Have you ever come across an ingredient called ‘licorice’ on your cosmetic product’s label? Well, licorice is an herbal root that comes from a species of the Glycyrrhiza plant. It is also known as liquorice. The name of the plant is derived from the Greek word ‘glukurrhiza’, meaning ‘sweet root’. The sweetness of the root comes from the presence of a component known as glycyrrhizin. This component makes the root even sweeter than sugar.
Licorice root has been used for centuries by the Egyptians, Chinese, Greek and many other nations in Asia for medicinal, confectionery and flavoring purposes. It is also known as Gan Zao and sweet root in Chinese. The root is one of the most widely used herbs in the world. Licorice root contains many healthy components. Some of them are flavonoids, plant sterols, volatile oils, chalcones, glycosides, coumarins, glycyrrhizic acid, asparagines and anethole. The perennial herb grows up to 2 meters.
Licorice root provides relief for many health conditions. Some of them are assorted infections, canker sores, depression, menopausal issues, skin rashes, liver disorders, bursitis, chronic exhaustion, heartburn, dandruff, viral infections, arthritis, tendinitis, baldness, asthma, athlete’s foot and yeast infections.
Skin Benefits Of Licorice:
The use of licorice offers various benefits to the skin. Some of them are:
1. Skin Brightening Effect:
The use of licorice makes the skin look fairer by brightening its color. You can prepare a face mask by mixing turmeric powder and fuller’s earth with licorice tea. Apply the pack on your skin and allow it to dry. Rinse off the face pack with normal water. To keep the skin hydrated, you can add a few drops of coconut oil, olive oil or almond oil to it.
2. Fades Blemishes:
Regular use of licorice helps to fade blemishes and dark spots. The consistent use of licorice tea helps to keep the skin hydrated and moisturized from within. You can also apply the cool licorice tea on the skin. Let it sit for some time and then rinse off with normal water to get a soft and supple skin.
3. Heals Different Skin Conditions:
Application of cool licorice tea is known to help in healing a number of skin disorders. Some of them are eczema, psoriasis, dry skin and skin rashes. Its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and demulcent properties help to heal various skin conditions, such as redness and inflammation. Its hydrating properties prevent the skin from getting dry while trapping its moisture. This keeps the skin looking fresh and younger.
4. Antioxidant Properties:
Antioxidants present in licorice extract help the skin to combat the conditions caused by free radicals. Another ingredient known as licochalcone found in licorice tea helps in regulating oil formation on the skin. The products like body creams, body cleansers and facial skin care products contain licorice extracts to treat various skin conditions. Some of the conditions are psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis and rosacea.
5. Protection Against Sun-Induced Skin Damage:
Incorporating licorice tea in one’s diet can protect the skin from the harmful UV rays. A licorice root decoction can be used as a sunscreen lotion to protect the skin from sunburns and tan. To treat the sun damage, you need to apply a pack prepared by mixing the crushed cucumber in licorice tea.
Hair Benefits Of Licorice:
The use of licorice offers various benefits to the hair. Some of them are:
6. Rich In Essential Elements For Hair Health:
Licorice root is packed with elements like choline, protein, Vitamin B complex, flavonoids, phytoestrogens, potassium, phosphorus, amines and essential oils. The root not only promotes the health of the scalp, but also takes care of the hair due to the presence of such elements.
7. Hair Loss Prevention And Dandruff Treatment:
Tablets and capsules incorporating licorice root are consumed to improve the growth of the hair and reduce hair loss. Rinsing the hair with licorice root helps in treating dandruff. The amazing demulcent properties of licorice help in soothing the scalp by reducing various scalp conditions like scabs and dandruff. Egyptians have been using licorice root since the 3rd century B.C for soothing the irritated and dry skin. Licorice is added in scalp elixirs because of its great demulcent property.
8. Hair Growth Booster:
The use of this root has been found effective in promoting hair growth. Products with licorice as a base are used to treat a dry scalp. It helps the hair to grow stronger and thicker. It is strongly believed that licorice helps in reducing hair loss both through topical and oral application. It paves way for the growth of hair follicles by trapping the essential moisture within the scalp.
9. Combats Premature Balding:
Even though it is not scientifically proven, licorice tea is consumed by people to combat premature balding. It can be used in preparing packs for the effective treatment of various hair conditions. A pack can be prepared by adding amla powder and henna in licorice tea, and mixing them well. It helps in treating many conditions, including dandruff, dull hair, split ends and sun-induced hair damage.
Health Benefits And Nutritional Value Of Licorice:
The use of licorice offers various benefits to the health. Some of them are:
10. Arthritis Treatment:
The anti-inflammatory properties of licorice tea help in relieving the pain caused due to arthritis. It also abates the swelling along with providing pain relief. Its regular use can also improve the movements of the joints.
11. Fighting Depression:
Licorice root is known to be a natural anti-depressant. It activates the functioning of the adrenal glands, which regulates the process of cortisol synthesis. The main cause of anxiety, nervousness, chronic fatigue and stress is the reduced level of this particular hormone. The use of licorice tea maintains its equilibrium. Its regular use also elevates one’s mood and sets depression aside.
12. Liver Benefits:
Licorice tea has amazing detoxifying properties, which help in empowering the liver, putting your worries to rest.
