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Licorice

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  • AdrenoBoost™ - For Adrenal Gland Functioning
    • Promotes healthy adrenal gland functioning and hormone balance
    • Maintains cortisol levels already within healthy limits
    • Promotes energy levels, alertness and stamina
    • Helps the body adapt to everyday stressors and adrenal fatigue
  • Maintains blood sugar levels already within healthy limits
  • Maintains blood pressure already within healthy limits
  • Supports healthy circulation, sleep patterns and immunity
  • Astragalus as one of the main ingredients of AdrenoBoost™

Licorice

The medicinal herb Licorice Root as an alternative herbal remedy - Most licorice is grown in Greece, Turkey, and Asia. Licorice contains a compound called glycyrrhizin (or glycyrrhizic acid).Common Names--licorice root, licorice, liquorice, sweet root, gan zao (Chinese licorice)

Latin Name--Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Chinese licorice)

Active Ingredients in Licorice

  • Between 6 and 14 percent of the root is the glycoside glycyrrhizin. This calcium or potassium salt of glycyrrhizinic acid is fifty times sweeter than table sugar.
  • Licorice contains a number of other triterpenoid saponins, along with plant sterols including sitosterol and stigmasterol.
  • The root also contains several other sugars, including glucose, mannose, and sucrose.
  • More than thirty flavonoids and isoflavonoids have been identified, including liquiritin and its derivatives.
  • Some coumarins and an immunosuppressant called LX have also been isolated.

What Licorice Root Is Used

  • For Licorice root has been used as a dietary supplement and as an herbal remedy for stomach ulcers, bronchitis, and sore throat, as well as infections caused by viruses, such as hepatitis.

How Licorice Root Is Used

  • Peeled licorice root is available in dried and powdered forms.
  • Licorice root is available as capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts.
  • Licorice can be found with glycyrrhizin removed; the product is called DGL (for "deglycyrrhizinated licorice").

Herbal Remedy Products with Licorice Root as part of the ingredients

Adrenoboost.jpg
  • AdrenoBoost™ - For Adrenal Gland Functioning
    • Promotes healthy adrenal gland functioning and hormone balance
    • Maintains cortisol levels already within healthy limits
    • Promotes energy levels, alertness and stamina
    • Helps the body adapt to everyday stressors and adrenal fatigue
    • Maintains blood sugar levels already within healthy limits
    • Maintains blood pressure already within healthy limits
    • Supports healthy circulation, sleep patterns and immunity
  • (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is an herb that has been studied for its effects on body fat, the immune system and indigestion. In a study, the immune activities of mice were supported after the mice were given compounds from licorice (Hong YK et al. “Effects of Glycyrrhiza Glabra Polysaccharides on Immune and Antioxidant Activities in High-Fat Mice.” International Journal of Biological Macromolecules. 2009; 45 (1): 61-4. Accessed August 7, 2012.).

What the Science Says about Licorice Root

  • A review of several clinical trials found that glycyrrhizin might reduce complications from hepatitis C in some patients. However, there is not enough evidence to confirm that glycyrrhizin has this effect.
  • There are not enough reliable data to determine whether licorice is effective for stomach ulcers.

Side Effects and Cautions of Licorice Root

  • In large amounts, licorice containing glycyrrhizin can cause high blood pressure, salt and water retention, and low potassium levels, which could lead to heart problems. DGL products are thought to cause fewer side effects.
  • The safety of using licorice as a supplement for more than 4 to 6 weeks has not been thoroughly studied.
  • Taking licorice together with diuretics (water pills) or other medicines that reduce the body's potassium levels could cause dangerously low potassium levels.
  • People with heart disease or high blood pressure should be cautious about using licorice.
  • When taken in large amounts, licorice can affect the body's levels of a hormone called cortisol and related steroid drugs, such as prednisone. *Pregnant women should avoid using licorice as a supplement or consuming large amounts of licorice as food, as some research suggests it could increase the risk of preterm labor.
  • Tell your health care providers about any herb or dietary supplement you are using, including licorice root. This helps to ensure safe and coordinated care.

News About Licorice

8 Natural Remedies for Adrenal Fatigue

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Today’s lifestyle, replete with the demands of home, work, family, finances and more, can fatigue your body’s primary stress-handling glands, the adrenal glands. These triangular-shaped glands sit on top of the kidneys and are located in the solar plexus region of your abdomen. They secrete hormones that help us cope with stress, but when the stresses become chronic, the adrenals can become depleted, causing adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue is a condition in which the regular outpouring of stress hormones in response to our fast-paced and hectic lives has caused the glands to wear down. It usually involves insufficient production of hormones, irregular secretion of hormones or secretion of hormones in inappropriate cycles, such as excessive cortisol production in the evening, rather than earlier in the day. Many people incorrectly use the term adrenal exhaustion to refer to adrenal fatigue, but adrenal exhaustion is actually a rare and life-threatening condition in which the adrenal glands are nearly non-functional.

Some of the stresses that can put a strain on our adrenal glands include: extreme sports (which may seem great at the time but over longer periods can wear down the adrenal glands), driving ourselves to excel at all costs, excessive working and chronic health problems. Adrenal fatigue can cause a whole host of physical ailments, such as fatigue, poor digestion, sleep disorders, reduced immune system functioning and elevated blood sugar levels.

Of course, stress management is necessary, but there are also some excellent herbs and nutrients that can give your adrenal glands a boost. Always consult a physician if you suspect adrenal fatigue and before beginning any supplements.

Licorice root

Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is one of the best herbs to restore the body’s adrenal glands and their communication with the brain. In an interview, a journalist once asked me if I was stranded on a desert island and could only take one herb with me, which one would I take? I immediately answered licorice root because it is such a powerful healer of the adrenal glands as well as an adaptogenic herb that can help the body adapt to all sorts of stresses, including: regulating the immune system, reducing inflammation and even having anticancer properties.

To make an anti-stress licorice tea, boil one heaping teaspoon of dried licorice root per cup of water. Allow to boil for 45 minutes, then strain and drink one cup two to three times daily. It is best to discontinue use after about two weeks. Because licorice is such a powerful natural medicine, it is important to treat it with respect. Avoid using licorice if you have high blood pressure or kidney failure, or take heart medication.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients to the adrenal glands. It is needed to manufacture the hormones secreted by these glands in response to stress. The more stress you experience, the higher your vitamin C needs may be. A typical dose to assist with adrenal fatigue is 2000 mg or higher; however, a qualified health professional should be consulted when using higher doses.

Pantothenic acid

Pantothenic acid is one of the B-complex vitamins that is essential for adrenal gland health. It is naturally present in high doses in the adrenal glands but can become depleted as hormones are manufactured in response to stress. A typical dose for adrenal fatigue is 1500 mg but should always accompany a B-complex vitamin since they work synergistically.

Siberian ginseng

Commonly used by natural medicine practitioners to treat adrenal gland fatigue, Siberian ginseng, or Eleutherococcus senticosus, works primarily on the pituitary gland in the brain. This gland stimulates the adrenal glands to produce more adrenal hormones. In adrenal fatigue, communication between the pituitary gland and the adrenals may be impaired. A typical dose of Siberian ginseng for the treatment of adrenal fatigue is 100 to 200 mg daily.

Rhodiola integrifolia

Found in Yukon, Alaska, Siberia and northern China, rhodiola, or roseroot as its also known, is a beautiful flowering plant that is one of the most overlooked adrenal herbs available. Like Siberian ginseng, it is one of the few plants that is considered an adaptogen, which means that it helps the body adapt to stress by increasing resistance to fatigue. It boosts the adrenals, builds energy and improves mood. Boil the dried root pieces in water and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes. Drink daily for up to 3 weeks at a time to give your stress glands a boost. Herbalist Beverley Gray, author of The Boreal Herbal adds the cooled rhodiola tea to her morning smoothies for a boost.

Ashwagandha root

A commonly used adaptogen found in Ayurvedic medicine in India, this root is particularly good for the adrenal glands. According to research in which study participants were given either ashwagandha root or a placebo, the ashwagandha root group had significant improvements in stress reduction and other markers linked to adrenal fatigue. Ashwagandha is available in tincture (alcohol extract), capsule, tea, and dried herb formats. Follow package directions for the product you choose.

Pine and Rosemary essential oils

The essential oils of these coniferous plants have been used for many years to help restore adrenal gland health. Research conducted by aromatherapy practitioner and lecturer, Shirley Price, in her book Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, found that both of these oils support the healing of the adrenal cortex—the outer portion of the adrenal glands that regulate fat and carbohydrate metabolism, as well as sodium balance in the body. To use Pine (Pinus sylvestris) and Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) essential oils, dilute a few drops of a high quality essential oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil or sweet almond oil and rub over the solar plexus region on a daily basis. Diffuse undiluted (neat) pine and/or rosemary essential oil in an aromatherapy diffuser on a daily basis for at least 20 minutes. Inhale the vapors daily.


Natural Health Remedy: The Benefits of Licorice Root

(Best Health)

The health benefits of licorice root are astounding; it's time we stop thinking of it as a candy ingredient and start taking it seriously

Learn about the health benefits of licorice root

When you think of licorice you probably think of a sweet red chewy candy stick, or maybe the anise-flavoured black licorice we all seem to either love or hate. A real old-fashioned licorice stick is actually the dried root of the licorice plant. Sink your teeth into one and what happens next just might surprise you.

Hidden inside is a super-sweet compound called glycyrrhizin. This and dozens more chemicals lend this ancient herb its healing medical potential. For thousands of years, licorice has had a well-deserved reputation for soothing irritations such as sore throats and upset tummies and relieving congestion. Now it appears it might also have other, yet more powerful properties, though there are a few downsides worth noting, too.

So what are some of the health benefits? Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is used to treat indigestion, hepatitis C, memory loss, cancer and skin infections. Traditionally it was used as treatment for stomach ulcers, heartburn, indigestion, toothache, fever, asthma, bronchitis and coughs, too.

How to take licorice root as a supplement

Peeled licorice root is available in dried and powdered forms and as capsules, tablets and liquid extracts. The safest dose for most adults to get the full health benefits is 1 to 5 grams of licorice daily containing 1 to 10 milligrams of the active ingredient glycyrrhizin, for 4 to 6 weeks.

Note that in large amounts and in people with hypertension or heart, kidney or lung disease, licorice that contains glycyrrhizin can cause adverse reactions. Choosing deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL)’licorice with the glycyrrhizin removed’can lower the risk of serious side effects.

