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Am I Taking Too Many Herbs/suppliments For Acne?

hormonal acne acne vitex agnus castus saw palmetto p.c.o.s polycystic ovaries

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#1 Graciemeow

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 05:59 PM

Hello,

 

After a lot of desperation and research (so many well-informed, knowledgeable people on this website!) I have discovered that it can be possible to treat acne with herbal suppliments. After many many MANY years of relying on Doctors and derms to prescribe me anything under the sun to clear my acne (none of which worked long-term, birth control pills NEVER AGAIN, topical creams, various anti-biotics, roaccutane TWICE also NEVER AGAIN, Metformin) I am now sacking off that route as I just keep heading into brick walls.

I was diagnosed with P.C.O.S in March this year and tracked my periods and noticed my acne is hormonal (cysts around my jawline and lower cheeks three weeks before a period then maybe the week before again). The more regualr I am, the less acne I get - if any.

So I am takin,

 

Vitex a.k.a Agnus Castus a.k.a chasteberry root to regulate those dodgy P's and hopefully in turn help my acne.

Saw Palmetto 320mg once a day to reduce the androgens in my body (as due to blood tests taken out in jan and feb it shows them as elevated).

Then - Primrose oil ...apparantly meant to be good not really sure why though.

Zinc

Omega 3

 

AM I TAKING TOO MUCH STUFF?

I realise that .. if I am successful, I won't know what exactly is having the biggest effect.

But I want to try and attack this sh!t from all angles.

Is it okay to take this much stuff at once?

 



#2 Green Gables

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 12:55 PM

Hello,

 

After a lot of desperation and research (so many well-informed, knowledgeable people on this website!) I have discovered that it can be possible to treat acne with herbal suppliments. After many many MANY years of relying on Doctors and derms to prescribe me anything under the sun to clear my acne (none of which worked long-term, birth control pills NEVER AGAIN, topical creams, various anti-biotics, roaccutane TWICE also NEVER AGAIN, Metformin) I am now sacking off that route as I just keep heading into brick walls.

I was diagnosed with P.C.O.S in March this year and tracked my periods and noticed my acne is hormonal (cysts around my jawline and lower cheeks three weeks before a period then maybe the week before again). The more regualr I am, the less acne I get - if any.

So I am takin,

 

Vitex a.k.a Agnus Castus a.k.a chasteberry root to regulate those dodgy P's and hopefully in turn help my acne.

Saw Palmetto 320mg once a day to reduce the androgens in my body (as due to blood tests taken out in jan and feb it shows them as elevated).

Then - Primrose oil ...apparantly meant to be good not really sure why though.

Zinc

Omega 3

 

AM I TAKING TOO MUCH STUFF?

I realise that .. if I am successful, I won't know what exactly is having the biggest effect.

But I want to try and attack this sh!t from all angles.

Is it okay to take this much stuff at once?

 

 

I think you are on the right track, but I would cut out evening primrose oil. EPO is omega 6. I have had very bad breakouts from EPO. Most acne sufferers already have too much omega 6 in the body, so adding more doesn't help, as omega 6 is inflammatory.



#3 Graciemeow

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 04:05 PM

Hello,

 

After a lot of desperation and research (so many well-informed, knowledgeable people on this website!) I have discovered that it can be possible to treat acne with herbal suppliments. After many many MANY years of relying on Doctors and derms to prescribe me anything under the sun to clear my acne (none of which worked long-term, birth control pills NEVER AGAIN, topical creams, various anti-biotics, roaccutane TWICE also NEVER AGAIN, Metformin) I am now sacking off that route as I just keep heading into brick walls.

I was diagnosed with P.C.O.S in March this year and tracked my periods and noticed my acne is hormonal (cysts around my jawline and lower cheeks three weeks before a period then maybe the week before again). The more regualr I am, the less acne I get - if any.

So I am takin,

 

Vitex a.k.a Agnus Castus a.k.a chasteberry root to regulate those dodgy P's and hopefully in turn help my acne.

Saw Palmetto 320mg once a day to reduce the androgens in my body (as due to blood tests taken out in jan and feb it shows them as elevated).

