The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    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.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Ineffective herbal remedies for treating acne

    I recently came across a website advocating herbals to treat or prevent acne.

    The website isn’t important, but the results of my PubMed searches might be useful.

    Black currant

    • A laboratory study revealed that black currant inhibited the inflammation-causing bacterium in acne, Propionibacterium acnes
    • No studies in humans with acne.

    Primrose oil

    • No studies in humans with acne.

    Teas made from echinacea, tea tree oil, goldenseal, nettles, or calendula

    • Tea tree oil is available in over-the-counter acne treatments, but no studies confirm its benefit.
    • A homeopathic preparation of calendula reportedly improved acne after 3 to 4 days of treatment.
      • It was not possible to distinguish between the effects of calendula and the alcohol it was dissolved in.

    Teas made from lavender or chamomile

    • One review lists lavender as having anti-inflammatory actions.
    • No studies in humans with acne.
    • Caution, there’s also a report  topically applied lavender acting as an allergen.
    • No studies of chamomile in humans with acne.

    Chinese herb: cnidium seed or honeysuckle flower

    • No studies in humans with acne.

    Teas made from cumin, coriander, and fennel

    • No studies using this tea or its individual components to treat acne.


    • No studies in humans with acne.

    The bottom line?
    Acne is frustrating enough without telling people to do things that have no basis in fact.

    12/28/08 19:06 JR

    Comments are closed.