Acne/RosaceaBasilCinnamonGarlicHerbalsInfectionTea Tree Oil

Is there a role for herbal medicines in treating infections?

Not based on what we know right now.

Here’s an overview.

Three studies of garlic and cinnamon to treat Helicobacter pylori infections reported no significant effect.

Four positive studies of bacterial infections of skin

  • Tealeaf extract in impetigo contagiosa, a highly contagious bacterial infection of the upper layers of the skin
  • Tea tree oil preparations for acne and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which as been described as epidemic in the US (2 studies)
  • Ocimum gratissimum oil (wild basil) for acne

Bottom line?
Herbals have not been studied very much in this area. Most studies were not very well designed and don’t show the herbals to be effective beyond doubt.

11/26/06 18:11 JR

Hi, I’m JR

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.