Ayurvedic Acne Advice

'There is no pus formation without Pitta' says an ancient Ayurvedic proverb. Acne indicates ‘toxic blood’, where aggravated Pitta Dosha (which is hot and humid) mixes with Ama (toxins) and vitiates the Rakta Dhatu (blood tissue) manifesting as pus filled eruptions on the skin, as well as other inflammatory skin conditions. Since this is Pitta season (hot and humid summer time), it is no wonder you are looking for a remedy.

The best place to start is to follow a Pitta balancing program. Take steps to reduce stress, ‘cool’ off, and let go of your desire to realise goals and achieve results. Go easy on yourself. Make sure not to over-work or over-exercise. Pitta is driven and can be fanatical at times, so check in with your inherent ‘fire’ element to make sure it isn’t burning out of control. Find constructive ways to let off steam and express your emotions regularly in a calm, honest way.

Follow a light Pitta pacifying diet. Favour bland, bitter and astringent tastes, and reduce sour salty and hot spicy tastes. You should eliminate fatty foods, refined foods, fried and fermented foods, and bad food combinations like milk and fish. Foods that are helpful are cranberries, carrots, cilantro, parsley, cashews, and coconut. Organic Ghee is very important and can be taken with the following digestive formula to reduce Pitta Dosha and treat the skin: Cumin, Coriander, Fennel, Turmeric (equal parts organic powders). ½ tsp taken during meals (2-3 x per day) in a small glass of warm water along with 1 tsp of Ghee. This remedy is balanced for Pitta types.

In addition to this, I would suggest taking a classic Ayurvedic formula Triphala pronounced ‘trip-are-lar’. It can be taken 1-2 grams per day at bedtime in a little glass of warm water. Pure Pitta types can get a laxative effect at 2 grams, so they should limit it to ½-1 gram. Vata and Kapha can use more. Triphala is almost a panacea in Ayurveda. While it’s main function is to clean and rejuvenate the colon, it is also fantastic cleanser and tonic for the skin. Take it for 3 months and see what the effect is. Topical applications that can be useful. Try rubbing some melon onto the skin at bedtime, or wash the face with some mild soap then apply a paste made of almond powder and water for up to half an hour each day.

Written by Alex Duncan

Alex Duncan, Ayurvedic Educator, lives in the South of France where he runs The Sun Centre a small family retreat offering consultations and various Ayurveda & Yoga workshops and retreats. He also provides a remote consultation service. Alex is teaching the two year Frawley™ Ayurveda program at the European Institute of Vedic Studies in France, where he originally trained with Atreya Smith.