Benefits of Licorice Root
Licorice Health Benefits
All about the benefits of licorice root …….
The licorice plant is a native to southern Europe and central Asia. It gets its common name from a Greek word meaning "sweet root," an appropriate description for the herb that is said to be 50 times sweeter than sugar.
Nowadays, it is widely cultivated for the use in commercial products, such as making candies and for food flavorings.
However, licorice has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 5,000 years and it is still prized today for its healing powers in contemporary Chinese medicine. In fact, it is the second most prescribed herb in China, exceeding only by the powers of ginseng.
So, where do the healing benefits of licorice root come from?
Glycyrrhizin, one of the main components found in licorice, is believed to be responsible for many of its therapeutic properties. However, there are other potentially healing substances that have been identified in licorice as well, including compounds called flavonoids and various plant estrogens (phytoestrogens).
Benefits of Licorice Root
Licorice Health Benefits
The health benefits of licorice root has been used for thousands years to treat a variety of aliments, including coughs, sore throats, food poisoning, and liver and stomach disorders. Indeed, this herb has been long valued as a demulcent to soothe and coat inflamed tissues of the mouth, throat, and digestive and urinary tracts.
In addition to its important uses as a demulcent, the herb acts as an expectorant, which has also been long valued. Glycyrrhizin, which is the main active ingredient in licorice root acts as an expectorant by loosing and thinning mucus and phlegm from the respiratory tract, making it easier to cough up. Glycyrrhizin also harbors anti-inflammatory properties.
Today, alternative health care professionals continue to use the benefits of licorice root to relieve respiratory ailments such as bronchitis, colds, coughs, congestion, sore throat, and allergies. In addition, it is used for stomach problems (including heartburn from reflux), inflammatory disorders, skin conditions (including eczema and psoriasis), minor skin infections, and liver problems.
But wait, there's more info about the health benefits of licorice root ..
Recent animal studies have shown that licorice root enhances immunity by boosting levels of interferon. Interferon is one of nature's most powerful antiviral agents -- it helps to keep viruses from reproducing as well as it simulates the activity of other beneficial immune cells. Not surprising, other studies have shown that licorice fights the herpes simplex virus, which is the troublemaker that causes genital herpes and cold sores.
European physicians treasure the health benefits of licorice root, meaning they highly regard it as one of the top herbal medicines for combating viral hepatitis. They use the intravenous form for the treatment of Hepatitis B and C. However, people who want to take advantage of licorice's possible healing action for hepatitis should discuss the herb with a knowledgeable health care provider.
Recent studies indicate that licorice root also contains substances that kill certain bacteria and the fungus responsible for vaginal yeast infections.
One of the most popular uses for this healing herb is for ulcers of the digestive tract. The benefits of licorice root are quite multifaceted in this area! According to the well-renowned tome "The Natural Physicians Healing Therapies" by Mark Stengler, N.D. the author states:
"It stimulates cell growth of the stomach and intestinal linings, increases the natural mucous lining of the stomach, increases blood flow to the damaged tissues, and decreases muscle spasms." The recommended form of use is DGL (glycyrrhetinic acid). (Page 311.)
Licorice root also seems to support the adrenal glands -- making these adrenal hormones such as cortisol (the body's primary stress-fighting adrenal hormone)
more available to the body. As such, licorice may help lessen symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia by enhancing cortisol activity.
Licorice root contains phytoestrogens that appear to have mild estrogen-like effects. As such, it is commonly included in formulas to help combat PMS and menopausal complaints.
Licorice root also contains various flavonoids, which are potent antioxidants.
Some experts point out that one -- among the arsenal of benefits of licorice root is that it's an excellent liver tonic.
Lastly, licorice is considered a "harmonizing" herb, which means when used in a formula licorice can enhance other herbs to work more effectively to reduce their toxicity. In addition, it has the ability to tame the bitter taste of many other medicinal herbs.
Other Licorice Health Benefits
Licorice may also help to:
Protect against cancer due to its antioxidant properties
Control canker sores by accelerating its healing
Tips on Choosing a Supplement
1. Select a licorice root supplement produced at pharmaceutical GMP compliant facilities. These companies adhere to the most rigorous manufacturing standard requirements, thus it provides you with the piece of mind in regards to safety issues and in knowing that your product does not contain contaminates as well as it contains the active ingredients stated on the label.
It's important to note that potency and purity is a huge problem and we want you to reap the full licorice health benefits.
2. When choosing a supplement, it's important that you buy the root extract. Licorice supplements are available in two forms: standard and deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), in which glycyrrhizin is removed. For licorice with glycyrrhizin, look for products standardized to contain 22% glycyrrhizinic acid or glycyrrhizin.
For licorice without glycyrrhizin, look for supplements labeled DGL or "deglycyrrhizinated".
To learn why there are two forms available, click here. Side effects of licorice.
Side Effects of Licorice and Precautions
Licorice root has potential side effects and precautions you should be aware of.
Please click here to visit our licorice side effects and precautions page.
General Health and Wellness Product
If you are interested in a product to serve as a foundation for vibrant health we highly recommend Total Balance from a company located in New Zealand. Total Balance contains a full spectrum of over 70 nutrients including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, specialty nutrients, potent antioxidants, and many herbal extracts.
We hope webpage discussing the benefits of licorice root web-page was useful to you!
To Your Health!
Remember to reap the full benefits of licorice root, select a supplement produced at pharmaceutical GMP compliant facilities. Why? Because potency and purity is a huge problem and we want you to reap the full licorice health benefits.
Much more than the Benefits of Licorice Root can be found at our Herbal Guide web-page