Hi there -
Below you will find information as I was able to find it about the
named components of Acne Tab (taken from their website -
www.acne-tab.com). Note that many (but not all) of them are used in
Western and Eastern traditional medicine for skin ailments, but that
the effectiveness is not known for certain in most cases.
For my primary source I turned to the Natural Products Comprehensive
Database, which takes all of the current scholarship on herbal
medicines (peer reviewed and published) and creates entries for known
compounds. This database gave me information for most of the herbs in
Acne Tab, but not all. Records that are taken from information in
that database have no additional citing information. For the
remainder I turned first to the Purdue University NewCROP horticulture
encyclopedia online (http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/default.html),
to the AMED literature database, and finally to Google (searching by
species name). In these cases you will not see side effects, safety,
etc., but just an indication of the traditional use of the herb.
I am not a doctor or an herbalist (though I do grow and use herbal
medicines in my own garden), so please consult with a dermatologist
with questions about your acne treatment. The one thing I want you to
note in particular is the inclusion of two rather potent drugs in this
list - lycopodium (club moss) and neem (Melia azederach). Both are
known to contain poisons, and the latter is absolutely not to be given
to children. Several of the others are not appropriate for pregnant
Also note that I have been unable to locate the "Clinical studies
conducted over a three year period showed that none of the 453
volunteers who participated in various tests suffered from any harmful
side effects as a result of the treatment" (from the Acne-Tab
website). Results may not have been published, but I'm still checking
into it. I do not hold out hope.
I hope this information will be helpful to you. If you are confused
about some of the medical terminology I suggest you use this
It is the Merriam-Webster Health Dictionary, and is online free from
the MedlinePlus service.
Please don't hesitate to ask for a clarification (before you rate the
answer, please) if you need more information.
Uses: "Orally, chirata is used as a bitter tonic, antipyretic,
laxative, anthelmintic, for dyspepsia, loss of appetite, skin
diseases, and cancer. In India, it has been used as an anti-malarial,
combined with the seeds of Guilandina Bonducella."
Safety: This is classified as a GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe)
herb for use in food, but there is "insufficient reliable information
available" (IRIA) about the safety in medicinal doses.
Mechanism of action: "The applicable parts of chirata are the above
ground parts. The extract is reported to have anti-inflammatory
activity in animals. Constituents and their reported activity include
chirata stimulates gastric juice secretion; swerchirin has
antimalarial activity (in vivo); amarogentin has hepatoprotective
activity (in vitro); xanthones claimed to have antituberculous
Side effect: may exacerbate duodenal ulcers
Uses: "Orally, fumitory is used for GI spasms and as a bile flow
stimulant. Historically, fumitory has been used for skin eruptions,
eczema, conjunctivitis, cardiovascular disorders, as a diuretic, and a
Safety: possibly safe when used in small amounts ("standard doses"),
but possibly UNSAFE in large amounts. One of the compounds contained
in the plant is the alkaloid protopine, which can cause convulsions
and death in large amounts.
Mechanism of action: "The applicable parts of fumitory are the above
ground parts. Fumitory can have weak antispasmodic effects on the
smooth muscle of the bile duct and upper GI tract. The major alkaloid
constituent, protopine, has antihistamine, hypotensive, bradycardic,
and sedative activity in small doses, and it causes excitation and
convulsions in large doses. Fumitory can exhibit bactericidal activity
against gram-positive organisms, including Bacillus anthracis and
Side effects: adverse reactions are not common in small doses, but
large quantities of related plants have caused trembling, convulsions,
No entry in Natural Medicines Database
"According to Ayurveda, plant is digestible, anthelmintic, alexiteric,
antipyretic, alternative, cures diseases of liver, spleen, heart,
blood, tumours, ulcers, leprosy, asthma, poisoning etc. According to
Unani system of medicine, root is diuretic, allays thirst, enriches
blood, cures diarrhea, useful in bronchitis, asthma, liver, spleen
diseases, inflammations, boils and pimples; Leaves are tonic to
intestines and a promising appetizer. Good in piles, syphilis and
No entry in Natural Medicines Database
"According to Ayurveda, this herb is hot, laxative, digestible, tonic,
fattening, alterative, anthelmintic and alexipharmic. It is used in
insanity, tuberculosis, indigestion, bronchitis, spleen diseases,
elephantiasis, anaemia, pain in uterus and vagina, piles, asthma,
leucoderma, dysentery, vomiting, hemicrania, etc."
