Licorice

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Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate is the salt derived from licorice root extract.  It is extracted from the root of the Glycyrrhiza glabra, a plant known to possess many medicinal properties. It is one of the oldest herbal remedies with a rich history of medical medicine.  Its ongoing use is evolving so much so it has been referred to as “the plant of the future”. The root contains over 300 compounds that have been shown to be anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-ulcer anti-oxidant agents. The extract improves hyperpigmentation by dispersing melanin within the skin, inhibiting melanin biosynthesis and decreasing free radical production. The main component is the polyphenolic flavonoid Glabridin.  Studies have shown that glabridin prevents UVB induced pigmentation and exerts anti-inflammatory effects. It has also been in the treatment of dermatitis, eczema and acne.

This double-blind clinical study compared 30 patients using a 2% topical licorice gel preparation and 30 patients using a placebo over a two-week period.  The results showed the licorice extract could be considered an effective agent for the treatment of atopic dermatitis.

Sources:

  • The treatment of atopic dermatitis with licorice gel.  The Journal of Dermatological Treatment, 2003.
  • Cosmeceuticals for Hyperpigmentation: What is Available?  Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, 2013.
  • Glycyrrhiza glabra – A plant for the future.  Mintage Journal of Pharmaceutical and Medical Sciences, 2013.

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