Ingredient Breakdown: Licorice Root
Posted on December 04 2017
The Glycyrrhiza glabra herb, better known as licorice root, is native to the Mediterranean, select parts of Russia, and Asia Minor to Iran. Licorice has been used for medicinal properties for generations, ranging from sleepy tea to cough drops.
The roots of the licorice herb are sweet, up to 50 times sweeter than sugar, and it has an extremely low sugar index, making licorice root a fantastic sweetener. Licorice contains compounds such as flavonoids, polyphenols, and triterpenoids that provide many health and skin care benefits. Real licorice is currently found mainly in medicines and beauty products due to its unique scent and healing properties while many candies and sodas are flavored instead with anise extract which has a similar flavor profile.
As a potent anti-inflammatory, licorice helps to reduce swelling and assists with lowering pain in muscles and joints. It also treats ulcers, leaky gut syndrome, swelling in sore throats, and eliminates bags under the eyes. Licorice is also used to alleviate inflammation caused from eczema, acne, and other skin conditions thanks to these anti-inflammatory compounds: flavonoids, coumarins, and stilbenoids.
Dark Spots and Blemishes
Licorice extract, when used consistently, can fade the appearance of dark spots and blemishes. Licorice contains an ingredient called glabridin which helps to reduce hyperpigmentation from overexposure to UV rays. Results can be accomplished either by using licorice root topically, or by consuming licorice tea. Licorice can also help with the prevention of dark spots by acting as a natural sunscreen.
Licorice root contains antioxidants that protect the skin against environmental pollutants and stressors. Along with reducing the appearance of age spots, glabridin also eliminates under-eye circles, uneven skin tone, and wrinkles. Because it is gentle and helps to balance oil levels, licorice extract is great for all skin types, especially sensitive and oily skin. It also helps treat skin disorders such as psoriasis, rashes, and itchy skin. Licorice contains a high concentration of antioxidants that kill free radicals that may cause wrinkles and age spots.
Hair and Scalp Health
Pills and supplements incorporating licorice root are known to reduce hair loss and improve the growth of existing hair. The demulcent properties of licorice help to soothe the scalp by reducing various scalp conditions, so using a rinse containing licorice root is prescribed to help eliminate dandruff and sores on the scalp. Egyptians have been using licorice root for thousands of years to soothe dry skin and irritation on the head and body.
The anti-inflammatory properties of licorice aid in relieving pain and stiffness caused by arthritis, allowing for more mobility in joints.
Thanks to its hormonal balancing properties, licorice can be added to a woman’s diet to assist the body thru menopause. These properties also help with yeast infections and premenstrual syndrome.
Licorice is a key ingredient in the natural fight against depression. Regular consumption and topical application of licorice tea can help to eliminate stress-related elements like fatigue, nausea and dizziness. Licorice tea also helps to pump up the blood pressure to healthy levels, taking stress off the heart. It activates the adrenal glands, which are in charge of regulating the process of cortisol synthesis, thus treating fatigue by giving the body a natural boost.
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