Licorice root has a remarkable list of properly documented uses, and might be among the highest overlooked of all natural treatments. However, People have also used licorice root for centuries for its medicinal benefits.
The early Egyptians loved licorice root. They used it in tea as a cure-all concoction. Licorice was later imported to China where it became an important herb in Chinese medicinal tradition. In both the East and the West, licorice has been used to treat a variety of illnesses ranging from the common cold to liver disease.
Licorice root is used to soothe gastrointestinal problems. In cases of food poisoning, stomach ulcers, and heartburn, licorice root extract can speed the repair of stomach lining and restore balance.
There has been research that shows that licorice root may control the cholesterol ranges by enhancing the body’s flow of bile. Also, the antioxidant action of licorice root may enhance capillary health and hinder the growth of arterial plaque.
Licorice both protects the liver and promotes healing in this vital organ. The herb's anti-inflammatory properties help calm hepatitis-associated liver inflammation. Licorice also fights the virus commonly responsible for hepatitis and supplies valuable antioxidant compounds that help maintain the overall health of the liver.
Licorice eases congestion and coughing by helping to loosen and thin mucus in airways. Licorice also helps to relax bronchial spasms. The herb fights viruses that cause respiratory illnesses and an overproduction of mucus, such as irritating coughs, asthma and chest infections.
Licorice also appears to enhance immunity by boosting levels of interferon, a key immune system chemical that fights off attacking viruses.
Licorice root can help treat nervousness by allowing normal function of the adrenal gland. The adrenal gland controls stress and hormones. Low stress hormonal levels are responsible for symptoms like nervousness and fatigue. So taking licorice extract at least one time a day can be beneficial.
Licorice has an aspirin-like action and is helpful in relieving fevers and soothing pain such as headaches. Its anti-allergenic effect is very useful for hay fever, allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis and bronchial asthma.
The phytoestrogens in licorice have a mild estrogenic effect, making the herb potentially useful in easing certain symptoms of PMS. In addition, ingesting just one capsule of licorice root daily can help balance and control a woman’s hormone production if she happens to be going through menopause.
Research out of Rutgers University which found that a polyphenol molecule known, extracted from licorice, is capable of selectively killing cancer cells of both the breast and prostate, all while leaving healthy cells protected. Research showing that licorice helps to balance testosterone metabolism, decrease serotonin re-uptake, and reduce cortisol levels, all of which help fight and prevent breast cancer.
Licorice extracts possess anti-inflammatory properties and have been proven to be effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Application of cool licorice tea is known to help in healing a number of skin disorders. Some of them are eczema, psoriasis, dry skin and skin rashes. Its hydrating properties prevent the skin from getting dry while trapping its moisture.
The use of this root has been found effective in promoting hair growth. It helps the hair to grow stronger and thicker. It is strongly believed that licorice helps in reducing hair loss both through topical and oral application.
Glycyrrhizin is the main compound found in licorice root. With excessive use, glycyrrhizin has been noted to create side effects, such as increased blood pressure, reduced potassium levels, swelling and other issues. Because this would exclude people with blood pressure, liver and kidney issues, as well as pregnant women, licorice supplements can be standardized to remove this compound — known as deglycyrrhized licorice. DO NOT use any licorice product for longer than 4 to 6 weeks.
Licorice products come in chewable tablets, capsules, tea, and powder, which are available in most health-food stores.
The following doses for adults are those endorsed by the University of Maryland Medical Center:
* Dried root: 1-5 g as an infusion or decoction (boiled), three times daily
* Licorice 1:5 tincture: 2 to 5 ml, three times daily
* Standardized extract: 250-500 mg, three times daily, standardized to contain 20% glycrrhizinic acid
* DGL extract: 0.4 to 1.6 g three times daily for peptic ulcer
* DGL extract 4:1: chew 300-400 mg. three times daily 20 minutes before meals, for peptic ulcer
Now you can see how It is the world’s most widely used herbal remedy, and this is because it helps such a wide range of different ailments.
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