The top ten herbal supplements in the world are all safe for skin, according to a report published today by the World Health Organization.
According to the report, which was released at the end of November, a total of 817 ingredients have been identified as safe or effective for treating the skin.
The top ten ingredients are:Biotin-4.6%, Biotinamide (also known as Bioten), Lactic Acid (also called Lactic-Acid, or LAA), Glycerin, Biotinylated Linoleic Acid (CLA), Beta-Alanine (BGA), Calcium Citrate, L-ascorbic Acid, Beta-Glucan, Lactic acid glycol, Calcium Carbonate, Beta carotene, Calcitrool, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Phosphate, Stearic Acid and Xanthan Gum.
“We are seeing more and more people using these products to treat skin issues,” said Dr. Paul Fuchs, head of dermatology and skin care at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
“Many of these products have the potential to treat acne and blemishes as well.
But, to date, very few studies have been done to determine the safety and efficacy of these herbs.”
The WHO report concluded that all of the herbs that were listed were safe to use on the skin, although there are some that are highly controversial and some that have been associated with a higher risk of side effects.
Among the most controversial herbs are:Echinacea (aka “Lavender” or “Rosemary”), Biotenic Acid, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lignans and Lactococcus lactis.
Echinacin, which is found in the herb Echinacea officinalis, is said to be anti-inflammatory and helps regulate blood pressure, and has been shown to have anti-cancer properties in animal studies.
It is also considered to be effective in treating psoriasis.
“It’s been shown in animal models that it does help regulate blood vessels and improve blood circulation,” said Fuchs.
“There are several studies where it’s been used as a treatment for psorias, and it has been linked to cancer.”
Bioten, an antioxidant compound found in some red bell peppers, is also commonly used as an ingredient in herbal products, but the WHO says that the research has not been able to determine whether it has any specific health benefits.
It is not uncommon for people to use herbal supplements to help them control skin conditions such as eczema, psorosis and psorific pain, but Fuchs said the majority of the time it is not the intended use.
“Most of the herbal supplements on the market contain a mixture of ingredients that are not actually derived from the roots of a plant,” he said.
“They may contain other plant compounds that are also used in herbal medicine but they do not necessarily have any direct nutritional benefit.”
Some of the products, for example, contain extracts from the leaves of various plants, but they are not necessarily derived from those plants themselves.
“According to Dr. Joseph E. Ritchie, professor of dermatological medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, the safety of the plant-based supplements that have become popular is based on what the manufacturer says.”
As a result, the FDA has proposed limiting the amount of active ingredients in the supplements, which could reduce the risk of adverse side effects, according the WHO.”
Most of these supplements contain chemicals that are often not even toxic to humans.”
As a result, the FDA has proposed limiting the amount of active ingredients in the supplements, which could reduce the risk of adverse side effects, according the WHO.
The WHO recommended that all people over the age of 18 and over the majority who take supplements should take them at least every three months.
The report also recommends that people should monitor their skin for signs of inflammation and redness for at least 24 hours after using any of the supplements.
“People should also be aware of the possible effects of certain dietary components and foods on their skin,” it states.
“In addition, people should be careful not to overdo it on any of these ingredients, as they can cause skin irritation and even allergic reactions.”ABC News’ Emily K. Nelson contributed to this report.