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How Effective Is Burdock for Acne?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 17, 2024
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As with many alternative treatments, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly how effective burdock is for acne. The herb is often recommended as a natural topical or internal remedy for pimples, but it may vary in effectiveness from person to person. Its benefits as a treatment for acne may depend on the type of acne a person has, how severe it is, and the cause of the acne, and some people just seem to respond to it while others don't. It's important to note, however, that burdock is particularly good for ridding the body of impurities. As such, it may prove most effective for acne that develops because of bacteria and other impurities rather than cases that are caused by hormonal imbalances or other similar causes.

Evaluating the effectiveness of burdock for acne is difficult because it is an herbal remedy. Herbal remedies aren't typically the subjects of extensive controlled studies, so data on their effectiveness is usually lacking. As such, evidence that this herb works for acne is often anecdotal. For this reason, most people won't be able to predict whether or not it will be effective for them. Instead, they will have to determine whether or not it works simply by trying it.

Some people attest to the effectiveness of using burdock for acne when it is taken internally. If a person wants to use this method to get rid of pimples and other types of acne spots, he can bring a small amount of dried burdock to a boil uncovered. Once the herb starts to boil, he should then reduce the heat under the pot to a simmer and allow it to continue cooking until about half the original water is left in the pan. At that point, he can remove it from the heat and drink the liquid like a tea. This is said to prove effective for fighting acne from the inside out.

An individual can also test the effectiveness of burdock for acne by applying it directly to his skin. To accomplish this, he can prepare the liquid in the same way as suggested for consuming the herb as a tea. Instead of drinking it, however, he can use a clean cloth or cotton ball to dab some of the cooled liquid on the affected skin. In fact, a person can try a combination approach to using burdock for acne by preparing a solution for drinking and using the leftover liquid to treat his acne topically.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By candyquilt — On May 23, 2013

I took burdock internally for a while but couldn't continue for very long. It would make me dizzy and give me headaches. So I didn't use it long enough to see any affect on my acne.

I don't think burdock should be taken without the supervision of a doctor. It's a strong herb. Thankfully, I wasn't taking any medications at the time, otherwise I'm sure it would have interacted with those and caused more side effects.

By burcinc — On May 23, 2013

@fify-- I have acne prone skin and I have been using an oil-free face cream with burdock extract for several weeks.

I think the cream is great. My face isn't as oily anymore and the cream doesn't dry it out either. It definitely doesn't cause any breakouts which is my main issue with face creams.

So I'm not sure if burdock treats acne, but it certainly doesn't trigger it.

I should also mention that I follow a strict facial care routine every day. I wash my face with a mild cleanser twice a day and follow up with salicylic acid toner and this cream. I also exfoliate three times a week.

By fify — On May 22, 2013

Is anyone using burdock cream for acne? Has it worked for you?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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