Stomach protection

For a time, licorice was considered a natural and effective remedy for stomach ulcers, after Dutch physician FE Revers used it to treat his patients. Intrigued, researchers in the 1950s discovered that licorice compounds worked by triggering the release of stomach-protecting mucus and by protecting the stomach’s lining from the ravages of pepsin, a powerful digestive enzyme.

It has since been shown, however, that long-term exposure to the glycyrrhizin in licorice can boost blood pressure, cause water and sodium retention and lower levels of potassium in the body, making it unsafe for extended use.

And although researchers in India have experimented successfully with a safer, glycyrrhizin- free licorice to ease ulcer pain, today most people take antibiotics to wipe out the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers, and most scientists have switched their attention to other exciting healing possibilities in licorice.

Stalling cancer

Can licorice stand up to cancer? A lab study conducted at India’s Roland Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2011 says yes. The compounds licochalcone-A, glabridin and licocoumarone halted the growth of or killed, breast cancer, prostate cancer and leukemia cells. Glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhizic acid also put the brakes on the formation of tumours in skin, colon, liver, uterine and breast cancers.

This use of licorice has not been widely tested in humans, but one herbal prostate-cancer formula that contained licorice, PC-SPES (which is no longer available), was shown in human studies to slow the progression of some prostate cancers. Certainly, licorice is no substitute for conventional cancer therapy, but scientists think it has potential.

Fighting infection

There are other health benefits being looked at into the future, too. It looks like licorice could be a mainstay in medicine’s arsenal of infection-fighters. A 2010 University of Texas study revealed that glycyrrhizin helps damaged skin create bacteria-fighting proteins called antimicrobial peptides, which are an important defense against infection. This could lead to treatments to counter antibiotic-resistant infections, such as those that sometimes occur in severe burns and can be fatal.

Perhaps most surprisingly, this sweet root could even be a dentist’s dream. Two licorice compounds, licoricidin and licorisoflavan A, have been shown, in lab studies, to kill off 2 major types of cavity-causing bacteria and 3 types of bacteria that fuel gum disease.

Anti-stress and anti-inflammatory effects

Licorice may be good for the brain, too. During a 2004 study at the University of Edinburgh, older men took a licorice extract containing the compound carbenoxolone and their verbal memory and fluency (the ability to put thoughts into words), improved. Why is that? Carbenoxolone seems to help by inhibiting a brain enzyme that helps make stress hormones, which contribute to age-related brain changes. Scientists say more research is needed but that a growing stack of lab research backs licorice’s potential for memory enhancement. In a mouse study, for example, animals that received licorice extract excelled at learning and memory tests.



The Best Skin Care Products with Licorice

(truthinaging.com)

Candy can be used to treat more than just a sweet tooth

Black licorice is not exactly an acquired taste. Quite simply, you love it or you hate it. Either way, you will hardly get any therapeutic benefits from licorice candy, which contains little to no actual licorice. The roots of real licorice (otherwise known as liquorice, sweet root, and glycyrrhiza glabra) contain coumarins, flavonoids, volatile oils, plant sterols, and glycyrrhizin.

Packed with hundreds of potentially healing substances, licorice root has been used worldwide to treat a variety of ailments including asthma, baldness, body odor, bursitis, chronic fatigue, dandruff, depression, gout, yeast infections, tooth problems, and of course, skin conditions.

In traditional Chinese medicine, licorice is one of the most common drugs, drawn on for everything from the common cold to liver disease. The herb is highly esteemed for its soothing effects on inflamed membranes and its expectorant properties in removing phlegm and mucus from the respiratory tract. In both East and West, it is popular for relief from respiratory ailments (i.e. allergies, bronchitis, sore throats), as well as acid reflux, heartburn, and digestive tract inflammation. A recent survey of Western medical herbalists placed licorice as the 10th most important herb used in clinical practice.

The anti-inflammatory powers of licorice extract are undisputed. A study appearing in the July 24, 2008 edition of the journal Shock found that mice treated with glycyrrhizin extract from licorice experienced markedly reduced inflammation, swelling, and tissue damage after induced spinal cord injury.

As if lab mice hadn’t suffered enough, another study administered licochalcone A, extracted from licorice root, to mice that had been induced with ear and paw edema. Proving to be very effective against acute inflammation, the licorice root significantly reduced paw edema compared to controls four hours after injury.

The increased emphasis on natural therapies for skin conditions has led to clinical studies involving licorice and inflammatory skin dermatoses. In its June edition, the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology reported that licorice is an effective treatment for rosacea, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and drug-induced skin eruptions. Besides being used to treat stomach ulcers, licorice root is now being applied on canker sores, as reported in the March/April issue of General Dentistry. When housed in a medicated, dissolving oral patch, licorice root takes on a mild taste and significantly decreases ulcer size.

When licorice extract is added to cosmetic formulas in active quantities, it can control redness, flushing, and other types of inflammation. A natural skin lightening alternative to chemical hydroquinone, licorice extract contains an active called glabridin, which inhibits tyrosinase, the enzyme that causes pigmentation in response to sun exposure.

It can also help diminish the dark pigmentation resulting from scars. As far as hair goes, licorice is helpful for controlling scalp sebum and keeping dandruff under control. Ayurvedic medicine believes that licorice induces hair growth and that a paste composed of licorice and milk can be applied on bald patches to restore hair.

Licorice extract can be found on an ingredients list under the name dipotassium glycyrrhizate, an anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory salt with skin-soothing properties. Clinical tests point to this ingredient as an effective treatment for atopic dermatitis because of its ability to reduce redness and irritation. Another one of the active components of licorice root is glycyrrhetinic acid, which seems to have mythical powers over a traumatized epidermis. Not only has it been credited with anti-inflammatory abilities, but it also demonstrates anti-allergic, anti-viral, antibacterial, and hepatoprotective benefits.

It’s worth noting that glycyrrhizin extract should not be used during pregnancy or by persons with diabetes, glaucoma, heart disease, high blood pressure, and history of stroke. Excessive consumption of glycyrrhizin can cause a hypersensitivity to aldosterone, a hormone produced by the adrenal cortex. This condition may result in fatigue, headaches, and high blood pressure. As a result, some licorice root extracts, called deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), have had the glycyrrhizin removed and seem to be equally effective at reducing inflammation.


In The News: Licorice Root May Help Stop Tooth Decay

By Justine Patton

Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra), an herb commonly used to flavor tobacco in the United States, may help prevent cavities and stop tooth decay, the most prevalent chronic disease in the country. A whopping 92 percent of American adults and senior citizens suffer from tooth decay in the U.S.

A new study, published in the Journal of Natural Products, found that licorice root, which is 50 times sweeter than table sugar, may serve as a useful tool for keeping a healthy smile. Researchers found that licoricidin and licorisoflavan A, the two predominant compounds in the root, were effective in preventing cavity-causing bacteria from thriving on teeth and gums.

These two compounds, paired with others found in licorice root, also proved to prevent the growth of bacteria that often occurs with periodontitis, a disease that occurs when inflammation or gingivitis is left untreated. The infection spreads from the gums to the ligaments and bones that support the teeth, and the teeth eventually fall out. This disease is the primary cause of tooth loss among adults.

Of course, the view that licorice has medicinal benefits is nothing new. The herb has been used for centuries to treat medical problems. Native Americans and early white settlers used the herb to relieve earache, toothache and fever. Licorice has been used to treat a plethora of other conditions, including sore throat, urinary tract infections, stomach ulcers and constipation.

However, researchers warn that licorice root is not for everyone, and with good reason. Using licorice for more than four to six weeks can cause sodium retention and potassium loss. So women who are pregnant and people with high blood pressure or kidney disease should not take licorice root. If you’re thinking about taking licorice for its health benefits, consult your primary physician for proper dosage information.


Learn 6 amazing benefits of licorice

(Ngat, Daily Arab News)

Many used to eating licorice as a drink, but most delicious ramadhani people don’t know it amazing benefits will make her indispensable as a basic drink throughout the year.

The roots of licorice contains a variety of important nutrients for the body, it is a source of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, it supplies the body with necessary minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, potassium and iron #, contain antioxidant substances keeps the health and working on protection from serious diseases.

Here are the following 6 benefits of plant # glabra, according to CAIR 2 site on health:

1. Stress treatment

Licorice helps prevent defect in adrenal gland is responsible for producing hormones that control stress, as it promotes the secretion of adrenaline and consequently lower levels of stress and anxiety.

2. Strengthen immune system

Licorice helps in improving the health of the immune system, raise the level of antiviral interferon component, also stimulates the immune cells work and achieves the desired balance of the body, which makes this plant an effective treatment for autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, SLE rashes.

3. Anti-inflammatory

A recent study demonstrated the ability of licorice is anti-inflammation compared to many other herbs and anti-inflammatory drugs containing ibuprofen like substance (advil or Motrin).

4. The fight against cancer

Many research concluded that licorice contains anti-cancer properties and especially breast cancer and digestive system by preventing cancer cells are in the body, as it proved his ability in combat # liver cancer.

5. Prevention of tooth decay

Licorice root contains two compounds that Act on the prevention of tooth decay, and gum infections.

6. Maintain a healthy digestive system

Decrease of intestinal infections liquorice roots, and preserve the integrity of the digestive system and regularity of output process, as well as their role in the protection and treatment of the affected bowel mucus membranes, as confirmed by hundreds of studies.


Licorice

By Jeri Sullivan

There are numerous benefits of licorice root that people have taken advantage of for centuries. Whether you are healthy or suffering from a variety of ailments, there is sure to be a reason to add licorice root to your diet and health care regimen.

What Is Licorice Root?

Licorice root is the root of the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant and is native to southern Europe and Asia. The Glycyrrhiza glabra plant grows as a perennial and the root is harvested for use in culinary and medical applications. Most often the root is boiled and the sweetener glycyrrhizin is removed to form licorice extract. The resulting extract may be in either solid or liquid form and is significantly sweeter than traditional cane sugar.

Used for centuries to sweeten drinks, licorice extract is still widely used today in candies, gum, soft drinks and herbal teas. In some countries it is used in mouthwash or chewed to freshen breath and the licorice root extract is used in China in conjunction with soy sauce to flavor dishes.

Benefits of Licorice Root

The most common medicinal uses of licorice root involve Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practices known as gan zao. In the TCM form of medicine, licorice root is thought to help work with other herbs and spices to settle the stomach and relieve congestion.

Western medical professionals or herbalists may prescribe the use of licorice root extract for its effect on the intestinal system. If you are suffering from mild constipation, consider an herbal tea made with licorice root extract. The compounds in the licorice root help jump start the digestive tract and move waste out of the body.

