Let's talk about herbs...

Photo-toxicity of herbs

If you are undergoing skin laser treatments, please ensure you apply sufficient sun block (SPF 50+) even if you are staying indoor most of the time.

Here in Victoria, you can check real time UV level online (Note 1). Although recently our weather is getting cold like winter, we are still required to protect ourselves against moderate UV ray from 10:40am to 2pm every day. We also know that some indoor lights emit unexpected amount of UV rays.

Please see following list for the photo-toxic herbs according to the Toxicology Research (Note 2)

So next time when you are sipping chamomile tea for relaxation, or having curcumin supplements for its anti-inflammatory property, your skin may be more sensitive to UV rays and it's important to slap an extra layer of sunscreen on your skin.

Chinese medicine herbal medicine

Angelicae dahuricae radix 白芷

Angelicae sinensis radix 當歸

Phellodendri chinensis cortex 黃柏

Coptidis Rhizoma 黃連

Curcuma longa 薑黃

Western herbal medicine

Goldenseal 金印草

St. John Wort's 聖約翰草

Matricaria chamomilla 德國洋甘菊

Kava rhizome extracts 卡瓦醉椒

But to be extra cautious, I have attached a list of photosensitive food / skin products / essential oils below. So my tip is getting proper UV protection, and have your spots on the back checked regularly by the Skin Specialist.

Photosensitive food: celery, figs, lettuce, fennel, shepherd's purse, celery, radish leaves, spinach, buckwheat, coriander, safflower, mustard, citrus, lemon, mango, pineapple, etc.

Photosensitive medicine: Sulfonamides, aspirin, sodium salicylate, tetracycline, chlorpheniramine, oral contraceptives, estrogen, etc.

Photosensitive essential oils: Bergamot, lemon, sandalwood, musk, ambergris, etc.


1: ARPANSA : Ultraviolet radiation index https://www.arpansa.gov.au/our-services/monitoring/ultraviolet-radiation-monitoring/ultraviolet-radiation-index

2. Photo-toxicity of Traditional Chinese medicine https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6240804/pdf/TX-007-C8TX00141C.pdf


Recent Posts

See All