The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Ineffective herbal remedies for treating acne

    I recently came across a website advocating herbals to treat or prevent acne.

    The website isn’t important, but the results of my PubMed searches might be useful.

    Black currant

    • A laboratory study revealed that black currant inhibited the inflammation-causing bacterium in acne, Propionibacterium acnes
    • No studies in humans with acne.

    Primrose oil

    • No studies in humans with acne.

    Teas made from echinacea, tea tree oil, goldenseal, nettles, or calendula

    • Tea tree oil is available in over-the-counter acne treatments, but no studies confirm its benefit.
    • A homeopathic preparation of calendula reportedly improved acne after 3 to 4 days of treatment.
      • It was not possible to distinguish between the effects of calendula and the alcohol it was dissolved in.

    Teas made from lavender or chamomile

    • One review lists lavender as having anti-inflammatory actions.
    • No studies in humans with acne.
    • Caution, there’s also a report  topically applied lavender acting as an allergen.
    • No studies of chamomile in humans with acne.

    Chinese herb: cnidium seed or honeysuckle flower

    • No studies in humans with acne.

    Teas made from cumin, coriander, and fennel

    • No studies using this tea or its individual components to treat acne.


    • No studies in humans with acne.

    The bottom line?
    Acne is frustrating enough without telling people to do things that have no basis in fact.

    12/28/08 19:06 JR

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