Green tea has been consumed for thousands of years, with its origins dating back to ancient China. This revered beverage has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and is known for its numerous health benefits. In this article, I will share how it can be used topically to soothe your dog’s chin acne. Holistic remedies using ancient ingredients offer a more natural approach to healing and my preferred way to help dogs. The body has an amazing ability to heal itself and it’s our job to help it along it’s way.
Why Green Tea?
When I work with clients I do my best to think about what they may have readily available at home. I also prefer remedies that are time-tested. In my TCM studies I have come to appreciate turning to nature and looking for what Mother Earth has provided us for thousands of years as opposed to products made in a laboratory.
Green tea has been found to be potentially beneficial in the treatment of acne, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The main active component in green tea, EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), has been shown to help improve acne conditions. Here is an overview of how green tea works when applied to your dog’s chin acne:
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Green tea has been shown to reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. This can help to reduce the redness, swelling, and irritation associated with acne lesions.
- Antioxidant effects: Green tea is a rich source of polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants help to neutralize the reactive oxygen species (ROS) that can cause oxidative stress and damage to the skin. By reducing oxidative stress, green tea may help to prevent acne formation and promote skin healing.
- Antimicrobial activity: Green tea has been shown to have antimicrobial properties against Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria responsible for acne breakouts. By inhibiting the growth of this bacteria, green tea may help to reduce the number of acne lesions.
- Sebum regulation: Excessive sebum production is one of the primary causes of acne. Green tea has been shown to help regulate sebum production by inhibiting the activity of the enzyme 5α-reductase, which plays a role in the synthesis of sebum.
- Wound healing: Green tea has been found to promote wound healing, which can be helpful in the healing process of acne lesions. It helps to stimulate the production of growth factors and modulate the inflammatory response, ultimately supporting the healing process.
On a side note, cosmetic companies are increasingly recognizing the potential of green tea as a natural and effective ingredient in their products. By harnessing the power of this ancient ingredient, these products aim to address various skin concerns, such as acne, redness, inflammation, and premature aging, while promoting a more radiant and healthy complexion. The growing interest in green tea-based cosmetics reflects a broader shift towards natural, plant-based ingredients in the beauty industry, as consumers become more aware of the potential benefits and sustainability of such ingredients.f
Green Tea’s TCM Benefits
Green tea is a key component in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is known for its various health benefits. As an herbal therapy, green tea plays a significant role in promoting energy flow and overall well-being. Here is a list of the ways in which green tea can enhance energy and support health in TCM:
Cooling effect: Green tea has a cooling effect on the body, helping to balance excess heat or “yang” energy.
What Are the Other Alternatives?
- Calendula’s active compounds promote wound healing and reduce redness, itching, and inflammation associated with allergic reactions. In TCM, calendula has cooling and drying properties, which help reduce heat and inflammation associated with skin irritations, rashes, and redness. Its drying property can address skin conditions resulting from excessive dampness, such as weeping eczema or oozing sores.
- Spilanthes’ alkylamides, flavonoids, and phenolics contribute to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects. Spilanthes is a cooling herb in TCM, making it useful for addressing skin issues associated with heat and inflammation. Spilanthes can promote the healing of wounds and skin tissue by improving blood circulation to the affected area. Silanthes is my favorite tea to use when a dog has a “dry itch” on their skin. Bonus – you can use this topically on your own skin if you get a rash or bit by mosquitos.
- Nettle tea has astringent properties, which can help tighten and tone the skin. This can be beneficial for reducing the appearance of enlarged pores and improving skin’s overall texture.
- Wound healing: The topical application of nettle tea may promote wound healing and reduce the risk of infection, thanks to its natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Relief from itching and irritation: Applying nettle tea topically can help alleviate itching and irritation caused by insect bites, allergic reactions, or other skin issues. The anti-inflammatory and soothing properties of nettle tea can provide relief and reduce discomfort.
How To Brew Green Tea For Your Dog’s Skin
I prefer loose leaf green tea which is easily found at your Asian Markets.
Boil two table spoons in one cup of water for 10 minutes at high heat. Watch over it to ensure all the water doesn’t boil off. Strain off the tea leaves and let it cool.
Once it is cool you can apply to your dog’s chin area with a cotton cloth, baby wipe, or cotton pad.
Since you are not feeding this to your dog, it doesn’t have to be decaffeinated. Only apply regular green tea to your dog’s skin. Dogs should never consume green tea with caffeine.
Don’t Forget To Look At The Root Cause
A closer look at the diet might be warranted and small adjustments can be made to see if there are any ingredients that are causing this damp/heat condition to present itself on your dog’s skin.
Sometimes it isn’t even the food and rather an external trigger that is aggravating that area like laundry soap or fabric softeners.
It is my preference to use ancient ingredients when addressing minor ailments on your dog. By harnessing the power of nature, these holistic remedies utilize ingredients such as herbs, plants, and minerals, which are often free from synthetic chemicals and side effects associated with conventional treatments.
This gentle approach to healing emphasizes the body’s innate ability to heal itself while promoting overall well-being and balance. Green Tea has been around for thousands of years, and is believed to have originated in China during the reign of Emperor Shennong around 2737 BCE.
I hope that it helps address any acne on your dog’s skin and I thank you for stopping by.
Wishing you and your dog Good Health!
Koch W, Zagórska J, Marzec Z, Kukula-Koch W. Applications of Tea (Camellia sinensis) and its Active Constituents in Cosmetics. Molecules. 2019 Nov 24;24(23):4277. doi: 10.3390/molecules24234277. PMID: 31771249; PMCID: PMC6930595.
Hannah Zulueta obtained her Certificate in Canine Nutrition from CASI Institute. She is also studying for her Doctorate in Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Herbalism from the esteemed Pacific College of Health and Medicine.
She resides in San Diego with her three dogs, Maggie, Orbit, and Mr. Higgins.