Definition Acne is a chronic inflammatory condition affecting skin structures usually involving the face, back and chest. It usually affects those between the age of puberty and the twenties. [HHH p.29]
Symptoms The primary lesion or blackhead develops into a pinkish pustule or nodule. A teenager, sometime pre-teen, often breaks out with a horrible skin condition in which pustules and their scars may cover the skin, which is often coarse and oily. This causes an inferiority complex and other emotional disruption. At this time they may become irritable, snap and snarl at people. They are impossible to live around--why? They are growing into adulthood so rapidly that they are maturing faster than they are equipped. [HHH p.29]
As the teenagers grow up, they, like everybody else today, eat devitalized, dead, "mucus-loaded" junk materials that could only be called "garbage food" or meals without energy and life building materials in them. The rapid change from childhood to adulthood requires foods rich in vitamins, minerals, etc., needed in the healthy body. Processed foods are low or lacking in natural hormone and estrogen materials needed in the growth transition to adulthood. The young person's body realizes the lack and the need, and tries to pull the required materials from the body. If they are not there, the strain of trying to produce them causes irritation, a nasty snarling disposition, and a pimply complexion.
We blame the child for not being cooperative, for craving sweets, excess meats and bakery products. The body is craving vitamins and minerals and basic needs for health, and that "craving" is termed "hidden hunger." To pacify this hungry gnawing feeling, the young person stuffs on junk food, adding insult to injury. From this diet comes acne, boils, irritability, the sick and sad youth. The girls have difficult menstrual periods with cramps, flooding, or off-timed cycles, and the boys have a tendency toward early prostate trouble and unhealthy sex drive. [HHH p.29] Herbal Aids See formula for acne using burdock root, sarsaparilla, yellow dock, sassafras, dandelion, prickly ash, stillingia and camomile [SNH p.67]
Sun: Helios-therapy on the skin is very important, as the sun is the Great Doctor of all times. But this therapy must always be done with caution because the sun (though being a healer) is like fire, which can either provide gentle warmth or it can burn a city down. The sun may help heal where medicinal aids, herbs and other procedures are slower. In many instances, it may help bring skin cancer to the surface; and various other skin problems (such as acne, eczema, etc.) are beneficially aided by bathing in the sun. The internal use of tea of other herbal aids are often an herbal wash before the sunbathing are congenial and excellent. When there is moisture in the body, the sunbathing is much more beneficial--for instance, burdock seed and burdock root have been historically used internally (which work on the lymphatic and oil glands of the body), while at the same time using sun therapy for the outside. Indiscreet exposure can cause third-degree burns, shock, and death. The light-skinned individual must be most careful, but even a person with dark skin can get a very heavy burn. Helios-therapy is used on bright days, but we do advise against sunbathing at midday, between the period 11-1, when sun might be quite toxic to the user. A blonde person who has never done sunbathing before should never be out over one minute on the first day, adding a minute each day. This should be measured by stop watch or clock, and accuracy is important, because the feel of the sun is so luxurious that one will desire to stay in it just a little bit longer, and that can cause serious trouble. This may not sound like very much, but within thirty days a person can be sunning up to an hour total time! Brunettes can often start with two minutes front and two minutes back without any injury at all, and add four minutes a day. A person who has been sunbathing years before and has sunbathed regularly each season may start with a little more, five minutes front and five minutes back for the brunette, and two minutes front and two minutes back for the blonde. If done gradually and judiciously, this can give power to the body. The propaganda in daily newspapers and national publications each year (although promoted often by people with doctoral degrees) stating that "the sun causes cancer" is as ridiculous as saying "the tonsil is poisoning the whole body"--actually it is the putrid condition of the body that is poisoning the tonsil, or the skin! All the sun does is to ripen and bring the cancer that is already there to the surface, wherein the waste matter can slough off, so that the body may heal. This is why we must work inside the body with herbs, as well as outside the body with the sun, which will harmoniously speed the curative process and eliminate the problem so there is no recurrence. [SNH p.502]