From the American Herb Association Quarterly Newsletter; Summer91,
Vol. 8 Issue 2, p14, 2p:
"Pakistani researchers at the University of Karachi and The Research
Institute of Chemistry have isolated an immunostimulant from the
flowers of Sphaeranthus indicus. The new sesquiterpene glycoside has
been named sphaeranthanolide. The root of this annual herb is used
traditionally in India and Pakistan for intestinal disorders and
general weakness. A root tea or juice is said to improve youthful
vigor and keep hair from graying.
Phytochemistry 1990, 29(8), 2573-6."
Uses: "Orally, mugwort above ground parts are used for
gastrointestinal (GI) problems such as colic, diarrhea, constipation,
cramps, weak digestion, worm infestations, and persistent vomiting. It
is also used to stimulate gastric juice and bile secretion, as a
laxative in cases of obesity, as a liver tonic; and for hysteria,
epilepsy, convulsions in children, menstrual problems, irregular
periods, to promote circulation, and as a sedative. Orally, mugwort
root is used as a tonic in individuals with diminished strength and
energy. In combination with other ingredients, mugwort root is used
for psychoneuroses, neurasthenia, depression, hypochondria, autonomic
neuroses, general irritability, restlessness, insomnia, and anxiety."
Safety: IRIA; likely unsafe for pregnant women as it might stimulate
the uterous to cramp.
Mechanism of action: "The applicable parts of mugwort are the above
ground parts and root. Mugwort contains sesquiterpene lactones,
lipophilic flavonoids, polyenes, umbelliferone and aesculetin. It also
contains a complex volatile oil with constituents of 1,8 cineole,
camphor, linalool or thujone. Some evidence suggests mugwort can
stimulate uterine activity, possibly due to the thujone content. Other
evidence suggests the aqueous extract and the volatile oil have
Side effects: People allergic to members of the asteraceae/compositae
family may have an allergic reaction to A. vlugaris. These plants
include ragwee, daisies, and marigolds. Poeple who are sensitive to
birch, celery, or wild carrot may also be sensitive to mugwort.
People who are allergic to tobacco may have a reaction to mugwort
pollen. It could theoretically cause a reaction in people allergic to
Uses: "Orally, jujube is used for improving muscular strength, as a
prophylaxis for liver diseases and stress ulcers, as a sedative, and
to neutralizing drug toxicities. Jujube is also used for dry and itchy
skin, lack of appetite, fatigue, diarrhea, hysteria, anemia,
hypertension, purpura, fever, wounds, ulcers, inflammation, asthma,
and eye diseases. In foods, jujube is used in a variety of recipes. In
manufacturing, jujube extracts are used in skin care products as an
anti-inflammatory, antiwrinkle, moisturizer, and for relief from
Mechanism of action: "The applicable part of jujube is the fruit.
Animal data suggests that jujube increases body weight, increases
swimming endurance and protects against carbon tetrachloride-induced
liver damage. Animal data also suggests that an ethanolic extract may
have anti-inflammatory effects and inhibit growth of Bacillus
subtilis. A methanolic extract containing oleanolic acid and ursolic
acid inhibits dental cavity-producing activity of Streptococcus mutans
Samgyetang, a soup made from chicken, jujube, panax ginseng, garlic,
and chestnuts, appears to offer protection from experimentally induced
NOTE: "Jujube is no longer used medicinally."
Uses: Orally, Terminalia belerica and Terminalia chebula are used for
hyperlipidemia and digestive disorders, including both diarrhea and
constipation, and indigestion. They have also been used for HIV
infection. Terminalia belerica is also used orally as a
hepatoprotectant and for respiratory conditions, including respiratory
tract infections, cough, and sore throat. Terminalia chebula is also
used orally for dysentery. Topically, Terminalia belerica and
Terminalia chebula are used as a lotion for sore eyes. Terminalia
chebula is also used topically as a mouthwash and gargle.
