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Licorice Root Benefits (Glycyrrhiza Glabra)
In this article you will discover the full ” Licorice Root Benefits ” for your health. The Licorice Root herb whose botanical name is “Glycyrrhiza glabra” is an adaptogenic herb popularly known for its strong candy flavor.
The natural herb which has been used for thousands of years thanks to its beneficial properties is native to Asia, Europe, and the Mediterranean.
Licorice root, although considered to be among the most overlooked herbal remedies today has an impressive list of medically documented uses. Read on to learn the many amazing health benefits of Licorice root.
Unlike most natural herbs, licorice is quite complex, mainly because various researchers have discovered that the natural herb contains more than 134 different compounds.
Some of the common healthy compounds found in Licorice Root include stilbenoids, triterpenoids, coumarins, flavonoids, plant sterols, volatile oils, glycosides, chalcones, asparagine, glycyrrhizic acid, and anethole just to name a few.
Although the herb’s root is the main part that is primarily used in various remedies and supplements the leaves of the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant can also be used for medicinal purposes thanks to their potent antimicrobial benefits. One particular extract of the beneficial herb (black licorice) is known to be 30-50 times sweeter than the common sugar (sucrose).
However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has continuously encouraged herbal users to view the sweet extract as more than just a sweet treat has it also contains various beneficial medical properties. The plant which also belongs to the legume family is also commonly referred to as “sweet root, liquorice Root or Gan Zao in Chinese.”
Licorice Root Health Benefits
Table of Contents
- 1 Licorice Root Health Benefits
- 1.1 1. Managing cholesterol levels and preventing heart disease
- 1.2 2. Treating various skin disorders
- 1.3 3. Alleviating stomach and gastric disorders
- 1.4 4. Strengthening the immune system
- 1.5 5. Combating hepatitis
- 1.6 6. Assisting in weight loss
- 1.7 7. Managing menopause
- 1.8 8. Herpes and shingles treatment
- 1.9 9. Relieving pain
- 1.10 10. Alleviating adrenal fatigue
- 1.11 11. Helping with various depression issues
- 1.12 12. Alleviating sore throat and other respiratory problems
- 1.13 13. Curing PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and other menstrual problems
- 1.14 Licorice Root Side Effects
- 1.15 CONCLUSION
Provided in the article below are the common Licorice Root benefits as well as some common side effects experienced when using the natural herb.
1. Managing cholesterol levels and preventing heart disease
According to recent scientific studies, Licorice root has the ability to aid in the healthy functioning of the heart as well as discouraging the formation of artery-clogging plaque due to its amazing property of limiting the damage caused by Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
Which is also commonly referred to as ‘bad cholesterol.’ The same findings also reveal that regular consumption of modest licorice doses of about 100 milligrams daily may greatly help in cholesterol level regulation through increasing bile flow.
The acids present in bile are not only responsible for eliminating excess cholesterol from the body but are also the ones used in cholesterol metabolism. Apart from that the herb’s antioxidant properties also aid in improving capillary health and inhibiting the development of harmful plaque in the arteries.
All these findings indicate that consuming a single capsule of the natural herb; especially the Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice root extract each day for an entire month is able to regulate the body cholesterol levels while preventing the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases.
2. Treating various skin disorders
It is common to find a great percentage of herbal users using Licorice root to treat various skin disorders, including psoriasis, eczema (dermatitis), skin rashes, and dry and itchy skin.
A small clinical study that was carried out on Licorice root. Revealed, that the anti-inflammatory and demulcent agents in its extract gel can greatly reduce atopic dermatitis symptoms.
This can be achieved simply by applying the licorice extract gel two to three times daily on the affected area. The health benefits of the natural herbal remedy on alleviating various skin disorders are known to extend both internally and externally.
Licorice root has been discovered to portray similar potent properties just like those of hydrocortisone when applied topically, making it an ideal natural remedy for various skin disorders.