Then - Primrose oil ...apparantly meant to be good not really sure why though.

Zinc

Omega 3

 

AM I TAKING TOO MUCH STUFF?

I realise that .. if I am successful, I won't know what exactly is having the biggest effect.

But I want to try and attack this sh!t from all angles.

Is it okay to take this much stuff at once?

 

 

I think you are on the right track, but I would cut out evening primrose oil. EPO is omega 6. I have had very bad breakouts from EPO. Most acne sufferers already have too much omega 6 in the body, so adding more doesn't help, as omega 6 is inflammatory.

Thank you - yes I have heard mixed reviews about evening primrose oil. Some say amazing some say terrible. I think I will take your advice as I've heard a few say the same as you... I don't want to risk making this worse either. x



#4 WishClean

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 07:03 PM

evening primrose oil helped me a lot the first 2 times I took it with vitex. It actually made my skin glow. But the third time I took it it gave me stomach pains and dizziness. If you have digestive or liver issues, evening primrose and vitex might make those worse in the long run. Vitex isn't supposed to be taken long term, that's one of its downsides... if you take it too long (over a year) it can create new hormonal imbalances. I was told to take evening primrose with vitex to optimize vitex. For some reason, vitex alone caused hair loss on my head and increased body hair/hirsutism, and I think evening primrose was supposed to counter that but it didn't really. 


Edited by WishClean, 28 October 2013 - 07:06 PM.


#5 Graciemeow

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 04:39 PM

evening primrose oil helped me a lot the first 2 times I took it with vitex. It actually made my skin glow. But the third time I took it it gave me stomach pains and dizziness. If you have digestive or liver issues, evening primrose and vitex might make those worse in the long run. Vitex isn't supposed to be taken long term, that's one of its downsides... if you take it too long (over a year) it can create new hormonal imbalances. I was told to take evening primrose with vitex to optimize vitex. For some reason, vitex alone caused hair loss on my head and increased body hair/hirsutism, and I think evening primrose was supposed to counter that but it didn't really. 

 

So far for me it doesn't seem to have caused a problem - I have only been taking it for about ten days though and Vitex for two weeks. Saw Palmetto Ive been taking for 9 days I have noticed it can make me nauseous an hour after taking it and also give me like...not a headache as such but like a head...i dunno pressure?? like feel funny for abit but it subsides and it hasn't happened every day. They are the only side effects I have experienced from anything so far.

Ah I see - so vitex is supposed to only be a temporary thing? How long are you supposed to take it for? I am so new to all of this. I found a site called The Love Vitamin and someone has been on it for a year but I don't want to make my hormones even more out of whack - that's what birth control seems to be for right?



#6 WishClean

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 07:10 PM

Have you noticed an improvement so far? It's probably too soon to tell.

Yes, any herbal treatment for hormones shouldn't be taken long term. But the problem is, once you are off the herbs you need to find something else to maintain your hormones. If you take vitex for too long, it can upset other hormones like your androgens. The best thing would be to test your hormones at a naturopath's office every 6 months or so, that's the only way to accurately monitor your fluctuations.

Both times I took vitex I was too scared to stop taking it after I got clear...the second time I was having allergic reactions and I wasn't sure why but I slowly weaned off vitex to be safe. Maybe I got a bad batch or something because I was using the tincture not the pills. The naturopath who recommended vitex told me to slowly decrease my dose and eventually quit, but that still made my hormones go crazy a few weeks after stopping it. Not to freak you out or anything.... but you will need to have a backup once you get off the herbs,,,maybe switch to different ones for maintenance (I heard that prickly pear cactus might be good but haven't tried it). What helped me get clear when I got off vitex the first time was just taking a whole food multi and acai berry supplements, exercising, and getting some sun.

I got light headed with saw palmetto, and felt kind of a brain fog sometimes. it helps to take it with a full meal, and to drink lots of water during the day because it can make you dehydrated. 

It's also important, esp. if you've been on many acne medications, to take care of your liver and digestion. The second time I took vitex it didn't work as well after a few months, and I think it could be because the first time I also started taking acidophilus and aloe vera. I wasn't even doing a special diet back then, just avoiding too much sugar. But I needed to take something to strengthen my gut after all the acne meds I had taken. 


