Licorice root contains many anti-depressant compounds and is an excellent alternative to St. John's Wort. As a herbal medicine it has an impressive list of well documented uses and is probably one of the most over-looked of all herbal wonders.
Hundreds of potentially healing substances have been identified in licorice as well, including compounds called flavonoids and various plant estrogens (phytoestrogens). The herb's key therapeutic compound, glycyrrhizin (which is 50 times sweeter than sugar) exerts numerous beneficial effects on the body, making licorice a valuable herb for treating a host of ailments.
It can also be used for irritation and inflammation.
Licorice has long been used by Ayurveda and other Asian Medicine systems to treat many medical conditions including skin diseases like eczema and psoriases. Of late, the excellent properties of licorice as a skin lightening agent has been put to use by many cosmetic companies to make herbal skin lightening creams. These products use licorice root extract as an alternative to the harmful chemical hydroquinone. Licorice contains the active compound ‘glabridin’ which acts to inhibit the enzyme which causes skin to darken due to sun exposure. Glabridin also help decrease the production of melanin as well as in balancing the skin cells. Not only is the licorice extract an excellent natural skin lightening agent but it also helps diminish dark circles and other darkened skin due to scars etc. Because licorice also contains ‘licochalcone,’ an oil controlling agent, it is also good for those people who have oily or acne-prone skin and who want their skin to become white.
How to use licorice extract for skin lightening?
You can find licorice extract in health stores. Although you can also make licorice extract at home by steeping or boiling the licorice root, it is too mild a preparation. The commercially available licorice root extract have huge concentration of useful agents of licorice extract.
- Take a few drops of licorice extract and with the help of a cotton ball or a swab, apply a thin layer of this extract all over your face and neck.
- Leave this overnight and wash off in the morning.
You may also make a face mask with the licorice extract.