3. Alleviating stomach and gastric disorders
Licorice root can be used to alleviate a wide variety of digestive and intestinal tract abnormalities. The chalcone and flavonoid compounds found in the natural herb are known to help with the alleviation of the irritation and inflammation of both the stomach mucous lining and digestive tract that is caused by bacteria.
The natural herbal remedy also contains potent soothing agents that can be used to soothe and calm the digestive system thus promoting bowel health.
Licorice root’s ability to soothe various digestive distress disorders makes it an ideal treatment for stomach ulcers and acid reflux. Furthermore, its moistening or demulcent effect can be used to coat the stomach and esophagus, thus preventing the occurrence of any damage caused by stomach ulcers.
4. Strengthening the immune system
The licorice herb is slowly becoming a key player in the search for an effective prevention and treatment remedy for various diseases, especially influenza, HIV and hepatitis C. Its potent triterpenoid content which has been confirmed to be an effective antiviral.
Makes Licorice root an effective natural remedy for strengthening the immune system. A scientific study1 that was published in the “Food Chemistry” journal revealed that Licorice root has potent immunostimulating, free- radical scavenging and antioxidant properties.
5. Combating hepatitis
According to the “Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center,” the natural herbal remedy has been found to be a powerful weapon against various liver disorders2 particularly hepatitis. The medical center also states categorically that the licorice root extract that contains ‘glycyrrhizin’.
Which has been widely used in various Japanese clinical trials to completely cure hepatitis B and C. Apart from protecting the liver Licorice has also been known to promote healing in the body organ. Its anti-inflammatory properties, in particular, have been found effective in calming hepatitis-associated liver inflammation.
The natural herb also supplies essential antioxidant compounds that are required in maintaining the overall health of the liver as well as combating the virus that is responsible for causing hepatitis.
6. Assisting in weight loss
A placebo-controlled scientific study that was carried out on overweight participants revealed that there was an astonishing decrease in overall body mass in the participants after consuming a daily dose of 3.5g licorice extract for a period of two months.
However, the study goes further to warn against consuming the natural herb for long periods and instead advises users to take regular one week break exactly after two weeks of consuming the natural herbal remedy.
This study also suggests the consumption of a balanced diet supplemented with regular physical activity to achieve an even greater reduction in overall body fat mass.
7. Managing menopause
Menopause which is also known as the ‘climacteric’ is a common condition in a majority of older women that is often characterized by lack of menstrual periods and the inability to bear children. Licorice root has been proven to be particularly effective in managing various common symptoms experienced during this stage of life.
Both the antioxidant and phytoestrogenic activities of the natural herbal remedy are believed to be quite helpful in alleviating various hormonal disorders, including hot flashes, mood swings and fatigue experienced by menopausal women.
According to a scientific study carried out by “Health Care for Women International,” the licorice herb is far better in the treatment of menopause than any other conventional treatment commonly prescribed by doctors such as hormone replacement therapy.
This is because the beneficial natural herb has the ability to greatly reduce the duration of hot flashes. Therefore, this means that taking a single extract of the natural root daily is likely to help greatly in the regulation and balancing of hormone production in menopausal women.
8. Herpes and shingles treatment
The natural herb can also be used in the treatment of herpes simplex, shingles, and cold sores. Various scientific findings have indicated that the antiviral properties found in the Licorice root can be used in suppressing both the recurrence and progression of cold sores that is caused by the herpes simplex virus.
In severe cases, the topical application of a synthetic derivative of ‘glycyrrhizinic acid’ called ‘carbenoxolone cream’ is recommended.
To cure herpes simplex, cold sores or even shingles, apply a licorice extract ointment or gel topically on the affected area 4-5 times daily or consume a single capsule of licorice extract two times daily until your infection is fully treated.
9. Relieving pain
Licorice which is antispasmodic in nature can be quite helpful in relieving both abdominal and muscle cramps in women. When applied topically, the natural herbal remedy has been found particularly effective in alleviating eczema among other painful dermal conditions.
Licorice root’s anti-inflammatory properties are also helpful in relieving pain through acting as a potent natural treatment especially for joint pain. The natural herbal remedy can easily be considered to be among the most ideal treatment for relieving joint pain.