Other digestive tract issues such as diverticulitis, which is an inflammation of the colon, and ulcers may also be treated with licorice root extract. Drinking teas made with the root seem to soothe inflamed areas and make the painful symptoms lessen by lowering the acid levels in the body. There also seems to be an antispasmodic aspect to licorice root that aids in reducing symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease. Both of these disorders cause an upset stomach and abdominal pain and may result in ulcers.

People afflicted with lung disorders, such as bronchitis along with sore throats and coughing, can benefit from taking licorice root extract. The glycyrrhizin found in licorice root helps block enzymes that lower the prostaglandin levels which are responsible for mucus production. When a person has a sore throat or coughs a lot, this may be caused by a mucous build up. When more mucous is produced due to the enzyme blocking glycyrrhizin, it more easily flows out of the body which clears up the lungs and sinus cavities. This natural cough suppressant is often found in lozenges and cough syrups.

Due to its sweet taste, licorice root is also used in conjunction with traditional drugs. Medicinal syrups, particularly ones administered to children, may contain licorice root extract in an attempt to mask the sour or bitter taste of the actual medication. Other uses include mixing the extract with other inert ingredients to form a lotion or salve used on the as a topical treatment for herpes or shingles.

Using Licorice Root

Now that you understand the benefits of licorice root, you may want to opt for this healthy approach to your next stomach ailment or constipation. A small amount of this sweet extract should go a long way in relieving your symptoms.


Learn 6 amazing benefits of licorice

(Ngat, Saudi Arab News)

Many used to eating licorice as a drink, but most delicious ramadhani people don’t know it amazing benefits will make her indispensable as a basic drink throughout the year. The roots of licorice contains a variety of important nutrients for the body, it is a source of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, it supplies the body with necessary minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, potassium and iron #, contain antioxidant substances keeps the health and working on protection from serious diseases.

Here are the following 6 benefits of plant # glabra, according to CAIR 2 site on health:

1. stress treatment Licorice helps prevent defect in adrenal gland is responsible for producing hormones that control stress, as it promotes the secretion of adrenaline and consequently lower levels of stress and anxiety.

2. strengthen immune system Licorice helps in improving the health of the immune system, raise the level of antiviral interferon component, also stimulates the immune cells work and achieves the desired balance of the body, which makes this plant an effective treatment for autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, SLE rashes.

3. anti-inflammatory A recent study demonstrated the ability of licorice is anti-inflammation compared to many other herbs and anti-inflammatory drugs containing ibuprofen like substance (advil or Motrin).

4. the fight against cancer Many research concluded that licorice contains anti-cancer properties and especially breast cancer and digestive system by preventing cancer cells are in the body, as it proved his ability in combat # liver cancer.

5. Prevention of tooth decay Licorice root contains two compounds that Act on the prevention of tooth decay, and gum infections.

6. maintain a healthy digestive system Decrease of intestinal infections liquorice roots, and preserve the integrity of the digestive system and regularity of output process, as well as their role in the protection and treatment of the affected bowel mucus membranes, as confirmed by hundreds of studies.


Licorice: The Candy That Fights Diabetes

By Michael J. Gertner

The age-old snack is so good for us, some are calling it "the medicinal plant of 2012."

A new treatment for diabetes may have just been identified from the most unlikely source: the basic ingredient of a candy.

Licorice root, the raw material for licorice candy, has now been hailed as containing substances with an anti-diabetic effect. These molecules reduce blood sugar and possess anti-inflammatory properties.

And even more important: they are extremely well tolerated by the human body.

Because of its beneficial effects, the licorice root has been dubbed the 'Medicinal plant of 2012.'

The licorice root has been used as a traditional healer since ancient times. Certain forms of licorice root have already been shown to calm the digestive system and ameliorate respiratory ailments in humans. Because of its beneficial effects, the licorice root has been dubbed the "Medicinal plant of 2012."

Now scientists have discovered that licorice root from the papilionaceae or leguminous family might also be effective in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. This form of diabetes affects humans who are usually overweight or obese, causing the body becoming resistant to insulin. So far, treatments for type 2 diabetes have been developed but none of them halt disease progression. Many clinicians believe that the best treatment for type 2 diabetes is to prevent it before it starts.

The group that made the discovery is based at the Max Plank Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, Germany. A research team there identified a group of natural substances within licorice root called amorfrutins, which are named after the fruit of the Amorpha fruticosa bush in which they are also found.

The group demonstrated in a mouse model of diabetes that amorfrutins reduce blood sugar levels and inflammation that would otherwise be present in the mice suffering from diabetes. In addition, ingesting the amorfrutins prevented the development of a fatty liver - which is a common side effect of diabetes and an excessively fat-rich diet.

The scientists also discovered that the amorfrutin molecules bind to a nuclear receptor called PPARγ. PPARγ plays an important role in fat and glucose metabolism by activating various genes that reduced the concentration of fatty acids and glucose within the blood. The reduced glucose level prevented the development of insulin resistance in the mice - thereby blocking the main cause of type 2 diabetes.

There are already drugs on the market that activate the PPARγ receptor; however, many of them are not selective and cause side effects like weight gain and cardiovascular problems. Amorfrutins represent a novel method to activate the PPARγ receptor minus the side effects.

However, the scientists immediately found a problem with dosage. The amount of amorfrutin molecules in a piece of licorice available for human consumption is far too low to cause the same beneficial effects that were identified in the diabetic mice. Therefore, the researchers are developing a special protocol to extract amorfrutins from the Amorpha fruticosa that they hope will lead to mass production on an industrial scale.

"The amorfrutins can be used as functional nutritional supplements or as mild remedies that are individually tailored to the patient," said Sascha Sauer, lead investigator of the study and head of the Otto Warburg Laboratory at Max Plank Institute. "In view of the rapid spread of metabolic diseases like diabetes, it is intended to develop these substances further so that they can be used on humans in the future."

The next step for the scientists will be to test the efficacy of the plant amorfrutin extracts in clinical studies on diabetes patients. Diabetes patients are in dire need of a new drug after a pair of treatments currently on the market, Avandia and Actos, were recently restricted by the FDA after new evidence surfaced linking the drugs to heart failure and stroke.


7 Health Benefits and Uses for Licorice Root

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

If I were stranded on a desert island and could only take one herb with me, it would be licorice. It is one of my favorite herbs, not only because of its unique taste or its profound healing powers, but also because it was one of the first herbs I ever used, and I believe that it played a significant role in boosting my health. Here are some of the health benefits of licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra, not the candy that bears its name):

Adrenal Insufficiency Tonic

The adrenal glands, two small triangular-shaped glands that sit atop the kidneys, are vulnerable to stress from the pressures we face in our fast-paced modern world. The “adrenaline rush” many people get from driving themselves hard to excel or from extreme sports may seem great at the time, but over longer periods it can wear down the adrenal glands, causing a whole host of physical ailments, such as fatigue, poor digestion, sleep disorders, reduced immune system functioning and elevated blood sugar levels. Licorice is one of the best herbs to restore the body’s hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (the HPA axis), a part of the endocrine system, which regulates the flow of adrenal outputs.

Immune System Regulator

Unlike drugs that can only either stimulate or reduce the function of an organ or organ system, licorice can both increase and decrease outputs of the body to bring about balance, depending on what is needed. This makes the herb a valuable choice for autoimmune disorders, in which an overactive immune system attacks the body’s own tissues, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and the skin condition known as scleroderma.

Anti-inflammatory Antidote

Increasing amounts of research link inflammation to over one hundred health conditions, including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. In a study in the medical journal Natural Product Communications, scientists compared the anti-inflammatory capabilities of several herbs to those of ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin). Licorice proved even more effective than ibuprofen. Anti-Cancer Natural Medicine

Preliminary research in the medical journal Fitoterapia found that the compound glabridin, found in licorice root, was able to stop the ability of genes for liver cancer from turning on. Other compounds in licorice demonstrate potential effectiveness against cancer of the digestive tract. In breast cancer, the cancer’s own stem cells are believed to cause metastasis (cancer spreading to other parts of the body) and recurrence of cancer. In the journal Molecular Carcinogenesis, scientists found that glabridin could inhibit the functions of cancer stem cells. The scientists conducting the study conclude that licorice root may be “a potential treatment strategy …[and a way to] enhance the effectiveness of breast cancer therapy.”

Tooth Decay Preventer

Licorice root contains at least two compounds helpful in the prevention of tooth decay: the antibacterial compound glycyrrhizin and the potent decay-preventive compound known as indole.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Solution

The Epstein-Barr virus has been found to be one of the many causal factors for chronic fatigue syndrome, or myalgic encephalomyelitis. Long-lasting and severe fatigue is only one of the symptoms of this serious, frequently disabling condition; others include severe muscle weakness and wasting, balance issues, digestive problems, bodily pain and joint pain. Chronic fatigue syndrome has also been linked to an impaired blood-brain barrier, inflammation, liver impairment, adrenal gland weakness, stress and other infections. Licorice root could be one of the most important herbs to treat this condition because of its adaptogenic properties. Research in the cancer journal Oncotarget found that the compounds quercetin and isoliquiritigenin found in licorice showed activity against the Epstein-Barr virus.

Intestinal Health Booster

Licorice root reduces inflammation in the intestines and helps eliminate waste. Its role in protecting and healing damaged mucous membranes in the intestinal tract has been confirmed by hundreds of studies, according to Daniel B. Mowrey, author of Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine. It also acts as a gentle laxative.

You can purchase pre-made licorice root tea bags. Drink 3 cups daily for up to 3 weeks. Alternatively, take 30 drops of licorice root tincture 3 times daily for up to 3 weeks.

Because it is such a powerful herb, however, licorice can have harmful side effects if misused, so it is important to use it with care. Individuals with high blood pressure or kidney failure, as well as people taking heart medication, should avoid licorice. It should not be used in large quantities or for periods longer than a few weeks without the guidance of a qualified herbalist or medical practitioner.


Goji berries, kale, spirulina... and now LIQUORICE? Top nutritionists go head to head on the top 10 'superfoods' you're spending your money on - are they all hype or a real help?

By Frank Coletta (Daily Mail Australia)
• Liquorice has been hailed the latest Superfood
• Benefits are listed as helping fight depression and menopause symptoms
• Critics say as a sweet it may be bad for those with high blood pressure
• Nutritionists Lola Berry and Rosemary Stanton give opinion on Superfoods
• From a list of the 10 most popular they agreed on the benefits of just one

This one may be a little hard to stomach but liquorice, with all that bitter anise taste it brings to the table, has been hailed as the latest Superfood capable of curing all manner of ills.

