Could mung beans clear up your acne?

Could mung beans clear up your acne?

8 May 2017 by Caitlin Armit

Why mung beans?

The humble mung bean might be the missing ingredient in your diet to help resolve acne and other red, hot and angry skin conditions. In Brisbane, mung beans are available during the Spring and Summer months from markets, fruit and veg grocers, supermarkets and health food stores. Sadly we tend to only use them occasionally in salads but this underutilises their health benefits! They are high fibre and contain vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K, folic acid, potassium, magnesium and zinc.

In Chinese Medicine, mung beans are noted for their cooling effect on the body – thus they clear conditions characterized by excess heat especially those affecting the skin but also for heat-stroke. They are also noted for their sweet flavor and nutritional components which are beneficial for digestive health and their diuretic action which contributes to their detoxifying power.

How should you consume them?

If your skin is looking red, hot and angry then try using the following method to incorporate some mung bean goodness into your diet:

Boil 5 cups of mung beans in 10 cups of water and then reduce to a low simmer for 15 minutes. Let it stand for 10 minutes then strain to separate the beans and liquid but keep both (you can eat the beans now that they have been softened). Drink the remaining liquid twice each day – one cup in the morning and one at night for three months or until the skin condition has settled. We recommend refrigerating the liquid but warming it up on the stove before consuming it each time (drinking cold liquids is not the Chinese Medicine way!). This recipe is not appropriate for people who tend to be ‘cold’ by nature. For example, if you have a sensation of cold or are cold to touch on your abdomen, lower back, hands and feet then this treatment is not appropriate for you. If you are prone to diarrhoea, do not commence using this recipe or if you develop diarrhoea or an acute illness please discontinue use until recovered.

How does this work?

Research shows that the phytoestrogens in mung beans help to stimulate collagen and elastin in the skin and that mung beans inhibit the release of HMGB1 – a protein which contributes to inflammation.

Clinically speaking, this recipe is more appropriate and effective for people who’s acne is a result of a poor diet which is rich in fatty, greasy takeaway foods or spicy/hot foods. For these people, the mung bean recipe helps to speed up skin repair whilst dietary and lifestyle improvements are being made at the same time.


A review of phytochemistry, metabolite changes, and medicinal uses of the common food mung bean and its sprouts (Vigna radiata)

Antioxidant Properties of the Mung Bean Flavonoids on Alleviating Heat Stress

Nutritional composition and antinutritional factors of mung bean seeds (Phaseolus aureus) as affected by some home traditional processes

Plants Consumption and Liver Health

Categories: Brisbane Chinese Dietetics Blog | Digestive Health Brisbane

Tags: | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |