Acne is one of the most common chronic skin disorder affecting millions of people across the world.
In the United States alone the number of people suffering from acne was estimated to be 17 million.
It has been rightly said that the solution to all your problems lie in your kitchen and so does the solution to this problem.
This article shall talk about one of the most widely used spices across the world, garlic, and its efficacy in dealing with acne problems.
Garlic is an herb scientifically known as Allium Sativum and belongs to the genus of onions. It is one of the most widely used flavoring spices especially in the Asian kitchens.
Apart from culinary purposes, it also serves various health benefit and medicinal purposes.
It is used for a lot of severe health conditions which includes high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cold, heart attacks and hardening of arteries among others. T
here are also studies of garlic being used topically on the skin to deal with fungal infections and other skin conditions.
Garlic for Acne - How effective?
Garlic contains a chemical compound called allicin which exhibits anti bacterial properties and helps fight the acne causing bacteria.
It is also rich in vitamin A which strengthens the immunity system and thereby provides extra protection against the bacteria and microbes.
Allicin also improves blood circulation of the skin which helps in rejuvenating the skin.
Also, garlic is known to exhibit antioxidant properties which thereby protect the skin of any kind of damage from further exposure.
Garlic can either be taken orally or used topically for dealing with acne problems or any other skin issues. Both these ways are elaborated below:
Orally taking garlic: This simply requires mixing 1 or 2 cloves of fresh, raw garlic and mixing it with water to consume.
It helps in strengthening the immune system and increasing your blood circulation of the skin.
This can be done twice a day, preferably before sleeping. You might want to brush your teeth before sleeping to prevent bad breath.
Topical application: This requires crushing 1 or 2 clove of garlic and diluting into water which can then be applied on the affected area and left to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before washing it off with cold water.
It is very important to dilute the garlic and not use it in high concentration.
Other benefits of using garlic
Garlic has various medicinal benefits that can be summarized as below:
- According to a study carried out in China by the Disease Control and Prevention, consuming garlic reduced the risk of lung cancer by 44%
- Organo-sulfur compounds found in garlic was supposed to lower risks of brain tumor
- Women who consume garlic regularly and thereby allium had lower possibility of having osteoarthritis
- Diallyl trisulfide, a compound in garlic helps in protecting the heart, especially during surgeries. It might be effective in the treatment of heart failure.
- A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry claimed that consuming garlic may help protect diabetes patients from cardiomyopathy which involves the thickening of myocardium
- It is effective in reducing high cholesterol levels and controlling high blood pressure
- It is believed to decrease the risk of prostate cancer, though there still needs to be sufficient research and studies in this field
- Garlic consumption because of allium, lowered the risks of spontaneous pre-mature delivery in women by elimination the microbial infections during pregnancy
- It may decrease the frequency of cold in adults
- Allicin may thin your blood and cause decreased ability to prevent excessive bleeding
Precautions while using garlic
The following precautions must be made while using garlic:
- It might cause allergic reactions which can range from stomach and heart bur to triggering of asthma symptoms
- It is possibly unsafe when used directly on the skin and must be used in a diluted form otherwise it might damage the skin like a burn
- Though it is safe at times of pregnancy, it is advised that you must not exceed the usual food amount to consume excess of it as its results have not been studies
- It should not be given to children in high doses
- Fresh garlic might increase bleeding
- It can cause irritation in the gastrointestinal tract and must be used with caution if you have digestive issues
- It should not be taken immediately after or before a surgery as it might prolong the bleeding
Possible drug interaction:
Garlic may interact with a host of medicines, some of which are listed below:
- Isoniazid: It is used to treat tuberculosis and might not work if taken along with garlic, garlic reduces its efficacy
- Birth control pills: Garlic tends to make these pills less effective
- Cyclosporine: It is a medicine taken after organ transplant. It might not be effective if taken with garlic
- Blood thinning medication: Garlic can alleviate the action of these medicines and trigger excessive bleeding
- Medicines for HIV/AIDS: It may lower the blood levels of protease inhibitors
- Nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs: When taken together, the risk of bleeding might get increased
What users say about using garlic for acne treatment?
We did an analysis of online reviews of people who have been using garlic for their skin. Here is a summary of what they liked and disliked about the product during their experience of using it:
What they liked about it
Economical way: Garlic was loved by many consumers because of its inexpensiveness and easy availability everywhere. Even if this treatment does not suit you, you at least will not regret spending large amounts of money on it because it is so cheap. It might be right there in your kitchen shelf and you can try this treatment for free
Works in severe cases too: For many a consumer, garlic seemed to work when no other treatment did. In a lot of cases, consumers are often allergic to various chemical compounds, this natural treatment is for those who are fed up of the severe side effects of chemical based medication
Effective in most cases: Garlic is known to be very time effective. In a lot of cases, it has shown results in just 3 to 4 nights.
What they did not like about it
Burns: In a few cases, consumers experienced burnt skin because of its application. However, this usually occurs only when either you are allergic to garlic for which it is advised you do a patch test before using, or when you use highly concentrated amounts of garlic without diluting it in water. In such cases it might also cause the skin to get red
May become messy: Some consumers faced troubles in it application and said that diluting it with water makes the garlic mixture very runny which then tends to get messy and difficult to apply.
Garlic is one of the most easily available spices and can be found in most kitchens in the world.
If it is in your kitchen, then you have to incur absolutely no money on this treatment.
It has probably one of the highest medicinal value and health benefits among the herbs and heals the skin not only on the surface but by regulating a better immune system through various mechanisms and ensuring a complete treatment.
When used with caution and with the proper method, it can work great on your skin.