Licorice is known for its varied medicinal properties, ranging from treating common cold to cancer. But did you know that licorice is also an excellent skin tonic? Packed with healthy coumarins, flavonoids and plant sterols, this wonder root makes an effective remedy for various skin problems.
The plant sterols promote skin elasticity, fight inflammation and wrinkle formation. The most important ingredient, glycyrrhizin, aids in combating several skin disorders such as rosacea, eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
Glabridin, an active ingredient in licorice consists of five flavonoids that act to depigment, or lighten, the skin, thus improving the overall skin tone. Regular topical use of licorice can fade dark spots and blemishes over time and reverse darkening of scars. The antioxidants in licorice scavenge the free radicals that play an important part in aging the skin. Licochalcone, present in the licorice root, works to regulate the skin’s oil production, thus playing an important role in fighting acne and excessive pigmentation.
Some more benefits of licorice are as follows:
- Arterial Health: Licorice root also acts as an antioxidant that helps in preventing the build-up of plaque in the arteries. Daily doses of licorice root supplements can help promote good cardiovascular health, help in cholesterol regulation, and prevent heart disease.
- Hair Health: Licorice root extract can be used as a shampoo as it reduces the oil in hair. Bring 2 tbsp dried licorice root and 6 cups water to a boil and let simmer for 40 minutes. Use this licorice water as a rinse for a cleansing hair treatment.
- Herpes: The anti-viral properties of the licorice root suppress the re-occurrence and progression of cold sores, which are caused by the herpes simplex virus. Herbalists use licorice root supplements as remedies for herpes, cold sores, and shingles.
- Cough & Sore Throat: The saponin glycosides found in licorice root are a good expectorant, and good for breaking up and secreting built-up phlegm. This can help people with asthma, bronchitis, and dry cough. The anti-inflammatory properties of licorice root can also widen the air passages, making breathing easier.
- Gastric Problems: The flavonoid and chalcones found in the licorice root are used to treat different varieties of gastric and intestinal problems. The two chemicals can help in easing the infection and inflammation of the mucus lining and intestinal tract. Licorice root also soothes the digestive system promoting good digestion and normal bowel movement.