 August
3. A Review Of The Anti-Inflammatory Effects Of Rosmarinic Acid On Inflammatory Diseases, 2020 February
4. Green Tea And Other Tea Polyphenols: Effects On Sebum Production And Acne Vulgaris, 2016 December
5. The Effects Of Green Tea On Acne Vulgaris: A Systematic Review And Meta-Analysis Of Randomized Clinical Trials, 2020 August
6. Therapeutics Role Of Azadirachta Indica (Neem) And Their Active Constituents In Diseases Prevention And Treatment, 2016 March
7. Effects Of Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) On Skin Health: A Systematic Review Of The Clinical Evidence, 2016 August
8. The Antimicrobial Activity Of (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate And Green Tea Extracts Against Pseudomonas Aeruginosa And Escherichia Coli Isolated From Skin Wounds, 2014 September
9. The Chemical Composition And Antioxidant Properties Of Common Dandelion Leaves Compared With Sea Buckthorn, 2017 May
10. The Physiological Effects Of Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) In Type 2 Diabetes, 2016 August
11. Licorice In The Treatment Of Acne Vulgaris And Postinflammatory Hyperpigmentation: A Review, 2021 January
12. Chemical Constituents, Pharmacological Effects And Therapeutic Importance Of Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis - A Review, 2018 August
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