Edited by WishClean, 29 October 2013 - 11:31 PM.


#7 Graciemeow

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 09:46 AM

Have you noticed an improvement so far? It's probably too soon to tell.

Yes, any herbal treatment for hormones shouldn't be taken long term. But the problem is, once you are off the herbs you need to find something else to maintain your hormones. If you take vitex for too long, it can upset other hormones like your androgens. The best thing would be to test your hormones at a naturopath's office every 6 months or so, that's the only way to accurately monitor your fluctuations.

Both times I took vitex I was too scared to stop taking it after I got clear...the second time I was having allergic reactions and I wasn't sure why but I slowly weaned off vitex to be safe. Maybe I got a bad batch or something because I was using the tincture not the pills. The naturopath who recommended vitex told me to slowly decrease my dose and eventually quit, but that still made my hormones go crazy a few weeks after stopping it. Not to freak you out or anything.... but you will need to have a backup once you get off the herbs,,,maybe switch to different ones for maintenance (I heard that prickly pear cactus might be good but haven't tried it). What helped me get clear when I got off vitex the first time was just taking a whole food multi and acai berry supplements, exercising, and getting some sun.

I got light headed with saw palmetto, and felt kind of a brain fog sometimes. it helps to take it with a full meal, and to drink lots of water during the day because it can make you dehydrated. 

It's also important, esp. if you've been on many acne medications, to take care of your liver and digestion. The second time I took vitex it didn't work as well after a few months, and I think it could be because the first time I also started taking acidophilus and aloe vera. I wasn't even doing a special diet back then, just avoiding too much sugar. But I needed to take something to strengthen my gut after all the acne meds I had taken. 

 

Yeah overall I have only been taking Vitex and EPO for three weeks and Saw Palmetto and Zinc for two weeks so very early days - however I have noticed some slight improvment my acne seems a lot more contained (if that makes sense) like not spreading up my cheeks anymore and I'm not getting huge cysts like I was but I am still breaking out slightly and no major changes yet.

Ah I see - I think I assumed that because what I am taking is natural then it's okay to take it forever. This is good to know definatly the earlier the better - it's the maintenance I'm after really. So is vitex to sort of ...balance initially then I would have to switch to something to maintain that balance ? After being on Vitex twice would you reccomend it at all??

In regards to saw palmetto, brain fog is exactly what it is like!! It's so weird. It doesn't happen every time though - I'm hoping its not dangerous or anything.

In regards to liver and digestion I've heard that taking milk thistle is good to support liver and therefore help acne. I've also heard of something called Estroblock or DIM which is supposed to support your liver and rid your body of like bad oestrogens...I read a lot of info off a website called The Love Vitamin have you ever heard of it? I drink alcohol though....I dunno if that would like couteract the whole point of me taking a supplement for liver if I drink.



#8 hearts

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 04:13 PM

Have you noticed an improvement so far? It's probably too soon to tell.

Yes, any herbal treatment for hormones shouldn't be taken long term. But the problem is, once you are off the herbs you need to find something else to maintain your hormones. If you take vitex for too long, it can upset other hormones like your androgens. The best thing would be to test your hormones at a naturopath's office every 6 months or so, that's the only way to accurately monitor your fluctuations.

Both times I took vitex I was too scared to stop taking it after I got clear...the second time I was having allergic reactions and I wasn't sure why but I slowly weaned off vitex to be safe. Maybe I got a bad batch or something because I was using the tincture not the pills. The naturopath who recommended vitex told me to slowly decrease my dose and eventually quit, but that still made my hormones go crazy a few weeks after stopping it. Not to freak you out or anything.... but you will need to have a backup once you get off the herbs,,,maybe switch to different ones for maintenance (I heard that prickly pear cactus might be good but haven't tried it). What helped me get clear when I got off vitex the first time was just taking a whole food multi and acai berry supplements, exercising, and getting some sun.

I got light headed with saw palmetto, and felt kind of a brain fog sometimes. it helps to take it with a full meal, and to drink lots of water during the day because it can make you dehydrated. 