From fighting depression to treating respiratory problems, and even helping women deal with menopause, its apparent benefits has divided experts.

Dr Rosemary Stanton is one of Australia's foremost nutritionists and she is not convinced.

'The principle component is glycyrrhizin, derived from the liquorice root but somewhat ironically, the bio-availability of this compound is reduced in liquorice sweets,' she told Daily Mail Australia.

'It can be hazardous for those with high blood pressure.'

So when the acclaimed chocolate master Max Brenner decides to put the polarising taste to the test by adding a liquorice hot chocolate to the menu, it begs the question - are so-called Superfoods a real help or just hype?

Dr Stanton has a clear view, insisting there's no need to seek miracle benefits from food, insisting a balanced diet and a limit on junk food is the key.

'I don't believe in the idea of superfoods,' she said.

'I think we have good nutritious foods that we should choose with lots of variety.

'For example there are vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole-grains and a heap of junk foods that we should consume only in small quantities.

'I'm also happy for people to add small portions of meat or poultry plus seafood, milk, yoghurt and cheese.

'The current diet has over 35 per cent of its kilojoules coming from junk foods and drinks, with over 40 per cent for kids.

'There's no superfood that can rescue us from so much junk.'


Top 10 health benefits of Mulethi or Liquorice

By Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti

Mulethi (licorice) commonly used by singers to soothe their throat has some unknown health benefits. Watch out to know few.

Liquorice, commonly called as mulethi in India, is a popular condiment that not only acts as a good flavouring agent but is also widely used home remedy because of its widespread medical properties. It has been in use since ancient times in Indian Ayurveda as well as in Chinese medicine. This medicinal herb has wide reaching health benefits and thus, is of great value in naturally treating sore throat, chest congestion, strengthening of bones and muscles, kidney problems, bronchitis, mouth ulcers, hair loss, etc to name a few.

The medicinal property of mulethi is mainly because of the presence of powerful phytochemicals namely flavonoids, chalcones, saponins and xenoestrogens. Glycyrrhizin (salts of glycyrrhizic acid) is a popular saponin found in roots of mulethi that is responsible for the characteristic sweet taste (50 times more sweet than sugar) flavor. Liquiritin, licoflavonol, liquiritigenin, etc are the common chalcones that provide the distinct yellowish color to mulethi; while, the aroma of its root is mainly because of anethole. Here are the ten health benefits of mulethi:

Anti-microbial activity – Roots of mulethi are very effective in protecting against virus, bacteria and fungi due to the presence of Glycyrrhizin that blocks the microbial growth. The root extract possesses the power to control malaria (as per preliminary research), influenza and also helps in the treatment of herpes resulting in virus suppression and severity of sores.

Anti-inflammatory activity – Liquorice has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic activity and can be used to treat chronic inflammation like rheumatic problems & arthritis, skin diseases and autoimmune diseases. It is also used for preventing any inflammatory conditions related to eye and also to treat conjunctivitis with the help of glycyrrhizin activity that counteracts negative effects caused by cortisol.

Improves immunity – Root extracts of mulethi aids in increasing the production of lymphocytes and macrophage thereby improving your defense mechanism & preventing microbial attack. It also helps in minimizing immune related allergic reactions and autoimmune complications.

Memory improvement – Roots of licorice exert supportive effect on the adrenal gland and thus indirectly aid in stimulating the brain. It not only decreases the effects of amnesia & improves learning but its antioxidant property (mulethi contains flavonoids) renders a shielding effect on the brain cells.

Anti-ulcer activity – The potent antioxidant and anti-inflamatory properties of licorice makes it the best natural medicinal aid to treat ulcers of stomach, intestine and mouth. The compound carbenoxolone synthesized from glycyrrhizin plays key role in healing mouth and gastric ulcers along with reducing gastric secretions and promoting development of intestinal mucus lining.

Liver protection – Licorice is one of the most common traditional remedy used to treat jaundice. Its antioxidant property is the key for preventing your liver from the action of free radicals and toxic materials. This herb is also reported to exhibit protection against diclofenac induced toxicity and also, in inhibiting damage of liver.

Digestive aid – Roots of licorice are also used to deal with stomach and digestion problems with the help of glycyrrhizin and its compound, carbenoxolone. It is one of the ancient home remedies for relieving constipation, acidity, heartburn, stomach discomfort, inflammation of digestive system and gastro esophageal acid reflux. As a mild laxative, it plays an effective role in bowel movements and also for treatment of allergic cough in addition to maintaining normal pH levels.

Hormonal regulation – The phytoestrogenic compounds present in mulethi roots exert valuable action against women hormonal imbalance problems, menopause symptoms like hot flashes & exhaustion, mood swings, etc. It is also found to help in cortisol production and relieving premenstrual issues like nausea and menstrual cramps. Licorice powder acts as the traditional medicine for nursing mothers to regulate body hormones and aid in milk secretion.

Heart healthy effects – Research studies have proved that licorice roots help in controlling cholesterol levels by increasing the body’s flow of bile and also reducing high blood cholesterol levels. The anti-oxidant property of licorice acts in increasing the blood capillary health, reducing inflammation, prevents blood vessel damage and block development of arterial plaque.

Other effects – Licorice roots work wonders in treatment of depression, diabetes and respiratory tract infection like sore throat (hoarseness of voice), cold and cough, etc in addition to rendering effective skin benefits, oral hygiene and weight loss. It is found to act as a cancer cure remedy, a potent aphrodisiac and a powerful analgesic agent.


Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL): Gut Benefits and Beyond

By Julie Chen, M.D.

There are many supplements I frequently recommend to my patients in my integrative medicine clinic in San Jose, Calif. One of my all-time favorites is deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or DGL. The reason I love this supplement is that it addresses many health issues, and I am a big fan of addressing many issues with one stone, so to speak.

Licorice has been used in many forms throughout the centuries by many cultures. Traditionally, the licorice root is used for hormonal issues, gut and throat issues, respiratory issues, and fatigue issues. We know now that the glycyrrhizin in licorice root can cause issues with hypertension, edema, and possibly effect a hormonal component of our renal regulation called aldosterone regulation. So, there is definitely a concern for long-term use in regards to licorice root.

But the deglycyrrhizinated licorice version has the substantial parts of glycyrrhizin removed, therefore is a safer option for long-term use if needed.

One main reason I use DGL in my patients is for gastrointestinal issues. In my clinical experience, patients who have heartburn, peptic ulcer disease, or gastritis find great relief from DGL. There was a study published in the British Medical Journal comparing an over-the-counter medication for peptic ulcer disease and DGL for 82 patients who had endoscopically healed peptic ulcer. Patients were given two tablets of DGL twice daily compared to a regular dosage of the over-the-counter medication for peptic ulcer disease. After two years on this regimen, the recurrence rate for gastric ulcers for the two groups was relatively similar. However, after both groups went off the medication or DGL, the recurrence of peptic ulcers occurred.

This study demonstrates DGL as an effective potential alternative to taking over-the-counter stomach ulcer medications if you have any concerns about these medications.

The general dosage to use of DGL is about one to three tablets of DGL at a dosage of 380-400 mg per tablet. You would take it about 30 minutes before each meal to help your stomach upset issues. On the bottle, you should make sure that there is less than 1 to 2 percent glycyrrhizin in the tablet to make sure that majority of the concerning component is out of the tablets so that you can more safely use this long-term.

For many of my patients, they find that DGL also helps with fatigue because it has traditionally been used for adrenal support as well. Some of the more important takeaway points are that even though most of the glycyrrhizin is out of the DGL, you should still check your blood pressure daily at the start of using this supplement. Once you have been using the DGL for a while and are being monitored by a doctor for the long-term usage of this, you should still check your blood pressure once or twice every week to make sure that your blood pressure remains in your normal range.

Some other key factors to keep in mind are that you should also have your kidney and liver function checked regularly. Although there are generally minimal concerns with usage of DGL, in regard to your liver and kidney function — as you would with any other medication you use long-term — I caution all of my patients to treat supplements like a medication in that they should not be cavalier about using supplements, either. If you are on any supplements or medications on a daily basis, you should always have regular blood work done to monitor your liver and kidney functioning.

If you think that you are having any issues, whether it is hypertension or swelling in ankles, you may want to consider coming off the DGL and see if the symptoms improve. You should also see your doctor for a full physical evaluation and discussion about your supplement and medication regimen if you should at any point have any concerns about new or worsening symptoms.

It’s safe to say that I am a huge fan of supplements as alternative options for medications when the safety profile is more favorable. So when you do have an ailment such as fatigue or stomach upset, DGL is a great option. But as with anything you ingest on a daily basis, natural, common-sense precautions should be taken. So make sure you are checking your blood pressure and blood work regularly, and make sure to keep your doctor in the loop about any new supplements or medications you are taking.

In my clinic, I teach my patients to use common sense with their health more so than anything else. In the end, being overly cautious is always better than not being cautious enough. While the safety profile and effectiveness of DGL in treating stomach ulcers, heartburn or gastritis is similar — if not better — than over-the-counter strong medications (and it is one of my favorites to use in my patients with no major issues in usage), continue to use common sense when starting a new supplement, whether it be DGL or something else.


Health Benefits of Licorice Root

By Kathryn Watson (Medically Reviewed by Natalie Butler, RD, LD)

Licorice root, also known as sweet root, is known mostly for its use as a sweetener in candies and beverages. However, licorice root has also been used for centuries for its medicinal benefits. It’s important to note that some of these benefits are not proven by medical research. However, the overall holistic benefits of licorice root are becoming more accepted in the medical community. Licorice is available in many forms, either containing glycyrrhizin or as DGL, deglycyrrhizinated licorice.

History of Licorice Root The early Egyptians loved licorice root and used it in tea as a cure-all concoction. Licorice was later imported to the Chinese and also became an important herb in their medicinal tradition. The word “licorice” actually refers to the root of a plant called Glycyrrhiza glabra, which is native to Europe and Asia. In fact, the plant is classified in those areas as a weed.

Here are its benefits.

Soothes Your Stomach

Licorice root has been used to soothe gastrointestinal problems. In cases of food poisoning, stomach ulcers, and heartburn, licorice root extract can speed repair of the stomach’s lining and restore balance. This is due to the anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties of glycyrrhizic acid. Studies claim that glycyrrhic acid can suppress the toxic bacteria H. pylori, and can even prevent it from growing in the gut. However, research also shows that patients suffering from peptic ulcer disease, heartburn, and gastritis have improved symptoms when taking DGL. DGL is the safer form of licorice and is able to be taken over the long term if needed.

