Lately my two most hated flavors—that would be licorice and root beer—have been repeatedly turning up in my life. I reach for something I think is grape flavored and it’s licorice. I taste something that’s supposed to be cola and it’s root bear. When things happen over and over, I tend to think it’s no accident. So, I decided to do a little research and see what the fates are trying to tell me about this dynamic — albeit despised — duo.
While there is candy that’s actually good for you, my tastebuds were scarred during childhood by licorice. It has the same effect on me as nails on a chalkboard. Root beer is about the same. I’d rather chug cough syrup—which only tastes slightly better. After a little research, I found out that licorice root is widely used in products for sensitive skin or products labeled anti-inflammatory. Licorice root extract has qualities that lend itself to soothing irritated and itchy skin.
Licorice extract (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is considered an anti-irritant. Medical studies indicated that it has an ability to absorb UV rays. It also has a depigmenting effect as well as an inhibitory effect on melanin synthesis, so you’ll see it in fade creams for age spots and hyperpigmentation. It’s believed to be more effective than kojic acid and 75 times more effective than ascorbic acid.
Itchy Skin Cream
- 1 part plantain
- 2 parts chickweed
- 1 part burdock root
- 2 parts comfrey leaf
- 1 part lavender buds
- 2 parts calendula flowers
- 1/4 cup licorice root
My other non favorite, root beer, is actually made from the sarsparilla plant. Sarsaparilla has anti-inflammatory qualities known to be able to heal many skin disorders. Naturopathic doctors and herbalists like to combine sarsparilla with other herbs for eczema remedies. Sarsaparilla is primarily used for its tonic, detoxifying, blood purifying and lymph cleansing benefits. It has other uses as well.
Sarsparilla is an excellent blood-purifier and is frequently used in the treatment of infectious diseases where the blood shows some abnormal quality. There is even a recipe for a treatment for ringworm using sarsparilla. If you have psoriasis, try a sarsparilla bath. Simmer three tablespoons of sarsparilla powder in 64 ounces of water for five minutes, steep for another ten minutes, and add to an already drawn bath.
Other than psoriasis, it is commonly used for eczema, libido enhancement, hormone balancing, and sports nutrition formulas . . . maybe I’ll give root beer another chance.