Intravaginally, Terminalia chebula is used as a douche for treating
Safety: IRIA for the general population; possibly unsafe for pregnant
women when used orally (unknown why)
Mechanism of action: "The applicable part of Terminalia belerica and
Terminalia chebula is the fruit. These species also have been reported
to improve lipid profiles, but to a lesser degree than Terminalia
arjuna. Terminalia chebula is reported to have a greater effect on
lipids than Terminalia belerica. The astringent properties of
Terminalia belerica and Terminalia chebula are attributed to their
beneficial effects in bowel irregularity and indigestion... An
ethanolic extract of Terminalia chebula containing gallic acid and its
ethyl ester may have activity against methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus. Terminalia chebula may also have activity
against cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex I, Streptococcus mutans,
Salmonella sp., Shigella, and retroviral reverse transcriptase. Both
Terminalia belerica and Terminalia chebula may have activity against
HIV. The gallic acid and chebulagic acid in Terminalia chebula may
have immunosuppressive effects against cytotoxic T lymphocytes."
Side effects: None known in people; in animals, has caused lesions of
the liver and kidneys
no match for species in NMCD
also called Chamaecrista absus
Prelude Medicinal Plants Database Specializing in Central Africa
This page suggests that the most common uses of C. absus is for eye
conditions and dry skin conditions, although it is also reports as
being used for sterility, to "remove the badness" (psychological
conditions), syphilis and gonorrhea, pain, piles, upper GI ailments
(heartburn, dyspepsia, etc), as an antiseptic/wound healing agent, to
rid the body of internal parasites, and for "carbuncle, boils, skin
rash, ulcer, abscess, ecthyma, pimples, pruritis, scurfs, cyst" of the
skin. For skin preparations the dried leaves are pounded into a
poultice and applied directly to the area to be healed.
Lycopodium - AKA Club moss
Uses: "Orally, club moss is used for bladder and kidney disorders, and
as a diuretic."
Safety: Possibly unsafe because of toxic alkaloids (no poisonings known)
Mechanism of action: "The applicable parts of club moss are the plant
and spores. Club moss contains potentially toxic alkaloids, including
lycopodine, dihydrolycopodine, and traces of nicotine (18)."
Melia Azedarach - AKA Neem
Uses: "Orally, neem leaf is used for leprosy, eye disorders,
epistaxis, intestinal worms, abdominal upset, anorexia, skin ulcers,
cardiovascular disease, contraception, abortion, fever, diabetes and
gingivitis. and hepatic dysfunction. The bark is used for malaria,
peptic ulcer, skin diseases, pain, and fever. The flower is used for
bile suppression, intestinal worms, and phlegm. The fruit is used for
hemorrhoids, intestinal worms, urinary disorders, epistaxis, phlegm,
eye disorders, diabetes, wounds, and leprosy. Neem twigs are used for
cough, asthma, hemorrhoids, intestinal worms, spermatorrhea, urinary
disorders, and diabetes. The seed and seed oil are used for leprosy,
abortion, contraception, and intestinal worms. The stem, root bark,
and fruit are used as a tonic and astringent. Topically, neem is used
to treat head lice, for skin diseases, wounds, skin ulcers, and as a
mosquito repellent and an emollient. Intravaginally, neem is used as a
contraceptive. Neem is also used as an insecticide."
Safety: possibly safe in small doses of bark extract orally for up to
10 weeks or leaf extract gel used intraorally for up to 6 weeks.
Possibly unsafe in large doses or long term - may be toxic to the
kidneys or liver. Do not give to children - there are reports where
children & infants have died after eating the leaves. Likely unsafe
for pregnant women as has been used as an abortifacient (to cause an
Mechanism of action: "The applicable parts of neem are the bark, leaf,
seed, seed oil, and less frequently, the root, flower, and fruit. More
than 135 compounds have been isolated from neem. Neem contains
isoprenoids, proteins, polysaccharides, flavonoids, dihydrochalcone,
coumarin, tannins, and other compounds. Nimibidin is a constituent of
neem seed oil. Preliminary research suggests it might have
anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic, antipyretic, hypoglycemic,
antiulcer, and diuretic effects. It also seems to have antifungal and
antibacterial activity. Nimibidin and another neem seed oil
constituent, nimbin, have spermicidal activity. The seed oil
constituent nimbolide, seems to have antimalarial and antibacterial
activity. Gedunin appears to have activity against fungal and malarial
microbes. Azadirachtin also has antimalarial activity and is used as
an insecticide. Mahmoodin has antibacterial activity. Neem seed oil
also might have immunostimulant effects. It seems to stimulate
cellular immune response. Preliminary clinical research suggests it
might be useful as a long-term vaginal contraceptive, an effect that
may be caused by a local cell-mediated immune response to the
allogenic sperm and embryo . A single intravaginal dose of neem seed
extract provides long-term, reversible contraception in animals.