10. Alleviating adrenal fatigue
The society today is plagued by various mental, environmental and physical stress disorders. These stress disorders are increasingly forcing lots and lots of people to send their adrenal glands into overdrive. According to the “molecular and cellular Endocrinology” medical journal.
The natural herb is able to help the body efficiently regulate various stress hormones that are responsible for causing adrenal fatigue. One such hormone is cortisol. Licorice root is among the most popular adaptogenic herbs used to treat cortisol as well as lessen the symptoms of both chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.
By enhancing the activities of the cortisol hormone, glycyrrhizin then helps in greatly easing stress while increasing overall body energy.
11. Helping with various depression issues
A lot of scientific studies are increasingly showing that the glycyrrhizic acid contained in licorice root can be used to deal with anxiety and depression through promoting the normal functioning of the adrenal gland. The adrenal gland is a crucial body system.
That is known to regulate the activities of various stress hormones especially those influenced by cortisol. When depleted these stress hormones end up causing depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue while also lowering the resistance to infections and allergens.
The Asparagine amino acids contained in licorice root can also be used to maintain the appropriate equilibrium required for the normal functioning of the nervous system. Various scientific research findings indicate that drinking a single cup of licorice herbal tea daily can be beneficial for anxiety, migraines caused by stress, nervousness and even depression.
12. Alleviating sore throat and other respiratory problems
The Licorice herb has the ability to ease coughing and congestion through helping to thin and loosen mucus. This unique mechanism then brings up phlegm among other mucous bits that end up making the cough “productive.” Apart from that, the natural herbal remedy also assists in relaxing bronchial spasms.
Licorice root has also been proven to soothe sore throat as well, helping combat harmful viruses that are responsible for causing various respiratory diseases.
Numerous scientific studies have revealed that the saponin glycoside compounds contained in the natural herb have a particularly powerful expectorant property that may help in treating asthma, dry cough, and bronchitis.
In addition to this, the demulcent, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties of the natural herb have the ability to lubricate an inflamed or irritated sore throat or respiratory tract.
13. Curing PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and other menstrual problems
The natural herbal remedy’s potent phytoestrogen compounds provide a mild estrogenic effect to the human body, making Licorice root quite helpful in easing various PMS symptoms, including nausea, mood swings, irritability, breast tenderness and bloating.
Although the glycyrrhizin component found in Licorice has been known to greatly inhibit the overall effects of the body’s estrogen hormones, the weak estrogenic effect produced by the natural herb’s phytoestrogens has been known to override this particular harmful inhibiting action.
Apart from that, the natural herbal remedy has strong anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties that are all used to alleviate the common PMS symptoms.
Licorice Root Side Effects
Licorice root side effects, although common are generally experienced when one consumes the natural herbal remedy that has not undergone standardization to remove the potentially harmful glycyrrhizin compound.
Glycyrrhizin which is usually removed from standardized herbal supplements has been discovered to result in various severe side effects, including increased blood pressure, edema (swelling), reduction in body potassium levels among others when consumed excessively.
Because of this, the use of glycyrrhizin licorice root is not recommended for pregnant women or people with kidney and liver issues or those with blood pressure.
However, such individuals can easily consume deglycyrrhizinated licorice root extract that doesn’t have the potentially harmful glycyrrhizin compound which is a much safer option.
However, it is important to always remember that the long-term consumption or overdose of the natural supplements is likely to cause salt, cataracts and fluid retention, hypokalemia (reduced blood potassium levels) or hypertension.
People under hormonal, steroidal or any other medication for that matter are advised to consult their health practitioners before deciding to use the natural herb.
The information provided above clearly indicates that Licorice Root is generally a safe, natural herb with various beneficial health benefits. However, it is advisable to always consult a medical practitioner or herbal specialist before consuming the natural herb or any of the extracts produced from it.
Try the natural herbal remedy today and eliminate most of the common diseases from your life.