Natural Hormones for Puberty: During puberty, and preferably just before that time starts, it would be wise to have the pre-teen boy and girl take a cup or more of red raspberry leaf tea and/or (especially important) blessed (holy) thistle tea each day--six days each week. This tea will assist in supplying natural hormone and estrogen materials to the system. Puberty is also much easier to go through if the tonsils are still intact. [HHH p.30]
Dr. Christopher's Itch Ointment: This is made of chickweed herb and bees wax and oils. Excellent for eczema and/or other skin infections, sores, burning, itchy skin or genitals, swollen testes, acne, hives, also for ulceration of mouth and throat. This is a wonderful healing ointment. [HHH p.196]
Blood Stream Formula: Dr. Christopher's Blood Purifying Formula: If we are just beginning a cleansing and healing program, we experience problems. Very common is acne, which is most often a manifestation of an unclean bloodstream. Red clover tea is an excellent blood-cleanser, with a very mild taste. Burdock root tea works fast and well to cleanse the bloodstream. Carrot juice, very pleasant to the taste, cleanses and builds good cell structure. Many families drink green drink, consisting of fresh greens, such as comfrey, parsley, mint, lambs quarters, marshmallow (that is, common mallow), your dandelion and other local greens, blended into a base of pineapple juice in a blender. At first you may wish to strain out the pulp, but it is good for you too, and soon you should become accustomed to it. Some people make a green drink by simply blending the wildings into water, straining out the pulp and sweetening a bit with pure maple syrup or honey. This green drink supplies vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and healing factors in a fresh, assimilable form. [EWH p.6]
Soap and Astringents: If you want to treat your acne externally, be aware that it's not an external problem. I would recommend very sparing use of soaps, which is contrary to most advice on acne. Soap removes the protective oil from the skin and upsets the acid-alkaline balance. Only use soap if your skin is really dirty; otherwise, wash with water. Instead of using thick makeup, which must be soaped off, let your natural healthy glow illuminate your skin. There are mineral-based blush powders which have no chemicals in them; they can be used as blush and as eyeshadow; just make sure when you purchase them that they really have no chemicals, as some cosmetic companies are mimicking the idea but including additives.
Some people recommend astringents to control large pores on oily skin. First of all, your skin won't produce excess oil if you follow the mucusless diet. Although you will be taking adequate oils in your diet, they are in a form assimilable by the body. Probably the worst "junk food" anyone can take is hydrogenated oil--margarine, hydrogenated peanut butter, shortening. These oils have undergone a chemical change which makes their structures unusable by the body. They clog up the digestive tract and bloodstream and cause many problems, including that oily skin that troubles you! Eliminate them from your diet, replacing them with natural oils (olive, safflower, almond, sesame--there are many choices). You'll see a real difference in just about a week.
As for the large pores, astringents only help for a little while, as they fill the pores with moisture, seeming to close them. But after a short time, the pores return to their normal size. A good diet, plenty of steam-distilled water, exercise, and the consistent use of the blood cleansing herbs mentioned above, will help tighten those pores. In the meantime (and perhaps just for fun) you can make some astringent lotions to apply to your face. Rub some strawberries on your skin and splash them away with water! Squeeze the juice from a cucumber and do the same. Tomatoes, raspberries, and zucchini all gently tone the skin. You can make a "green drink" for the complexion, blending comfrey, fennel, geranium, lavender, marigold, nettles, peppermint, sage or yarrow (any one or combination of these) with pineapple juice to make a thick, thick mush. Put them on the face, containing them with a piece of gauze if necessary, and lie down for a half-hour or so. Rinse off and notice a glowing skin.