It's also important, esp. if you've been on many acne medications, to take care of your liver and digestion. The second time I took vitex it didn't work as well after a few months, and I think it could be because the first time I also started taking acidophilus and aloe vera. I wasn't even doing a special diet back then, just avoiding too much sugar. But I needed to take something to strengthen my gut after all the acne meds I had taken. 

 

Yeah overall I have only been taking Vitex and EPO for three weeks and Saw Palmetto and Zinc for two weeks so very early days - however I have noticed some slight improvment my acne seems a lot more contained (if that makes sense) like not spreading up my cheeks anymore and I'm not getting huge cysts like I was but I am still breaking out slightly and no major changes yet.

Ah I see - I think I assumed that because what I am taking is natural then it's okay to take it forever. This is good to know definatly the earlier the better - it's the maintenance I'm after really. So is vitex to sort of ...balance initially then I would have to switch to something to maintain that balance ? After being on Vitex twice would you reccomend it at all??

In regards to saw palmetto, brain fog is exactly what it is like!! It's so weird. It doesn't happen every time though - I'm hoping its not dangerous or anything.

In regards to liver and digestion I've heard that taking milk thistle is good to support liver and therefore help acne. I've also heard of something called Estroblock or DIM which is supposed to support your liver and rid your body of like bad oestrogens...I read a lot of info off a website called The Love Vitamin have you ever heard of it? I drink alcohol though....I dunno if that would like couteract the whole point of me taking a supplement for liver if I drink.

 

That is interesting, I've never heard of bad effects from taking vitex too long... I also thought it was a long term supplement.

I have to be careful with zinc. I love it because it counters copper (linked to estrogen) and gives me wild dreams, but if I take it every day it gives me clogged pores! When I only take it occasionally, like a couple times a week, it doesn't. It's so strange because zinc is supposed to help acne in most people. I think zinc can mess with testosterone (androgens) though.

I take DIM (can also be called Estroblock) and it really helped my skin. I actually read the Love Vitamin before I started taking it and it gave me a lot of hope about it! (: I also drink alcohol frequently... rarely beer (gluten), but mostly wine, vodka, or rum.

In my opinion: supporting liver + drinking > not supporting liver + drinking! FYI there is a supplement called L-Cysteine which also detoxes your liver and prevents hangovers! (:


Edited by hearts, 05 November 2013 - 04:16 PM.


#9 Graciemeow

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 05:24 PM

 

Have you noticed an improvement so far? It's probably too soon to tell.

Yes, any herbal treatment for hormones shouldn't be taken long term. But the problem is, once you are off the herbs you need to find something else to maintain your hormones. If you take vitex for too long, it can upset other hormones like your androgens. The best thing would be to test your hormones at a naturopath's office every 6 months or so, that's the only way to accurately monitor your fluctuations.

Both times I took vitex I was too scared to stop taking it after I got clear...the second time I was having allergic reactions and I wasn't sure why but I slowly weaned off vitex to be safe. Maybe I got a bad batch or something because I was using the tincture not the pills. The naturopath who recommended vitex told me to slowly decrease my dose and eventually quit, but that still made my hormones go crazy a few weeks after stopping it. Not to freak you out or anything.... but you will need to have a backup once you get off the herbs,,,maybe switch to different ones for maintenance (I heard that prickly pear cactus might be good but haven't tried it). What helped me get clear when I got off vitex the first time was just taking a whole food multi and acai berry supplements, exercising, and getting some sun.

I got light headed with saw palmetto, and felt kind of a brain fog sometimes. it helps to take it with a full meal, and to drink lots of water during the day because it can make you dehydrated. 

It's also important, esp. if you've been on many acne medications, to take care of your liver and digestion. The second time I took vitex it didn't work as well after a few months, and I think it could be because the first time I also started taking acidophilus and aloe vera. I wasn't even doing a special diet back then, just avoiding too much sugar. But I needed to take something to strengthen my gut after all the acne meds I had taken. 

 

Yeah overall I have only been taking Vitex and EPO for three weeks and Saw Palmetto and Zinc for two weeks so very early days - however I have noticed some slight improvment my acne seems a lot more contained (if that makes sense) like not spreading up my cheeks anymore and I'm not getting huge cysts like I was but I am still breaking out slightly and no major changes yet.

