Benefits Of "Licorice" Supplements
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Species: G. glabra
Also known as: Sweet Root,
Parts used: Rhizome, roots
Licorice is an adaptogen. It helps control reactions to stress and rejuvenates many body processes; such as, digestion, the immune system, mood and emotions, sexuality and energy storage.
It is one of the most beneficial healing herbs that has been used safely around the world for thousands of years to treat sore throat and cough, colds, rashes, arthritis, hepatitis, ulcers, cirrhosis and infections. Other uses include allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, gum disease, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, premenstrual syndrome and urinary tract infections.
Powdered licorice root is an effective expectorant and many modern cough syrups often include licorice extract as an ingredient. Sprinkling some powered root on clean sores may help to heal the Herpes Simplex virus (the cause of genital herpes and cold sores), and on clean wounds to prevent infection.
Additionally, this herb is antispasmodic in the bowels and can be used to treat ileitis, leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis and Crohn's disease. It may also be useful for both mouth ulcers (canker sores) and peptic ulcers. It is also a mild laxative.
Licorice contains highly variable amounts of starch and natural sugars, depending on the source. Both are quickly converted into energy within the body mainly through the liver and adrenal glands. It quickly tones the adrenals by relaxing and strengthening them to continue pumping out adrenalin but in more measured amounts. Licorice root also contributes to the overall strength of the body by aiding the digestive tract.
Licorice is widely used as flavoring in recipes, soft drinks, herbal teas, medicine and tobacco products. Herbalists also use the herbs sweetness to mask the bitter taste of other herbal medicines. It owes its sweetness to glycyrrhizin or glycyrrhizinic acid (GA). This medicinal root contains 150+ chemical compounds with a broad range of health benefits.
The same chemical that gives it its sweetness can also cause serious side effects in high doses. These side effects include elevated blood pressure, muscle weakness, headache, chronic fatigue, swelling and lower testosterone levels in men. The side effects are not from taking the herb, but from eating literally pounds of the candy or from swallowing saliva from licorice laced chewing tobacco. Consume only modest amounts of any product labeled "real licorice".
As time passed, scientist discovered they could remove some of its GA, creating a new herbal medicine, deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL). To be on the safe side, when purchasing this herb, make sure it does not have glycyrrhizin in it. If you have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes or glaucoma, avoid all licorice products.
As with all herbal nutrition supplements, licorice supplements should only be used in amounts typically recommended for medicinal purposes and you should always consult with a health professional first, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or taking prescription medications.
CHEMICAL & NUTRIENT CONTENT:
Asparagine, biotin (vitamin B7), choline, fat, glycyrrhizin, gum, inositol, lecithin, manganese, PABA, antithetic acid, pentacyclic terpenes, phosphorus, protein, sugar, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folic acid (B9), E and yellow dye.
It is an erect, hardy perennial reaching 3-7 feet in height. Mature plants have a long taproot that sends out creeping horizontal rhizomes creating a tangled mass of underground growth. This herb can become extremely invasive. Contain it. Licorice roots have brown bark, and sweet, juicy, yellow pulp.
Hard freezes kill it. It grows best in warm, sunny climates or greenhouses. Greenhouse licorice often requires artificial light. It requires little care other than weeding. Expect slow growth the first year or two. Harvest rhizomes and roots during the fall of the third or fourth year.
The year you plan to harvest, pinch the flowers back. Flowering drains some of the roots sweet sap. Thick roots should be split to dry. Shade dry licorice roots for six months.
Other herbs containing adaptogen actions include astragalus, basil, dong quai, ginkgo biloba, gotu kola, ginseng, skullcap and valerian.
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR PETS:
A tincture is useful for alleviating ulcers, coughs, ulcers and upper respiratory infections. An oil infusion applied externally is helpful in alleviating pain, joint swelling, eczema, contact dermatitis and flea allergies. Also helpful for mange. CAUTION: Do not use on dogs with heart disease or if they are diabetic.
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