18 July, 2017
Can Certain Herbs Remove Scar Tissues?
Scar tissue is often unsightly and sometimes embarrassing, motivating most people to search for remedies to remove the scars. If you have a large, thick scar like a keloid, this scar tissue is especially difficult to remove. However, certain herbal remedies might help to get rid of scar tissue, but you should consult your doctor before using any natural treatment to discuss the potential health risks.
Extracts and Herbs
You might use herbal remedies containing aloe vera, coconut oil, gotu kola, jojoba oil, tamanu oil or lavender oil to get rid of scar tissue, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Gotu kola is a medicinal herb taken orally, applied topically and/or injected into the scar tissue. You might take 60 milligrams (mg) of standardized gotu kola extract once or twice per day and apply a topical ointment containing 1-percent the herb at the same time to get rid of scar tissue, says the University of Maryland Medical Center. Pine bark extract is also taken orally to treat scars and improve skin health, at a dose of 200 mg per day. All the other herbal remedies are meant for topical applications to treat scars. Talk with your doctor before taking or applying any herbs to remove scar tissue.
The essential oils of coconut, jojoba, lavender and tamanu appear to provide scar-removing and anti-inflammatory actions. Aloe vera’s components seem to inhibit thromboxane, a compound that prevents proper healing of wounds and burns, according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Gotu kola promotes the body’s proper repair of connective tissues and helps prevent scar tissue from forming or becoming larger. Pine bark extract contains pycnogenol, a constituent that supports skin health.
If you have an open wound, irritation or signs of infection, see a health care professional before using any herbal remedies. As your wound is healing, monitor it for any signs of infection, such as bleeding, swelling, drainage and discoloration. If you develop increased pain and fever, you might have an infection. Internal scar tissue can be painful and even harmful to your health, so you should seek medical attention for these types of scars.
A 1979 clinical study published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery found that using oral and topical gotu kola extract can help to prevent and treat scar tissue or enlarged scars like keloids, according to the University of Michigan Health System. Aloe vera offers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that could help with scar tissue, according to a study published in Planta Medica in 2002. A laboratory study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2003 found that lavender oil has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties as well, says the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. And a 2004 study published in Phytotherapy Research revealed that taking pycnogenal speeds wound healing and decreases scar tissue, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Most topical herbs can pose the potential risk of an allergic skin reaction from contact dermatitis. Don’t take gotu kola if you have anxiety or hypertension. Lavender oil could increase the effects of sedative medications, and a case report published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 involved boys who developed breast enlargement after applying lavender and tea tree oils repeatedly, according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Topical applications of aloe vera might increase the effects of antiplatelet medications, posing a potential bleeding risk during surgical procedures. These herbs might also cause other side effects or drug interactions, so talk with your doctor before using any herbal scar remedies.
- aloe vera image by Nadja Jacke from Fotolia.com