13. Beneficial For Diabetes:
The use of licorice tea ensures that health and sweetness are served together. Licorice roots can be used as substitutes for sugar. It is very helpful for those suffering from diabetes.
14. Beneficial For Cold:
The antiviral properties of the tea help in combating infections. It also boosts up the immunity power of the body. This tea is one of the most effective remedies for conditions like cough and cold. The infections slowly get eliminated once the immunity starts boosting up. It also effectively treats sore throat. The consumption of warm licorice tea ensures quick relief by clearing all the clogged nasal passages. This is the main reason why Ayurvedic doctors recommend the intake of licorice tea for the treatment of various bronchial-related issues.
15. Treats Cardiac Disorders:
Studies have shown that the use of licorice tea can help in keeping the cholesterol levels under control by activating the bile flow. The health of the heart depends upon the level of bad cholesterol. The lower the level of bad cholesterol, the better will be the health of the heart. It also improves the health of the capillaries by restricting the arterial walls from getting stroked by plaque. Smooth blood circulation along with the optimum level of cholesterol ensures better functioning of the heart.
16. Helps With Low Blood Pressure:
Hypotension or low blood pressure is a difficult condition to be cured. But, it can be treated safely with the use of licorice tea. Regular use of this tea can help you get rid of stress-related elements, such as fatigue, nausea and dizziness. Licorice tea also helps to pump up the blood pressure to the required level.
17. Treatment Of Yeast Infection:
The oral and topical use of licorice tea gives the power to fight against infections while healing the condition. Often, women become prone to such infections caused due to Candida albicans.
Licorice is rich in elements like phytoestrogens and antioxidants. These elements present in licorice show positive results in menopause-related issues, including hot flashes, fatigue and mood swings. The hormonal equilibrium can be attained by consuming two cups of licorice tea daily. It will help women to pass this messy phase comfortably.
19. Beneficial For Stomach Disorders:
Licorice root is known to hold some laxative properties. Constipation can be eased off by consuming licorice tea. The inflammation and irritation caused due to the bacterial infection in the stomach can be reduced with the flavonoids and chalcone content in the roots. These properties help in strengthening the digestive system by soothing off the lining of the inflamed mucus, providing assured relief from gastric-related issues. Take 2 to 3 cups of the tea to obtain its benefits.
20. Beneficial In Weight Loss:
Consume licorice tea regularly if you want to lower the body mass to a considerable extent. Incorporate two cups of this tea a day along with a healthy workout regime and balanced diet. You will see the desired changes in your weight.
21. Beneficial For Canker Ulcers:
Canker ulcers occur on the cheeks and tongue. These inflammations are painful and irritating. Gargling with licorice tea can offer quick relief from these conditions. Gargle 4 times a day to heal the sores and subside the pain.
22. Beneficial In Premenstrual Syndrome:
The tea is filled with antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also rich in estrogenic properties. The combined action of these properties is known to offer relief from premenstrual syndromes like nausea, breast tenderness, mood swings and bloating. Consume 2 cups of licorice tea per day, three days before the date to fight against menstrual cramps in a healthier way.
23. Helps With Herpes And Shingles:
The root extracts of licorice have been used in treating shingles, sores and herpes. Studies have shown that the antiviral properties of the root slow down the progression and return of cold sores caused due to the herpes virus. The treatment of shingles and herpes includes the consumption of the capsule (made from the licorice root extract) 2 times a day, and the application of the salve made from the same root extract, 4 to 5 times a day on the affected region.
The consumption of licorice tea also cures many types of cancer with its chemo-preventive effects. Its anti-proliferative effects also restricts the growth of breast cancer cells. Flavonoids like isoliquiritigenin contained in licorice help in the suppression of colon carcinogenesis and activate apoptosis. There are also supporting evidences, which states the anti-tumor action of licorice extracts. These have been found to reduce toxicity stimulated by chemotherapy drugs and check tumor cell production. Yet, patients treated with cisplatin therapy should avaoid the use of licorice extract These licorice extracts are also helpful in treating conditions like prostate cancer and prostatitis.
25. Beneficial In Detoxification:
Licorice contains mild laxative properties that help in the detoxification of the colon and blood supply. Studies have demonstrated that the dehydroglyasperin component present in licorice extract is helpful in stimulating antioxidant enzymes, helping in discarding toxic and harmful wastes from the body.
26. Helps To Treat Tuberculosis:
Research studies have shown the effectiveness of licorice in combating pulmonary tuberculosis and the reduction of the length of the healing process. The antimicrobial and antimycobacterial properties present in licorice root extract work well to treat infections. These properties make it a potent anti-tubercular agent.
27. Dental Health Benefits:
Licorice offers effective treatment for dental conditions, such as gingivitis. The antimicrobial property present in licorice inhibits the production of dental plaques. Due to such qualities, licorice is used in the manufacturing of oral hygiene products, such as mouthwashes and toothpastes.
Licorice effectively fights against body odor because of the antibacterial properties present in it. It is also helpful in lowering down the age spots. Apart from that, it also offers effective treatment for tendonitis, toxicity and allergies caused by chemicals or food. It helps in stimulating peace and calmness, when utilized in moderation.
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