Liquorice – The Skin Lightening Ayurvedic Herb


liquoriceLiquorice known as yashtimadhu in Ayurveda. It is referred to a root of a plant called Glycyrrhiza glabra. It is a legume native to parts of Asia and southern Europe. It is a sweetener that is mostly used in candies and beverage. The evidence of medicinal uses of Liquorice can be seen in ayurvedic granthas or scriptures, which were documented many thousands of years ago.

Chemical Composition of Liquorice
Liquorice has potentially healing chemicals that treat a host of diseases. Glycyrrhizin the sweetener is 50 times sweeter than sugar. Flavonoids, glabridin, starch, sucrose, dextrose, starch, proteins, fat and various phyto estrogens.

Properties and Functioning of Liquorice

  • Vatta Pitta nashaka (Pacifier)
  • Vatanulomana
  • Regenerates blood cells
  • Helpful in throat infections
  • Diuretic
  • Increases sperm count
  • Rejuvenator
  • Antipyretic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti-allergic
  • Useful in many skin diseases.
  • Kapha nissaraka (expels kapha)
  • Antioxidant
  • Immunity booster
  • Expectorant
  • Blood purifier

Medicinal Benefits of liquorice

Liquorice an ancient drug, has excellent medicinal effects on each and every part of the body especially respiratory system, excretory system, digestive system and the skin. Here we would be discussing about the wonder effects of Liquorice on skin (the largest organ of our body).

Liquorice has an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and cooling properties which makes it a very useful drug in skin (dermatological) ailments.

Hyper pigmentation – Liquorice has been proved to be a wonder drug in lightening the skin. The active compound glabridin reduces the formation of excess melanin pigment and balances the skin by preventing pigmentation.

Psoriasis – as liquorice is vata pitta nashaka it pacifies the aggravated vata and pitta, thus reducing the irritation, inflammation and itching in psoriasis.

Eczema – Liquorice has an antioxidant property and is a blood purifier. Regular consumption and application of liquorice expels the toxins, purifies the blood and gives considerable relief symptoms of eczema.

Rosacea – It is a coolant and pitta naashak (pacifier) property reduces inflammation, redness and irritation.

Acne – The antioxidant property of liquorice protects the skin from damage induced by free radicals. It controls the production of oil and reduces the inflammation and pain, making it a key herb for acne.

Skin whitening and lightening – Liquorice has a natural and an attractive brightening property which slowly and gradually fades away the dark spots, hyper-pigmentation, dark circles under the eye, sunburns, tanning of the skin. It acts as a natural sunscreen that protects the skin from the harmful UV rays. Continuous use of Liquorice gives a bright, white, lustrous, wrinkle free and glowing skin.

Liquorice Home Formulations

Liquorice can be taken internally and applied externally over the skin for effective results.


Liquorice taken internally wades away all the toxins, nourishes the cells, tissues and prevents cell damage exhibiting a bright, glowing skin.

  • Boil 1 tsp. of liquorice powder in a glass of water, reduce to half and drink the decoction 2-3 times a day in all dermatological diseases and to maintain healthy skin.
  • Mix 1 tsp. liquorice powder and honey and lick it 4-5 times a day.
  • Chew a piece of Liquorice to get relief from mouth ulcers.
  • Liquorice with other herbs like katuki, manjistha are very helpful in skin diseases.


  • Liquorice decoction can be used to wash the scars and wounds in various skin diseases.
  • Prepare a face pack with liquorice powder, multani mitti, turmeric and rose water and apply it to your face and rinse with warm water once it’s dry. To keep your skin moist and hydrated add few drops of almond oil or olive oil. This pack brightens your skin and makes you look fairer.
  • Apply liquorice oil gently over the face with a cotton swab, let it stay in the whole night and wash it in the morning for a fair and lustrous skin.
  • For sunburn or tan, prepare a paste of cucumber and liquorice decoction and apply it on the affected parts.
  • Prepare a skin lightening face pack with 1 tbsp. liquorice powder, 1 tsp. cooked oats and rose water. Apply it evenly on the face and massage gently for 5 minutes. Allow it to dry for 15-20 minutes and wash with lukewarm water. Use it 2-3 times a week for better results.
  • Cleansing pack, mix 1 tsp. rice powder, 1 tsp. oat flour, ½ tsp. liquorice powder with warm water and apply it on the face and wash with warm water once it is dry. You can add milk powder if you are not allergic to milk for more hydration and lustre.

Liquorice (yashtimadhu/madhuyashti) has been proven to be most effective drug in skin ailments. It’s cleansing, moisturising, brightening, skin lightening properties has influenced and attracted the cosmetic industry and outreached as a medicinal herb in various skin ailments. Not only skin, liquorice has been used in various other ailments making it a versatile drug. Let us save our skin from hazardous chemical based cosmetic and replace them natural herbs like liquorice on our shelves.

Written by Dr. Mugdha Kulkarni

Dr. Mugdha Kulkarni

Dr. Mugdha Kulkarni holds a degree in BAMS from BMK Ayurveda college Belgaum, with over 12 years of experience in Ayurvedic medicine. Apart from being a Consulting Doctor, she enjoys writing Ayurvedic Journals.


Leave A Reply