TCM vs West - Acne

Acne affects not only teenagers, we have seen customers from 12 years to 70 years of age coming to our store looking for a natural remedy. TCM believes that the location of the Acne shows what organ is responsible for it.

There are fundamental differences how Western and Eastern medicine approaches Acne.

In Western Medicine

It appears to me that the cause of Acne is still not fully understood, but is somehow related to hormones due to puberty and/or bacteria.  Acne is most commonly found in people with oily skin and it can leave scars once it heals.  It is a common inflammatory disease of the pilosebaceous glands characterized by papules, pustules, inflamed nodules and pus-filled cysts. Acne eruptions are commonly found around hair follicles and may have small white or black heads surrounded by red skin.  

In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine)

TCM believes that a dysfunction of the internal organs causes Acne. Lung heat with heat in the blood, damp heat in large intestine and stomach and spleen dysfunction with damp phlegm are the main pathogens.  This state of the organs causes red or shiny oily complexion and creates pus, nodules, itchiness, pain in the area, constipation and dark yellow urine with a decreased appetite.


Different individuals may experience different symptoms, including:

- Recurrent red spots or swelling on the skin, which might inflame and fill with pus and are commonly known as pimples

- Acne appears on the face, chest, shoulders, neck, or upper portion of the back

- Dark spots with open pores at the center (blackheads)

- Tiny white bumps under the skin that have no obvious opening (whiteheads)

- Red swellings or lumps (known as papules) that are visibly filled with pus

- Nodules or lumps under the skin that are inflamed, fluid-filled, and often tender; these nodules may become as large as an inch across

Diet & Prevention

TCM advocates for lifestyle changes that anybody can adopt in order to improve the Acne. Exercise daily to keep your body and immune system strong. Avoid eating uncooked (raw), greasy, and pungent food, seafood such as shrimp and shellfish, spicy, deep fried, crispy cookies or chips and chocolate. Don't smoke and avoid drinking alcohol, coffee and cold beverages.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine the following herbs are recommended for individuals with Acne 

  • Cape Jasmine Fruit
  • Tree Peony Bark
  • Phellodendron Bark
  • Dwarf Lilyturf Root
  • Licorice Root

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.