Cleanses Your Respiratory System

Licorice is also recommended to treat respiratory problems. Taking licorice as an oral supplement can help the production of healthy mucus. Although increasing phlegm production seems counterintuitive to a healthy bronchial system, the opposite is actually true. The production of clean, healthy phlegm keeps the respiratory system functioning without old, sticky mucus clogging it up.

Reduces Stress

Over time, stress can leave the adrenal gland exhausted by the constant work of producing adrenaline and cortisol. The adrenal gland can get relief with the support of licorice supplements. The adrenal gland can be stimulated and balanced by licorice root extract, which promotes a healthy level of cortisol within the body.

Assists Cancer Treatment


Some studies say licorice root can potentially aid the treatment of breast and prostate cancers. It’s already being incorporated into some Chinese practices for cancer treatment. The FDA has yet to approve such treatment methods in the United States, but, according to the American Cancer Society, research is ongoing.

Protects Your Skin and Teeth

Topical gels including licorice are recommended for the treatment of eczema. Licorice is often used as a successful dermatological treatment due to its antibacterial properties. Along that line of reasoning, holistic health practitioners often suggest applying licorice treatment to the site of tooth decay to kill bacteria.

Dosage and Forms

Licorice extract is the most commonly found form of licorice. Used as a commercial sweetener in candies and beverages, licorice extract consumption by an individual should not exceed 30 mg/ml glycyrrhizic acid. Ingesting more could produce unwanted side effects, as warned by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Powder

Licorice powder can be purchased by the ounce at health food stores and online specialty retailers. It can be combined with a gel base to create a topical ointment that clears the skin. In its powder form, licorice is especially helpful in the treatment of eczema and acne. The powder can also be poured into vegetable capsules and ingested orally. Always remember that the recommended dosage of licorice root is less than 75 milligrams per day, according to the WHO guidelines.

Tea

Licorice plant leaves, dried and crushed into a tea leaf form, have become a popular herbal tea. These teas can be purchased at supermarkets and health food stores. They are used to promote digestive, respiratory, and adrenal gland health. When you see herbal teas that are cited as aids for “bronchial wellness” and “cleanse and detox,” they usually contain forms of licorice. The popular throat remedy known as “Throat Coat” tea is a combination of marshmallow root, licorice root, and elm bark. It is not recommended that individuals ingest more than 8 ounces of licorice tea daily.

DGL

DGL is licorice with the glycyrrhizin removed, which reduces your risk of consuming licorice. DGL should contain no more than 2 percent glycyrrhizin and is recommended for gastrointestinal symptoms, as long-term intake may be needed. DGL is available in chewable tablets, capsules, tea, and powder. Consume no more than 5 grams of DGL daily.

Possible Side Effects

Too much licorice root extract can lead to low levels of potassium in the body, which causes muscle weakness. This condition is called hypokalemia.

Fluid retention and metabolism abnormalities have occurred in studies where subjects ingested too much licorice root in a two-week period.

High blood pressure and heartbeat irregularity are negative side effects that can result from consuming too much licorice. While many modern licorice-flavored products simply mimic the natural flavors of licorice, some continue to use the original recipes that include glycyrrhizic acid. Children as young as 10 years old have been hospitalized as a result of hypertension when too much licorice was ingested.

Women that are pregnant or breast-feeding are advised by the FDA to avoid licorice in all forms altogether. Individuals with hypertension should also avoid licorice root.


Can You Eat Too Much Licorice?

By Jan Annigan

Licorice is a plant native to Europe and Asia. The root contains a chemical called glycyrrhizin that is the active ingredient in a range of medications. With a sweetness factor 50 times greater than that of table sugar, glycyrrhizin improves the flavor of these medications and also sweetens the candy made with licorice root. However, this compound can result in serious health issues if eaten in excess.

Background

Licorice can affect your body in a number of ways. It both inhibits coughing and helps you get rid of phlegm in your lungs. It soothes inflamed tissues, relaxes muscles and exerts a mild laxative effect on your bowels. Licorice root, and products made from it, can inhibit Streptococcus mutans, an organism responsible for dental cavities. In addition to serving as an ingredient in candy, licorice is available as a liquid extract, dried powder, tea, tablet or capsule.

Uses

Licorice can reduce coughing when you have a cold or other upper respiratory disorder. It may help treat stomach ulcers and hepatitis and relieve symptoms associated with indigestion or gastroesophageal reflux disease. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, some studies indicate that consuming licorice can help reduce excess body fat, although it may also cause water retention. Licorice also shows promise as an antiviral agent, potentially against the Epstein-Barr virus, HIV, herpes simplex and chickenpox, reports George Mason University.

Adverse Effects

Consuming upwards of 20 grams per day of licorice carries the risk of increasing your blood aldosterone levels. Licorice can also mimic the physiological effects of this hormone, leading to increased secretion of potassium in your urine that results in hypokalemia, or low blood potassium. This in turn can raise your blood pressure and cause you to retain water. If you currently have a kidney or circulatory disorder, including hypertension, even small amounts of licorice can aggravate your condition. In addition, sensitive individuals may experience muscle pain or numbness in the extremities after ingesting small doses of licorice.

Considerations

The adverse effects of eating too much licorice are reversible with time once you remove it from your diet or treatment plan. You can also try deglycyrrhizinated licorice preparations in which the glycyrrhizin has been removed. Although this type of licorice may not work to relieve cold symptoms, it may still be effective for gastrointestinal problems and does not appear to cause the circulatory issues associated with glycyrrhizin. A final caution in consuming licorice concerns its ability to increase the absorption of drugs, potentially leading to increased drug activity or side effects. Therefore, avoid licorice for a couple of hours before and after you take prescription medications.



Little-Known Licorice Facts

By John Garland

It’s the spice of winter, the additive du jour. It’s challenging and distinct, yet warming and comforting. But if you ask people, I’m betting a majority would say they hate licorice—squirming at the thought of those bitter black jellybeans everyone picks around at Easter.

But that flavor—spicy, earthy, bittersweet—is all the rage in craft cocktails. Licorice root is a regular ingredient in amari, aperitivi, and bitters of all stripes. And the root itself has a far milder flavor than other spices (star anise, aniseed, fennel seed, even tarragon) that deliver a licorice flavor.

Your local co-op or health foods store will have it in the bulk spice jars in back. Make sure to get the whole twigs (or the crushed twigs that look like mulch) instead of the powdered capsules. Then make yourself some simple syrup, add it to some dark liquor, and ride out the polar vortex in comfort.

Licorice Root Simple Syrup

Bring 1 cup of water to a simmer, turn off heat, and steep 2 tablespoons crushed licorice root for 45 minutes. Return to medium-low heat, add 1 cup sugar, whisking until dissolved, and let cool.

Note: This technique is replicable with many whole roots and spices. Coriander is a favorite of ours in the warmer months.

What to make

Old Fashioned: 2 ounces dark rum, 1/3 ounce licorice simple syrup, and some bitters (we like a dash each of orange and Angostura.) Stir well, strain into lowball with one big ice cube, garnish with orange zest.

Tea (Or Toddy): Add a spot of the syrup to your favorite black tea—and then add a shot of rum and a squeeze of lemon for a licorice toddy.

Soda: Put a dose of licorice simple in your next SodaStream bottle. Heck, add some vanilla, sassafras, and ginger as well, and you’re darn near making sarsaparilla.

Food: Make the licorice tea (don’t add the sugar), saute a bunch of sweet root vegetables (carrots or parsnips would be nice), and blend them up with enough tea to make a soup. Or make a pastry glaze with a dose of the syrup and drizzle it over your holiday krumkake.


Little-Known Licorice Facts

By Alicia Rudnick
Overview

Most people likely think of licorice as a sweet, chewy treat that is black or red. However, in candy, licorice flavoring -- which comes from the sweet root of the licorice plant, Glycyrrhiza glabra -- is only used in black licorice. Licorice powder is also used in tobacco products, teas and herbal supplements. Its glycyrrhizinic acid and glycyrrhizin salt work together to make the plant's root sweet. Unfortunately, glycyrrhizin is toxic if over-consumed. When it is removed, licorice products are said to be deglycerized licorice, or DGL. Licorice root taste-alikes, such as anise oil (Pimpinella anisum L.), are usually added to DGL to improve flavor. Both licorice and DGL are used to treat health problems such as ulcers and sore throats. Moderate consumption of products containing pure licorice is okay, unless you are pregnant or have a condition that glycyrrhizin aggravates, such as high blood pressure.

Licorice Types

Glycyrrhiza glabra is called "cultivated licorice" by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in contrast to its wilder relatives American licorice (Glycyrrhiza lepidota Pursh) and Chinese licorice (Glycyrrhiza echinata L.). Also, don't confuse it with plants of the genus Ligusticum -- also known as licorice-root or Osha -- that are used in herbal medications. Many licorice candies, including fruit flavors, contain no G. glabra or anise. They are named licorice only because of the gummy texture and shapes they share with black licorice. Along with ropes and twist-style sticks, varieties of black licorice confections include gumdrops and tiny, candy-coated cylinders so colorful they look like confetti. In the United States, manufacturers often substitute anise for licorice in cookies and candies.

Does Licorice Have Fat in It?

Licorice candies contain miniscule amounts of fat. However, one black licorice twist equals about 37 calories. Eat a bunch of them, and the simple carbohydrates in the candy may add up to more calories than your body can use and will convert to fat. This isn't the case for herbal and green teas containing licorice, which are fat-free and contain almost no calories. However, an overdose of glycyrrhizin from candy, tea, tobacco or supplements can cause weight gain due to water retention connected to sodium imbalance and blood pressure problems.

Can Licorice Tea Keep You Awake?

While a licorice green tea may help wake you up due to its caffeine content, herbal licorice teas are more likely to make you sleepy. According to a Korean study, licorice extract binds to the body's GABA(A) and 5-HT(2C) receptor molecules that help regulate sleep. The researchers concluded that licorice extract "might be effective" for treating insomnia.


Does Licorice Have Sodium?

Licorice root contains sodium bonded in a compound called carbenoxolone sodium that helps minimize stomach acid and soothes ulcers. However, licorice root products, including carbenoxolone, can cause mineralocorticoid hypertension if too much glycyrrhizin is consumed. This condition causes water retention, shortness of breath during activity, low blood levels of potassium and increased blood pressure.

