basil ( and other herbs ) effect on probiotics in the gut?

  • posted by ste92

    Hi everyone.
    I have been trying to clear up my back acne by eating incredibly well and including home made pro biotics such as kefir daily.
    I consider my diet to be very healthy, but I like to use a lot of herbs and spices too, which again, I considered to be healthy. I have always thought eating lots of basil and other herbs that have similar effects would be great for my acne due to it being anti bacterial.
    However, it only just occured to me that this would pretty much go against the benefits of probiotics too as it would destroy the good bacteria as well ( I am guessing? )

    I’m not saying they should be avoided of course, but if I am after the anti bacterial type properties from the basil, is it a waste / not going to make any positive effect whilst also taking probiotics?
    I just wondered peoples thoughts on this?
    Thanks in advance

  • posted by Firefox7275

    Acne vulgaris is not a straightforward skin infection, it is an inflammatory condition. Diet absolutely can contribute to the health of the skin barrier, but the overall lifestyle and skincare routine is relevant. What many in the West consider ‘normal’ personal hygeine and haircare can easily irritate, inflame or damage the skin barrier and disrupt the skin’s own microbiome.

    Antimicrobial activity is linked to concentration and dose, be that in a compound found in the essential oil of an edible plant or a prescription medication. No antibiotic is active against all bacteria but rather are active against certain groups, so qualified medical professionals select different antibiotics for different infections. Interestingly at low doses some prescription ‘antibiotic’ drugs appear to be effective for certain skin conditions (eg. papulopustular rosacea) due to their anti-inflammatory properties only. Conversely essential oils tend to be rich in known allergens, known irritants and known toxins, so the risks can easily outweigh any reputed beneficial properties.

    Research suggests that the components of fruits and vegetables – including culinary herbs – that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits when eaten in sufficient quantity are primarily the bright and dark pigmented compounds (polyphenols/ carotenes) not the volatile components of the essential oil.


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