Liquorice offers protection against cancer

New research reveal that Liquorice could offer valuable protection against sunburn & skin cancer. Liquorice when applied to the skin, liquorice extract helps combat ultra violet damage & can reduce sunburn by acting as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It is found that the active molecule glycyrrhizin blocks AP-1, a protein that can cause inflammation & cancer.

Liquorice extract is already used in many organic sun-care products because it combats inflammation, so helping to reduce the severity of sunburn. However, the new findings mean that glycyrrhizin from liquorice could soon be used in creams designed specifically to prevent & treat skin cancer. Derived from the root of glycyrrhiza glabra, a plant from southern Europe and Asia, liquorice has been used medicinally for thousands of years.

Dr Sahar Rahman explains, “When we applied glycyrrhizin topically, there was an increase in enzymes that help restore cells to their optimal function after being damaged.” It is revealed that liquorice helped skin cells recover after being damaged by UV light. In Chinese medicine, it's known for its ability to improve digestion, balance the liver & combat stress.

In Western herbal medicine, liquorice is widely used for inflammatory illnesses, to combat stomach ulcers & treat viral infections such as hepatitis & cold-sores. Sarah Palmer, medical herbalist at the Vitality Centre in Bristol said, “If an area is sunburned, apply a liquorice balm. You could also take liquorice internally for an added effect, either as tea or as a supplement. But don't take liquorice regularly if you have hypertension as it may raise blood pressure.”


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