Can Licorice Capsules Lighten the Skin?

Herbal companies claim that licorice capsules are useful for conditions such as indigestion, premenstrual discomfort, menopause, fatigue, respiratory support and the reduction of aches, pains and fevers. In contrast, skin creams containing licorice derivatives are used for lightening age spots and other uneven skin color. In 2003, Israeli researchers reported that licorice derivatives glabrene and isoliquiritigenin are successful in minimizing these problems and inhibiting pigmentation.

Does Licorice Tea Have Carbs?

Licorice is used in sweetening some herbal and caffeinated green teas. Its root contains starches and sugars, such as sucrose. However, these carbohydrates are in such small quantities that they don't add calories to licorice tea. It is the combo of glycyrrhizinic acid and glycyrrhizin that sweeten licorice tea at an intensity 50 to 150 times sweeter than sucrose. Licorice root is referred to as a non-nutritive sweetener because it adds no calories to foods and beverages. In addition, most teas -- whether herbal or caffeinated -- don't contain notable amounts of carbohydrates or calories unless sugar or another caloric sweetener is added.

Does Black Licorice Suppress Hunger?

Whether or not licorice suppresses hunger is something for the individual consumer to decide, because definitive research isn't available. However, licorice tea often is called an appetite suppressant. Perhaps this is because of the fluid in the tea and the natural non-nutritive sweetening of licorice. Recent studies about the negative impact of non-nutritive sweeteners on appetite have focused on artificial sweeteners. This research has been inconclusive.

Can You Get Deglycerized Licorice in Liquid Form?

Although you can get deglycerized licorice, or DGL, as a liquid, it is usually combined with other herbal ingredients. Capsules of pure DGL powder are easier to find. Naturopathic physicians sometimes prepare liquid extracts containing DGL for patients. However, when trying to resolve a medical problem with any new medicine, remember to seek an opinion from a licensed physician.

How Much Licorice Tea to Drink in a Day?

When it comes to drinking tea containing pure licorice, there are lots of caveats. Number one, don't touch any licorice product if you are pregnant or have one of the following conditions: heart disease, high blood pressure, hypokalemia (low blood potassium), kidney disease or a hormonal disorder. For people who don't face these concerns, the question of how many cups of either regular licorice or DGL tea to drink a day remains fuzzy. However, licensed dietician Monica Reinagel of the Nutrition Diva website says not to drink it daily due to possible side effects. Also, the University of Maryland Medical Center says not to give licorice tea to children for more than one day without talking to a pediatrician.

Does Licorice Root Raise Blood Glucose?

Medical sources vary on whether licorice root raises blood glucose. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that it may interact with insulin or drugs for diabetes, causing a shift in blood sugar levels. Consequently, it advises people who have diabetes to avoid licorice. However, a 2012 report from Germany's Max Planck Lab announced the discovery, during animal research, of licorice substances called amorfrutins that reduce blood sugar.

Do Licorice Root Supplements Help You Lose Weight?

Licorice root supplements show promise for "reducing body fat," according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It reports on a two-month study in which 15 people consumed 3.5 grams of licorice daily. Although they lost fat, they gained water weight. The university notes positive results for fat loss in two other studies involving human participants, but adds that long-term use of licorice as a diet aid can be risky.

How Long Does Licorice Root From Tea Stay in the System?

The question of how long licorice root lingers in the body is yet to be answered by research. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration notes that in relation to potassium insufficiencies caused by consuming too much licorice, potassium levels usually return to normal quickly when consumption ends. Symptoms of an overdose include fatigue and irregular heart rhythms.

Can Licorice Root Help Lose Belly Fat?

Although weight-loss studies cited by the University of Maryland Medical Center show that licorice can help burn fat, it isn't a magic bullet aimed at belly fat. Cutting back on calories and increasing exercise are the old standards that still work to slim the body overall. Plus, the water retention caused by eating, drinking or otherwise dosing up on too much licorice can lead to bloating caused by a potassium-sodium imbalance.


Does Licorice Root Raise Blood Glucose?

(San Francisco Gate)

Licorice is sometimes used as an herbal remedy for a variety of different health problems, such as canker sores, peptic ulcers and upper respiratory infections like the common cold. Licorice root may also have a beneficial effect on your blood glucose levels. Check with your doctor before using licorice root in medicinal amounts, however, as it can cause some adverse effects and isn't safe for everyone.

Licorice and Blood Glucose

While there are many potential side effects from eating licorice root, an increase in blood glucose isn't one of them. In fact, you may experience the opposite effect. Although evidence is still preliminary, rats with diabetes given licorice extract experienced lower blood glucose levels and improved kidney function after 60 days of treatment in a study published in "Drug and Chemical Toxicology" in April 2011.

Potential Active Ingredient

Licorice contains a number of substances that may help lower blood glucose. In a study published in the "Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin" in November 2004, mice given licorice extract containing a set amount of the flavonoid glabridin experienced decreased blood glucose levels and decreased weight gain compared to mice not given licorice extract. An article published on the EurekAlert! website in April 2012 noted that another substance in licorice called amorfrutin also has a blood-glucose-lowering effect.

Potential Effects

Drinking tea or eating candies made from licorice root isn't likely to have much of an effect on your blood glucose levels, although there is a possibility licorice supplements might have some effect. The amount of the amorfrutin in licorice candy or licorice tea is too small to help lower your blood glucose, according to the 2012 EurekAlert! article. For this, you would need to take a supplement containing purified versions of these extracts.

Potential Safety Considerations

Licorice root contains a substance called glycyrrhizin, which can cause adverse effects, including muscle pain, headaches, high blood pressure, heart attacks, headaches and water retention, especially if you regularly take more than 20 grams per day. Using a supplement containing deglycyrrhizinated licorice can help you avoid these side effects. Licorice may also interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners, ACE inhibitors, diuretics, diabetes medications, laxatives, oral contraceptives, MAO inhibitors, corticosteroids and digoxin.



What Is Licorice Root Used For?

By Stephanie Draus

Licorice has a very long history of medicinal use in Europe and Asia. The Greeks named it "glycyrrhiza," meaning "sweet root," and it has been cultivated in England since at least the 16th century. Licorice is known as a tonic herb, because it has so many uses in healing. It has been used as a soothing demulcent, a gentle hormone balancer and a support to the adrenal glands.

Demulcent

Licorice root tea will soothe a sore throat.

Licorice root is classed as a demulcent, a substance that is soothing to the tissues. This makes the herb a traditional remedy for sore throats and stomach pains. Licorice tea will soothe and moisturize a dry cough. For stomach pain, deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or DGL, is often taken as a powder or capsule. Licorice causes hypertension in some people, and removing the constituent glycyrrhizin reduces that side effect.

Hormone Balance

Licorice root has traditionally been used to balance female hormones in cases of premenstrual syndrome and menopausal symptoms. Laboratory chemical studies confirm that licorice contains flavonoids that have an estrogenic effect on human cells. Human studies are needed to confirm the hormone-balancing effects of licorice.

Adrenal Support

Licorice is sometimes used to treat fatigue.

Practitioners of natural medicine often recommend licorice during extreme fatigue and after times of stress. For instance, Dr. Christiane Northrup recommends a small amount of licorice extract to treat conditions that deplete the adrenal glands. Studies are needed on the possible beneficial effects of licorice on the adrenals.

Cautions and Contraindications

Long-term use of licorice can create high blood pressure.

Long-term use of licorice can cause high blood pressure in some people. If you have hypertension or heart disease, avoid licorice or ask your practitioner about DGL products. Licorice should not be combined with steroid medications. Pregnant women should avoid licorice. Licorice can interact with several common medications, so check with your health care practitioner before adding this or any herb, supplement or medication to your current treatment regimen.



Drink licorice tea for a healthy liver!

By Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti

Licorice is a simple and effective herbal remedy for preventing your liver from diseases!

Ditch your morning ginger tea or green tea with this healthy and detoxifying licorice tea to keep your liver healthy. Right from aiding in breaking down the fats in your stomach to flushing out harmful toxins, this organ plays a key role in carrying out various body functions. A herbal remedy to prevent liver disease is to sip a cup of licorice tea.

How does it help?

Licorice has long been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to treat common liver ailments like jaundice and non-alcoholic liver disease. The antioxidants present in licorice protect the liver from harmful effects of free radicals and toxic materials produced due to digestion of foods. It also has the capability to induce the production of interferon, a type of immune cells, which in turn protects your liver from bacteria.

It also shows a powerful antihepatotoxic effect along with acting as an anti-inflammatory and detoxification agent. A study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences revealed that aqueous extract of licorice showed effective results against carbon tetrachloride-induce toxicity . Moreover, it also offers protection against diclofenac-induced toxicity and liver damage. This herb also helps in lowering the levels of ALT and AST, transaminase enzymes, which are elevated in the case of liver infection.

How to use it?

Here’s how to make licorice tea at home. Add a pinch of licorice powder to a cup of boiling water and tea leaves. Steep it for 10 minutes and strain the solution. Drink this warm tea every morning. For effective results, drink this herbal tea once a week.


Health Benefits of Licorice Root

(Home Remedies Web)
What is Licorice Root?

Licorice root (also liquorice root) is the root and underground stems of an herbaceous perennial plant Glycyrrhiza glabra. Greek, Egyptians, Chinese and other Asian nations have been using Licorice root for flavouring, confectionery applications and medicinal purposes for centuries. It is also known as sweet root and Gan Zao in Chinese. Licorice Root contains a number of healthy compounds such as flavonoids, volatile oils, plant sterols, coumarins, glycosides, asparagine, chalcones, glycyrrhizic acid and anethole. Licorice Root has a peculiar sweet flavour with a faint hint of anise flavour and is sweeter than sugar (sucrose). Licorice has been used for flavouring and sweetness in candies but recently has been replaced with Anise. It is still used as a sweetener in herbal medicines, lozenges/herbal cough candies, and tobacco products. However, studies suggest that along with its a slew of health benefits a key compound in Licorice Root, glycyrrhizic acid, may raise blood pressure levels when used in large quantities on regular basis. Therefore, processed Licorice Root is also available that does not contain glycyrrhizic acid and can be found under the label of Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice Root (DGL root).

What are the Benefits of Licorice Root?