Neem bark contains tannins and polysaccharides that might have
anti-inflammatory activity. Other neem bark polysaccharides seem to
have antitumor effects. Margolone, margolonone, and isomargolonone
appear to be active against bacteria such as Klebsiella,
Staphylococcus, and Serratia species. An aqueous extract of neem bark
seems to have antisecretory and antiulcer activity. An aqueous extract
of neem root bark might have hypoglycemic effects.
Sulfur-containing neem leaf extracts seem to have antifungal effects.
An aqueous extract of neem leaves seems to have hypoglycemic activity.
Neem leaf extract seems to have antispermatogenic and antiandrogenic
properties. It seems to adversely affect sperm mobility and viability.
Other preliminary research suggests that neem leaf extract might
protect the liver from the hepatotoxic effects of acetaminophen."
Side effects: "Neem oil is toxic to infants and children, but the
toxic constituent is unknown. Researchers speculate that a long-chain
monounsaturated free acid may be responsible. Orally, severe poisoning
in infants and small children characterized by vomiting, loose stools,
drowsiness, metabolic acidosis, anemia, polymorphonuclear
leukocytosis, seizure, loss of consciousness, coma, cerebral edema,
Reye's syndrome-like symptoms and death have been reported to occur
within hours after ingestion of neem oil. Liver and renal biopsy
reports have revealed pathologic findings seen typically in Reye's
syndrome. Preliminary research suggests that neem leaf might also have
hepatotoxic and nephrotoxic effects. Oliguria, anuria, jaundice,
anemia, acute tubular necrosis, hemolysis, hepatotoxicity, and
nephrotoxicity have been reported in humans taking neem leaf .
Theoretically, neem might have additive effects with herbs that
decrease blood glucose levels. Herbs with hypoglycemic potential
include devil's claw, fenugreek, garlic, guar gum, horse chestnut,
Panax ginseng, psyllium, and Siberian ginseng."
Drug interactions: May interact with antidiabetes drugs including
Amaryl, Glucotrol, Micronase, Tolinase, Orinase, etc. May decrease
the effectiveness of immunosuppressants linke Imuran, Zenapax,
Prednisone and other corticosteroids.
Contraindications: Avoid if you are suffering from an autoimmune
disease (MS, lupus, etc) or receiving an organ transplant as neem may
stimulate the immune system. Avoid if you are diabetic, as neem may
lower blood glucose levels and cause hypoglycemia. May "cause an
allergic response to sperm and embryos" and/or cause developmental
changes in sperm.
Berberis Aristata DC. Ext.
no match for species in NMCD
"The fruits of Berberis aristata DC. are given as a cooling laxative
to children. The stem is said to be diaphoretic and laxative and
useful in rheumatism. The dried extract of the roots is used as an
application in ophthalmia. It is also an excellent medication in the
case of sun-blindness The bark of its root is a valuable medicine in
intermittent and remittent fevers. The root is one of the few really
good medicines in India. In its efficacy, it is almost equal to
quinine and Warburg's tincture. It does not produce any bad effects on
the stomach, the bowels, the brain and the organs of hearing (Watt,
1889)... Dastur (1962) has reported that the chief constituent of
Berberis aristata DC. is barberine, which is a bitter alkaloid.
According to him, rasaut is used as a purgative for children and as a
blood-purifier, a tonic and a febrifuge. It is also given in
diarrhoea, jaundice and skin diseases. A watery solution of this
preparation is also used for washing piles, Oriental sores and