I have long since suspected that most acne is hormonally driven. Low and behold, licorice root is a hormone balancer. It is an adaptogen, which means if the levels of hormones are too low, it brings them up, if they are too high it brings them down; it is an equalizer. Licorice does this particularly with estrogen, a predominately female hormone that we are over exposed to in today’s environment.
Licorice root enhances immune function and is a great tonic for the spleen which is a major player in our lymph system. A lot of acne and skin issues can be related to stress. Licorice root contains compounds that act like cortisol, our stress hormone; once again, giving you some if you have too little and taking some away if you have too much.
Yet another skill in its repertoire is that of a strong anti-inflammatory. This would explain why after drinking licorice root tea, acne spots were less inflamed. It is also an anti-allergenic which is very handy for those who have allergies.
There is a downside of licorice root. Because glycyrrhizin has such a strong effect on hormones, it can cause water retention. Those with high blood pressure should proceed with caution if they choose to use licorice root.
Chinese medicine claims that licorice root balances all twelve meridians; no other herb can boast this.
Note: It is always advised that you take a break from any herbal regimen that you are on.