Licorice Root is known for its antiviral, antibacterial, antiinflammatory,antispasmodic, antioxidant, antidepressant, demulcent and expectorant activity. Due to its remarkable healing components, Licorice Root has been used in the treatment of many minor to severe health conditions which include asthma, body odour, chronic fatigue, depression, obesity, sore throat, cold and flu, coughs, bronchitis, dandruff, gingivitis and tooth decay, canker sores, infections caused by viruses such as hepatitis, fungal infections, athlete's foot, heartburn, constipation, peptic ulcer, liver problems, emphysema, psoriasis, shingles, skin rash, hyperpigmentation, baldness, tuberculosis, yeast infections, hormone regulation, mood swings, hot flashes associated with menopause, PMS, muscle cramps, prostate enlargement, bursitis, tendinitis, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis. Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice Root (DGL) is often suggested for high cholesterol levels, arterial plaque and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Preliminary studies have shown that Licorice root may suppress the multiplication of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and might be beneficial for people who are at the risk or are suffering from AIDS.

Uses of Licorice Root
• Depression

Researches show that Glycyrrhizic acid in Licorice Root may help with depression and anxiety by promoting adrenal gland function. Adrenal glands regulate stress hormones such as cortisol. The depleted stress hormone levels are usually responsible for chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety,and lowered resistance levels to allergens and infections. Also Licorice Root contains Asparagine amino acid which is required to maintain equilibrium by the nervous system. Therefore, drinking one cup of Licorice tea twice daily may be beneficial for depression, anxiety, nervousness and migraines caused by stress.

• High Cholesterol and Heart Disease

Studies have shown that Licorice Root may regulate the cholesterol levels by improving the bile flow. Researches suggest that bile acids account for cholesterol metabolism and elimination of excess cholesterol in the body. Also the antioxidant activity of Licorice Root may inhibit the development of arterial plaque and improve the capillary health. Therefore, taking one capsule of Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice Root extract daily for 30 days may help prevent cardiovascular diseases and regulate the cholesterol levels.

• Menopause

The phytoestrogenic and antioxidant activity of Licorice Root is believed to be helpful for hormonal disorders such as fatigue, mood swings, and hot flashes in menopausal women. Therefore, taking one capsule of Licorice Root extract daily may help balance and regulate the hormone production in women going through menopause.

•PMS and Menstrual Cramps

Licorice Root has antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and a mild estrogenic activity which may help with PMS symptoms such as mood swings, breast tenderness, nausea and bloating, as well as menstrual cramps. Drinking Licorice Root tea starting 3 days before expected period time may help with menstrual cramps, hormonal imbalance and help ease the PMS symptoms.

• Skin Disorders

People have been using Licorice Root salves and poultices in the treatment of skin rashes, eczema, psoriasis, and dry and itchy skin. A small clinical study has shown that the demulcent and anti-inflammatory agents in Licorice Root extract gel may reduce the symptoms of atopic dermatitis (eczema). Simply applying Licorice Root extract gel onto the affected area two to three times daily may help relieve the skin disorders.

• Shingles and Herpes

Licorice Root Extract has been used in the treatment of cold sores, shingles and herpes simplex. A few studies have shown that anti viral activity of Licorice Root extract may suppress the progression and recurrence of cold sores caused by herpes simplex virus. In some severe cases topical application of carbenoxolone cream, which is a synthetic derivative of glycyrrhizinic acid, has been beneficial for herpes virus. Simple remedy for shingles, herpes simplex and old sores is to take one capsule of Licorice Root extract twice daily and apply Licorice Root extract gel or ointment on to the affected area 4 to 5 times daily.

• Sore Throat and Cough

Researches suggest that saponin glycosides in Licorice Root have an expectorant activity which may help with dry cough, bronchitis, and asthma. An expectorant promotes the bronchial secretions and break down the thick phlegm making it easy to cough it out. The antiviral, anti-inflammatory and demulcent properties of Licorice Root may also help lubricate the irritated and inflamed respiratory tract and sore throat, relax bronchial spasms, and combat viral flu, cold and other respiratory tract infections including asthma. Simple remedy is to drink Licorice Root tea two to three times daily. To make the tea, shred 2 inches of Licorice Root into a boiling cup of water. let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Then strain out the shredded root and drink it warm. To regulate the quantity, Licorice Root tea bags can be used to make the tea.

• Stomach and Gastric Problems

Licorice Root is used to treat many intestinal tract and digestive abnormalities. The flavonoids and chalcones in Licorice Root may help with inflammation and irritation of the digestive tract and the mucus lining of the stomach caused by bacterial infection. Also soothing agents in Licorice Root may soothe and calm the digestion system promoting bowel health. Simple remedy is to drink Licorice Root tea two to three times daily. Licorice Root tea can be made by steeping the tea bag for 10 minutes into a boiling cup of water.

• Weight Loss

A study shows that participants had significant decrease in body fat mass after taking 3.5g of Licorice Root extract daily for two months. However, the consumption of Licorice Root is not recommended for longer periods. Therefore, even though the study suggests the regular use of the herb for two months, it is advised to stop the use of Licorice Root for one week after every two weeks during the two months period. For weight loss, balanced diet combined with regular physical activity may contribute to significant reduction in body fat mass.

What are the Side Effects of Licorice Root?

The overdose and long term consumption of Licorice Root may cause hypertension, hypokalemia (low blood potassium levels), cataracts, and salt and fluid retention. Therefore, it is not recommended for people with heart conditions. However, Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL) may be a healthy alternative for people who are heart patients. People who are allergic to Fabaceae (legume, pea, bean, or pulse) plant family, can be allergic to Licorice Root too since Licorice Root belongs to Fabaceae family . Due to the estrogenic activity of Licorice Root, it should be avoided by pregnant women. If you are taking any hormonal, or steroid drugs or any other medication or supplements, it is highly recommended to consult with your health care provider to discuss any possible interaction complications Licorice Root may cause.

Where and How to Buy Licorice Root

Licorice Root is available at herbal food stores in dried, powdered, capsules, tablets, liquid extracts, gels, ointments and tea blends forms. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice is also available for the treatment of health conditions which can be aggravated by glycyrrhizin in Licorice Root.




Licorice root could help treat diabetes: study

(AFP RELAXNEWS)

A new German study has found that licorice root may contain anti-diabetic properties.

In addition to having anti-inflammatory properties, substances called amorfrutins from the plant’s root were found to reduce blood sugar levels in mice.

Furthermore, the study, published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week , found the substance helped prevent the mice from developing a fatty liver and improved insulin resistance, leading scientists to suggest that licorice root could be used in the treatment of complex metabolic disorders.

In their study, the amorfrutins worked by activating various genes that reduced the plasma concentration of certain fatty acids and glucose, researchers said. The reduced glucose level, in turn, prevented the development of insulin resistance.

But before you go tucking into a bag of black licorice candy, scientists point out that the concentration of amorfrutins is too low to be effective in sweets or tea.

Extracting the nutrients in large concentrations, however, could be used on an industrial scale, they say.

Earlier this year, another study published in the Journal of Natural Products found that two substances in licorice were able to kill the major bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease.

LEARN MORE ABOUT DIABETES

In traditional Chinese herbal medicine, licorice root has also been used extensively to treat everything from respiratory to digestive problems.

Meanwhile, last year the US Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to adults over the age of 40 to limit their consumption of black licorice, which has been shown to cause irregular heart rhythms or arrhythmia.


Liquorice slows skins cancer cells: Compound found in root could hold key to beating most lethal form of the disease

By Pat Hagan (for MailOnline)

• Breakthrough could lead to new drug to combat malignant melanoma

Liquorice could hold the key to beating the most lethal form of skin cancer, scientists have discovered.

Research carried out in the US has identified a compound found in liquorice root which slowed the growth of cancer cells during laboratory tests.

Now they hope the tumour-busting compound can be developed into a new drug to combat malignant melanoma.

Previous studies have found liquorice contains an anti-cancer chemical called glycyrrhizin.

But attempts to turn it into a medicine have been hampered by the fact that long-term consumption of glycyrrhizin can cause high blood pressure and even swelling on the brain.

But experts at the University of Minnesota in the US have now found another ingredient - called Isoangustone A - which has the same benefits but without the dangerous side-effects.

Malignant melanoma kills around 1,700 people a year in the UK and is the third most common cancer in people aged 15 to 39.

Over-exposure to the sun’s rays is the biggest cause and since the mid-1990s there has been a 24 per cent increase in cases.

Some evidence suggests even a few early bouts of sunburn in childhood can be enough to trigger the cellular changes in moles that lead to skin cancer later in life.

Cells within moles become cancerous and start to divide uncontrollably, eventually spreading through the body. Some evidence suggests even a few early bouts of sunburn in childhood can be enough to trigger the cellular changes in moles that lead to skin cancer later in life

The disease has historically had a very high death rate as the cancer has often spread by the time patients seek help.

Recently new drugs have emerged that appear to halt the spread of tumours by ‘resetting’ the immune system so that it is able to attack malignant cells.

In the latest research, scientists extracted Isoangustone A from liquorice root and applied it to skin cancer cells in the laboratory.

The compound slowed down the rate at which melanoma cells reproduce, partly by blocking the release of certain proteins needed for them to flourish.

When the scientists gave the extract to mice with skin cancer, it had the same effect - suppressing growth of the tumour.

Liquorice is already a popular remedy for cold sores. A balm made from the root can reduce the severity of outbreaks.

But too much liquorice can be harmful. A Scottish study found children born to women who ate over 100 grammes a week during pregnancy performed worse in intelligence tests at school and the harmful compound glycyrrhizin was blamed.

In a report on their findings, published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, scientists said: ‘Liquorice root is known to possess anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.

We found Isoangustone A suppressed the proliferation of human melanoma cells and provides the basis for the potential development of a new agent.’


Growing Licorice in Your Herb Garden

By Terry Tucker Francis

MOTHER's Herb Garden provides a history and gardening guide for growing licorice in your herb garden.

Growing Licorice in Your Herb Garden

Lately, more and more people have begun to understand just how limited — in both variety and nutritional value our "modern" diets have become. This realization has sparked a new and wide spread interest in the culinary and therapeutic uses of herbs . . . those plants which — although not well-known today — were, just one short generation ago, honored "guests" on the dinner tables and in the medicine chests of our grandparents' homes. In this regular feature, MOTHER EARTH NEWS will examine the availability, cultivation, and benefits of our "forgotten" vegetable foods and remedies . . . and — we hope — help prevent the loss of still another bit of ancestral lore.

You might be surprised to learn that good old-fashioned licorice has an impressive — and in some cases royal — family history. Great stores of the flavorful root were found, alongside priceless art treasures and jewels, in the 3,000-year-old tomb of King Tut. In fact, licorice was considered to be such a valuable herb that no Egyptian king would be without it on his journey into eternity. And even today, a beverage called mai sus, brewed from the sweet yellow root of the licorice shrub, is popular in the Middle East.

