Licorice Supplements & Information

 

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Licorice is a perennial herb native to southern Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean. It is extensively cultivated in Russia, Spain, Iran, and India, and is one of the most popular and widely consumed herbs in the world. Although many know this herb for its flavoring in candy, Licorice contains many health benefits. Ancient cultures on every continent have used Licorice, the first recorded use by the Egyptians in the 3rd century BC. The Egyptians and the Greeks recognized the herb's benefits in treating coughs and lung disease. Licorice is the second most prescribed herb in China followed by Ginseng, which is suggested for  treatment of the spleen, liver and kidney.  The Japanese use a Licorice preparation to treat hepatitis.

The most common medical use for Licorice is for treating upper respiratory ailments including coughs, hoarseness, sore throat, and bronchitis. It can be as effective as codeine, and safer, when used as a cough suppressant. Rhizomes in Licorice have a high mucilage content which, when mixed with water or used in cough drops, sooths irritated mucous membranes. The drug also has an expectorant effect that increases the secretion of the bronchial glands. Licorice is an effective remedy for throat irritations, lung congestion, and bronchitis.   Read more below...

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Homeopathic use of Licorice for gastric irritation dates back to the first century. Today, herbal preparations are used to treat stomach and intestinal ulcers, lower acid levels and coat the stomach wall with a protective gel. Rarely used alone, it is a common component of many herbal teas as a mild laxative, a diuretic, and for flatulence. It has also been known to relieve rheumatism and arthritis, regulate low blood sugar, and is effective for Addison's disease. The root extract produces mild estrogenic effects, and it has proven useful in treating symptoms of menopause, regulating menstruation, and relieving menstrual cramps.

The main ingredient glycyrrhizin has also been studied for it's anti-viral properties in the treatment of AIDS. In clinical trials in Japan, it prevented progression of the HIV virus by inhibiting cell infection and inducing interferon activity. Glycyrrhizin also encourages the production of hormones such as hydrocortisone which give it anti-inflammatory properties. Like cortisone it can relieve arthritic and allergy symptoms, without the side effects. The constituent glycyrrhizin is 50 times sweeter than sugar, making it a widely used ingredient in the food industry. The distinctive flavor of Licorice makes it a popular additive to baked confections, liqueurs, ice cream, and candies. It is also widely used in other medicines to mask bitter tastes and also to prevent pills from sticking together. Licorice has also been used in poultices for treatment of dermatitis and skin infections. Along with that, it helps to open the pores and is used in combination with other cleansing and healing herbs as an emollient.  
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Scientific Name

Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis   vgo to top

Also Known As

Gan cao, sweet root, glycyrrhiza, Radix liquiritiae, liquorice   vgo to top

 

Uses 

  • To treat bronchitis and chest congestion

  • To relieve constipation

  • To treat gastrointestinal disorders such as peptic ulcers

  • To treat hepatitis

  • To reduce inflammation

  • To relieve menopausal symptoms

  • To treat microbial infections

  • To treat primary adrenocortical insufficiency

  • To treat prostate cancer   vgo to top

  

Warnings

This product is regulated by the FDA as a dietary supplement. Unlike approved drugs, supplements are not required to be manufactured under specific standardized conditions.   vgo to top


Side Effects

  • High blood pressure 

  • Lethargy

  • Muscle pain 

  • Cardiac arrhythmias 

  • Sodium retention 

  • Hypokalemia (low blood levels of potassium) 

  • Hyper-mineralcorticoidism

  • Pseudo-hyperaldosteronism (causing low blood levels of potassium and high sodium retention)

  • Decreased libido in men

  • Suppression of scalp sebum secretion   vgo to top

 


Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical profession. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.  Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Please review the Terms of Use before using this site.  Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by the Terms of Use.

 

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