Ah I see - I think I assumed that because what I am taking is natural then it's okay to take it forever. This is good to know definatly the earlier the better - it's the maintenance I'm after really. So is vitex to sort of ...balance initially then I would have to switch to something to maintain that balance ? After being on Vitex twice would you reccomend it at all??

In regards to saw palmetto, brain fog is exactly what it is like!! It's so weird. It doesn't happen every time though - I'm hoping its not dangerous or anything.

In regards to liver and digestion I've heard that taking milk thistle is good to support liver and therefore help acne. I've also heard of something called Estroblock or DIM which is supposed to support your liver and rid your body of like bad oestrogens...I read a lot of info off a website called The Love Vitamin have you ever heard of it? I drink alcohol though....I dunno if that would like couteract the whole point of me taking a supplement for liver if I drink.

 

That is interesting, I've never heard of bad effects from taking vitex too long... I also thought it was a long term supplement.

I have to be careful with zinc. I love it because it counters copper (linked to estrogen) and gives me wild dreams, but if I take it every day it gives me clogged pores! When I only take it occasionally, like a couple times a week, it doesn't. It's so strange because zinc is supposed to help acne in most people. I think zinc can mess with testosterone (androgens) though.

I take DIM (can also be called Estroblock) and it really helped my skin. I actually read the Love Vitamin before I started taking it and it gave me a lot of hope about it! (: I also drink alcohol frequently... rarely beer (gluten), but mostly wine, vodka, or rum.

In my opinion: supporting liver + drinking > not supporting liver + drinking! FYI there is a supplement called L-Cysteine which also detoxes your liver and prevents hangovers! (:

 Yeah so did I but now I am reading a little conflicting information some say it is great and some say to be careful as it can cause new hormonal imbalances like WishClean mentioned. Eeeeh I just don't know. I reckon, I take it for a couple months and see what pans out. I'm going to keeping tracking and researching. I just can't bloody believe these options are out there and I went on roaccutane and pretty much lost half my hair the last time around just for acne to return! I'm so glad I know about this stuff now. it gives me hope lol.

Everybody is so different aren't they! Not everything suits everyone.

Alcohol wise I am exactly the same! I love a few glasses of wine with a meal/to unwind or when I go out with friends we drink vodka/rum with mixer. Britain has a pretty big binge drinking culture which I've calmed down on A LOT recently...mainly when I got into going to the gym but I still like to drink.

This > "In my opinion: supporting liver + drinking > not supporting liver + drinking! FYI there is a supplement called L-Cysteine which also detoxes your liver and prevents hangovers! (:" is very true! I will definatly check out L-cysteine, thank you for the reccomendation :) ! I'm scared of adding any more supplements into my regime though as I won't know what is doing what...you know?



#10 WishClean

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 11:42 PM

A few months into vitex, I grew a beard! I'm exaggerating, but that's what it seemed like to me because the hair growth was so sudden and dark. When I pointed it out to a friend, she said "omg, you have a little beard". eusa_wall.gif I noticed body & facial hair increase the second time around as well, but not as much...at that point, I was willing to be more hairy than have acne.  I'm assuming that by balancing my progesterone : estrogen ratio, vitex also indirectly increased the ratio of androgens...it doesn't suppress androgens, that's why I was suggesting you also take it with an anti-androgen, like saw palmetto. So I think you are on the right track , but of course everyone's body is different. 

And no, vitex is not meant for long term use. It can actually cause other imbalances if you take it too long. So you would have to slowly reduce the dose and then replace it with something else like a good multivitamin. That's what I did the first time...when I got off the vitex my acne returned within 1 month, and then I took a whole food multi and acai berry supplements (along with regular exercise and sun exposure) and my acne cleared again in a few months. 

I suspect that the reason vitex didn't work as well the second time was because my hormonal imbalance was different, and I also developed histamine/ allergic reactions to various things. So the issue was more complex, and it also couldn't control my ovulation breakouts as well as it did the first time. 


Edited by WishClean, 05 November 2013 - 11:44 PM.





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