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Acne and Bhavaprakasha

Written by ritasharma, ColleenO.

An Ayurvedic perspective indicates that acne is an imbalance in the dosha, most likely a Pitta imbalance (although there can be imbalances in Vata and Kapha too). Ayurveda calls acne symptoms “Tarunya Pitika” (the pimples on the face during adolescence) or “Mukhadusika” (one which spoils or disfigures the face).1

Ayurvedic medicine has shown some promise for acne. One study evaluated the potential benefits of Bhavapraksha formulation, an herbal combination containing the following constituents: Aloe barbadensis, Azardirachta indica, Curcuma longa, Hemidesmus indicus, Terminalia chebula, Terminalia arjuna, and Withania somnifera.

Effect of Bhavaprakasha on Acne

The Bhavapraksha formuation is often used to treat acne along with the Charak Samhita formulation. These herbs remedy the imbalances that are the source of acne.

Read more details about Bhavaprakasha.

Research Evidence on Bhavaprakasha

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study1 explored the internal and external formulations outlined in the Bhavaprakasha and Charak Samhita.

Fifty-two subjects were divided into four groups: 1) active oral tablets and active topical gel, 2) active oral tablets and active topical cream, 3) active oral tablet and placebo topical preparation, and 4) placebo tablet and placebo topical preparation. They used a preparation of aloe barbadensis, azardirachta indica, curcyma longa, hemidesmus indicus, terminalia chebula, terminalia arjua, and withania somnifera for the gel and cream topical preparation. They used the same ingredients plus piper longum for the oral tablets. They found that combined topical and oral use of the herbal preparation (groups 1 and 2) significantly improved acne symptoms. Oral treatment alone was not effective.

How to Use Bhavaprakasha

The topical gel and cream preparations of Bhavaprakasha, along with Charak Samhita, have been shown to be most effective in the treatment of acne. They are also available as oral tablets.

Types of Professionals That Would Be Involved with This Treatment

  • Ayurvedic Specialists
  • Integrative MD's with a speciality in Ayurveda


  1. Lalla, J.K., Nandedkar, S.Y., Paranjape, M.H., & Talreja, N.B. (2001). Clinical trials of ayurvedic formulations in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Journal of Ethnoparmacology, 78(2001), 99-102.

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