Submit your skincare questions to Dr. Agnes, CEO of Herborium and natural medicine expert
As we get smarter about herbs and foods that may improve our skin (andthose that may be bad for it), we need to treat news headlines with agrain of salt.
Thyme - a popular herb found in gardens, stores and traditional medicinalproducts and experimentally known for its anti-inflammatory andanti-bacterial properties - made recent headlines as a possible acnetreatment. Researchers from Leeds Metropolitan University in the U.K.steeped thyme, marigold, and myrrh in alcohol to make what's called atincture, and then tested them on the bacteria that cause acnebreak-downs. They all had greater antibacterial effect after fiveminutes compared to those exposed to plain alcohol, but thyme was themost potent.
In fact, the thyme tincture was more powerful than standard concentrations of benzyl peroxide, which is the active ingredient in many acneproducts. The new findings were presented at the Society for GeneralMicrobiology's Spring Conference in Dublin.
The ANSWER is NO.
It is true that treatments containing benzoyl peroxide may have beenassociated with such side effects as a burning sensation, skinirritation and even premature aging, and thyme preparation may be lessharsh on the skin. Neither one of them however addresses the real causeof acne, which is overactive sebaceous glands that can ONLY be balancedfrom the inside. So, if we are one day to use thyme as an acne weapon it will be as an adjunct therapy, not a primary one.
In addition, like with many other non-standardized treatments, there is no reliable data yet on how much thyme one should use, and how often andhow this tincture should be prepared. For now, unless you want to askthe compounding pharmacist to develop thyme based tincture especiallyfor you and to check for yourself if it is a friend or a foe, save thyme for cooking and look into standardized botanical medicinal products tosolve your acne problem.
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«My workin China in the pharmaceutical and healthcaresector, and my personalexperience while growing up in Europe, inspired me to developHerborium®,a novel Botanical Therapeutics® company, based on a new,innovative healthcare concept that combines science and nature. Ourapproach has already been proven up to 95% effective in our acne treatment, AcnEase®. Not only do I focus on developingbotanical based medicinal products that are helpful in treatment, prevention and managementof different heath conditions,but also on educating the publicabout the values and dangers of naturalmedicine. »