Good old-fashioned witch hazel (the distilled herb preserved with some alcohol), which you can still purchase at most pharmacies, is known for its skin-toning abilities. You can combine it with fresh or bottled (unsweetened) apple juice, adding a little rubbing alcohol to preserve. This fresh-smelling astringent is cheap enough for everyday use, but nice enough to bottle in a small container and give as a gift. [EWH p.8]
Aloe Vera: This penetrates the skin quickly and deeply. This allows water and other moisturizers to sink deeply into the skin, restoring lost fluids and replacing the fatty layer. It permits the uronic acids, which strip toxic materials of their harmful effects, to penetrate deeply and allows the cleansing astringent qualities of the gel to work better. By increasing the circulation of the blood to an area, Aloe Vera sloughs off dead cells and fosters the growth of new ones. This helps foster the regeneration of scarred or blemished skin tissue and provides a protective coating on the skin to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. This antiseptic action also stops skin infections (acne) in oil-clogged pores. It heals blemishes with little or no scarring. This accounts for the multitude of cosmetic preparations these days contain Aloe Vera. [UW-Aloe Vera]
Liniment of Peppermint: This was used in the past to reduce varicose veins, and clear up acne, boils, abscesses and eczema. To do so, heat 1 pint of pure olive oil, and add to it 1 dram (teaspoonful) of oil of Peppermint, 1 dram, menthol crystals, and 1 dram of flowers of camphor. Mix in a warm jar or bottle, shaking until dissolved. Let stand until cool, then keep in a cool place. [UW-Peppermint]
Bowel and Blood Purifiers: Dr. Christopher emphasized that we need to know the source of our problems. Perhaps our toxic condition begins with a poorly functioning bowel which should be taken care of with Lower Bowel: Dr. Christopher's Lower Bowel (Colon) Formula. But suppose a person has a case of boils or acne. The Blood Stream Formula should be used about three times a day, six days a week for six weeks. Then you can switch to another blood purifier such as burdock or chaparral or Brigham tea. Then switch back to the Blood Stream Formula. [UW-Red Clover]
Watercress: This like other plants which have a pungent taste, is celebrated as a blood purifier and has been used in the springtime to eliminate the toxins accumulated in the winter. It increases the appetite, frees up the bowels and causes a freer flow of urine. It is strongly alkaline and therefore treats acidity of the blood and relieves symptoms related to overacidity. It is said to help clear up acne as it cleanses the blood and relieves arthritis and rheumatism. [UW-Watercress]
Blood Stream Formula: Dr. Christopher's Blood Purifying Formula: There are various combinations recommended for blood purifiers. You can make the simple infusion, allowing to steep for thirty minutes, or you can combine with equal parts of red clover tops, Brigham tea, burdock and figwort, making 2 quarts of tea and reducing it down to one quart. Combine yellow dock burdock, sarsaparilla and echinacea for an excellent blood cleanser, particularly good in treating post-adolescent skin acne or eruptions related to the menstrual cycle. It will help clear up eruptions on oily skin of the neck and back. [UW-Yellow Dock]
Fruits and Vegetables for Acne: Carrot & spinach, celery & watercress, grapefruit juices are all useful to combat acne. [NL 3-5]
Unwholesome Foods: Acne, a prevalent problem among teen-aged boys would not be possible in our society if our foods were wholesome. A most sad and disgusting sight is the pus-filled pimples due to inner toxicity --- wastes trying desperately to escape through the face. This condition often turns a gentle face in the blossom of youth into a waste dump of pimples, pus and subsequent pock marks which can be prevented. The tons of acne medications and prescriptions sold annually act only on the effect of the harmful food, and not the cause of the disease, malnutrition. The traditional teenage meal, a grease burger, french fries and a milk shake or cola simply does not provide enough nourishment for anyone, let alone a boy going through puberty to adulthood. Our highly processed foods are devoid of hormones found in fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. Blessed thistle tea given to the unfortunate souls three times a day along with a change in diet to the wholesome, mucusless foods will supply necessary hormones for growth and maturity. The aforementioned hormone and estrogen formula [Changease] will also be beneficial. The big task here will be to reeducate the tastebuds of these boys so they can appreciate real food. [NL 3-6]
Cabbage: Apply a lotion of freshly prepared cabbage juice preceded, if desired, by the application of leaves. The eating of cabbage leaves or juice is also helpful. [NL 4-12]
Lemon Juice: Skin problems such as acne... will often respond to a treatment of lemon juice. For blackheads rub lemon juice over them each night. [NL 5-1]
Black Walnut: Externally, Black Walnut is nearly a miracle worker in cases of ...acne, dandruff, boils, itch, shingles, ringworm--we could go on, but you can see that you can use Black Walnut whenever a skin disorder appears! The tincture is an excellent first-aid remedy for wounds. [NL 5-7]