We all know how YUMMY licorice is to eat (not too much guys, it will give you the runs!), but did you know that licorice root has been used for centuries for it’s amazing nutritional and medicinal benefits? It has been reported to be commonly used in the treatment of asthma, athlete’s foot, body odour, chronic fatigue, depression, colds and flu, dandruff, tooth decay, gout, heartburn, viral & fungal infections, psoriasis and arthritis, plus inflammation of the digestive tract. The amazing benefits of licorice root extract lie in it’s many healthy components, including flavonoids, volatile oils, plant sterols, coumarins, glycosides, asparagine, and glycyrrhizic acid.
But what does the research say?
Firstly, the glycosides have been shown to act as an expectorant and anti-inflammatory agent, breaking down the mucus of a cold or flu.
Secondly, the glycyrrhizic acid promotes adrenal function which regulates stress hormones, and the asparagine (an amino acid) helps maintain equilibrium of the nervous system, making licorice root a great support for depression or chronic fatigue.
It has also been shown to boost immunity by increasing the levels of interferon, a key immune system chemical, and have a beneficial action on the liver which can help reduce irritation/inflammation of the digestive tract.
But at Rubifresh Skincare, we use it as a skin lightening agent, so what does the research say about that?
Licorice root has been reported amongst the top 12 skin lightening ingredients (including synthetic ones!), and is one of the few naturally occurring ones. It has been found that the component GLABRIDIN prevents UVB-induced pigmentation and inhibits tyrosinase activity (a precursor to melanin). It has a depigmenting effect greater than hydroquinone, and is responsible for the dispersion and removal of melanin.
SO…if you suffer from uneven- or hyper-pigmentation, try making up a cup of licorice root tea, cool it and use it as a face wash (untested!)….or if you want something a little more luxurious, try our Pigmentation Serum which contains licorice root extract, plus two other natural skin lightening ingredients to boost it’s action.
Rubiwomen is written by Tristan Fahey, Owner & Founder Rubifresh Skincare.
Find us at www.rubifresh.com.au