The Royal History of Medicinal Licorice Root

The botanical name for licorice, Glycyrrhiza glabra, incorporates the Greek glykys (sweet) and rhiza (root). If you pronounce the tongue-twisting "glycyrrhiza" quickly and casually, you'll know how it came to be "licorice" in English.

This perennial shrub (it's also known as sweetwood or sweet root) grows wild in Asia Minor, Greece, Spain, southern Italy, Iraq, Syria, Russia, and northern China. Large quantities are now shipped into northern Europe for various commercial purposes, but sweet root may have been taken there first by the Romans who ate it because they believed it increased personal stamina.

Different uses of this medicinal herb have developed over a number of centuries. An old Arabian remedy for skin lesions and blisters, for instance, involved dusting powdered licorice onto the affected skin. The ancient Hindus made a tonic of milk, sugar, and licorice to increase virility, the Chinese have long consumed great quantities of this wonder herb to ward off old age and medieval Europeans believed the root to be so nutritional and thirst-quenching that a small piece held under the tongue could keep a person alive for 11 or 12 days!

Most of our modern supply of licorice is commercially grown for its medicinal value as a natural laxative and for use as an ingredient in cough mixtures. The thick, black syrup extracted by boiling chopped sweet root is 50 times sweeter than sugar cane, and helps disguise less palatable ingredients.

Grow Your Own Licorice

Of course, most of us know licorice best in the form of the chewy twisted sweets we were fond of as children. Now you can't grow candy sticks in your garden, but you certainly can grow licorice plants from live roots. The wrinkled, brownish yellow rootstock will produce — as it comes up each year — a five-foot shrub.

A dry, stony soil in full sun is best for the herb. The plant's stems will bear alternate pinnate leaves — with three to seven pairs of dark green oval leaflets — and pealike, pale lavender or yellow flowers will blossom throughout the summer.

Licorice stems make a tasty tea.

Homegrown licorice stems peeled of their bark — can be used to prepare a tasty tea . . . or even as teething sticks for small children!


Ayurvedic Remedies To Cure Chronic Gastritis

By Tanushree Kulkarni

Our lifestyle has highly changed, wherein we work late hours, consume junk food, lead a stressful life, and drink an excessive amount of coffee and tea to put ourselves through the long day.

This leads to an impaired digestion and problems like acidity. If this problem is not cured, it can lead to the condition of chronic gastritis.

Loss of appetite, nausea, depression, uneasiness, and bloated tummy are some of the problems that are commonly experienced by people suffering from chronic gastritis.

Chronic gastritis generally refers to a situation wherein inflammation of the inner lining of the stomach is caused.

In Ayurveda, the condition of gastritis is referred to as Urdhavaga Amalapitta. This condition is generally caused by vitiation of the "Pitta" dosha. According to Ayurveda, the impairment of pitta dosha is caused by reasons such as taking stale, spicy, rotten or mismatched food. It later leads to hyperacidity or the condition of gastritis.

There are many medicines available to cure the problem of gastritis; however, we would recommend going the herbal route. Ayurveda recommends many herbs and remedies for the treatment of chronic gastritis. So, today, let us unearth this scripture of good health and see what it recommends to cure this situation, in this article, have a look.

According to Ayurveda, the impairment of pitta dosha is caused by reasons such as taking stale, spicy, rotten or mismatched food. It later leads to hyperacidity or the condition of gastritis.

There are many medicines available to cure the problem of gastritis; however, we would recommend going the herbal route. Ayurveda recommends many herbs and remedies for the treatment of chronic gastritis.

So, today, let us unearth this scripture of good health and see what it recommends to cure this situation, in this article, have a look.

Liquorice Root

Licorice root is popularly known as Mulethi, which is a great herb prescribed by Ayurveda for a variety of ailments. It is especially effective in treating various digestive issues that plague us such as stomach ulcers and chronic gastritis. It also helps in relieving the inflammation caused in the stomach.

Mix 1 tbsp of mulethi powder with ghee and honey. Now, consume this every day on an empty stomach till you are completely cured. You can also consume liquorice tea by infusing liquorice in some water and consuming it every day on an empty stomach.

Amla

Amla is a powerhouse herb and is recommended by Ayurveda to those suffering from issues related to the stomach. It is helpful in treating indigestion, vomiting, bleeding or chronic acidity.

Drinking fresh amla juice every day on an empty stomach will help in alleviating the situation of gastritis.

Ginger

Ginger is commonly used to flavour food in the Indian kitchens, but it has medicinal benefits too. It contains a compound known as gingerol which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also aids in digestion.

Chewing on ginger root before the meal helps in curing the problem of chronic gastritis. It helps fight the bacteria that cause gastritis and also cures the problem completely.

Fennel

Fennel seeds, popularly known as saunf, are used as a digestive to be had after meals. This helps in curing indigestion and relieves acidity. It is also helpful to those suffering from inflammation of the digestive tract.It relaxes the muscles and helps in curing acidity.

Consume an infusion of fennel seeds soaked in water overnight for a great relief from chronic gastritis.

Cardamom

Cardamom has this sweet-spicy flavour that helps in giving a delicious flavour to our food, but it is also a useful herb when it comes to treating indigestion. Its beneficial quality helps in soothing the inflamed stomach muscles and also curing the side effects, such as heartburn that is caused by chronic gastritis.

Chew cardamom every day before food to treat the problem of indigestion.

Curd

Curd is a beneficial remedy to treat the problem of gastritis. It protects the digestive tract and helps in treating any bacterial infection. Consume a bowl of curd every day with your meals to treat chronic gastritis.


Liquorice could be used to treat Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

By Fiona Parker

Currently 850,000 people in the UK are living with Alzheimer’s, but this number is expected to soar to over one million by 2025

Liquorice root extract could be used to treat Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s, a study revealed.

Salicylic acid, a bitter chemical found in some plants and a critical hormone for regulating plants’ immune systems , is also a component in aspirin.

It binds to the enzyme GAPDH, which is believed to play a role in neurodegenerative diseases stopping the enzyme moving into a cell’s nucleus where it can trigger its death.

But derivatives, such as from liquorice or synthesised versions, were even more effective than aspirin in stopping the enzyme.

Currently 850, 000 people in the UK are living with Alzheimer’s, but this number is expected to soar to over one million by 2025.

There are around 127,000 Parkinson’s sufferers and 12 in 100,000 have Huntington’s - an inherited condition that damages nerve cells in the brain.

The anti-Parkinson’s drug deprenyl also blocks GAPDH’s entry into the nucleus but the study suggests salicylic acid can achieve the same goal.

Glyceraldehyde 3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (GADPH) is a central enzyme in glucose metbolism, but it also plays additional roles in cells.

Under oxidative stress - an excess of free radicals and other reactive compounds -GAPDH is modified and then enters the nucleus of neurons.

It increases protein turnover, the balance between protein synthesis and protein degradation.

More synthesis than breakdown indicates an anabolic state that builds lean tissues, more breakdown than synthesis indicates a catabolic state that burns lean tissues.

The finding found GADPH led to a catabolic state and cell death which occurs in brain cells in neurodegenerative conditions.

Professor Solomon Snyder, from Johns Hopkins University said: “The enzyme GAPDH, long thought to function solely in glucose metabolism, is now known to participate in intracellular signalling.

“The new study establishes that GAPDH is a target for salicylate drugs related to aspirin, and hence may be relevant to the therapeutic actions of such drugs.”

Previous research has identified ‘targets’ that the acid binds to in plants, and many of these have equivalent targets in humans.

Earlier this year lead author Professor Daniel Klessig at Boyce Thompson Institute and Cornell University identified another novel target of salicylic acid called HMGB1 (High Mobility Group Box 1).

HMGB1 causes inflammation and is associated with several diseases, including arthritis, lupus, sepsis, atherosclerosis and certain cancers.

Low levels of salicylic acid block these pro-inflammatory activities, and the salicylic acid derivatives were 40 to 70 times more potent than salicylic acid at inhibiting these pro-inflammatory activities.

Professor Klessig said: “A better understanding of how salicylic acid and its derivatives regulate the activities of GAPDH and HMGB1, coupled with the discovery of much more potent synthetic and natural derivatives of salicylic acid, provide great promise for the development of new and better salicylic acid-based treatments of a wide variety of prevalent, devastating diseases.”

Salicylic acid is used in skin care products including anti-dandruff shampoos and acne treatments.

Natural sources include blackberries, blueberries, grapes, kiwi fruits, apricots, green pepper, olives, tomatoes, radish, chicory, almonds, water chestnuts and peanuts.

The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.


Liquorice slows skins cancer cells: Compound found in root could hold key to beating most lethal form of the disease

By Pat Hagan (for MailOnline)

• Breakthrough could lead to new drug to combat malignant melanoma

Liquorice could hold the key to beating the most lethal form of skin cancer, scientists have discovered.

Research carried out in the US has identified a compound found in liquorice root which slowed the growth of cancer cells during laboratory tests.

Now they hope the tumour-busting compound can be developed into a new drug to combat malignant melanoma.

Previous studies have found liquorice contains an anti-cancer chemical called glycyrrhizin.

But attempts to turn it into a medicine have been hampered by the fact that long-term consumption of glycyrrhizin can cause high blood pressure and even swelling on the brain.

But experts at the University of Minnesota in the US have now found another ingredient - called Isoangustone A - which has the same benefits but without the dangerous side-effects.

Malignant melanoma kills around 1,700 people a year in the UK and is the third most common cancer in people aged 15 to 39.

Over-exposure to the sun’s rays is the biggest cause and since the mid-1990s there has been a 24 per cent increase in cases.


Benefits and Side Effects of Licorice Root Tea

By August McLaughlin

Growing wild in Europe and Asia, licorice has been used to treat a variety of conditions for thousands of years. Standard dosage for licorice tea, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, is 1 to 5 grams of dried licorice root steeped in boiling water, consumed three times . Prepared licorice teas and extract, which you can add to hot water, are also available. Licorice should not be consumed longer than four to six weeks and is unsuitable for pregnant women. For best results, seek pre-approval from your doctor.

Potential Benefits

Licorice root can act as a soothing agent and expectorant, which could make it useful for reducing phlegm and other upper-respiratory symptoms, says the UMMC, such as sore throat and coughing. Licorice root is also used to treat ulcer symptoms, canker sores and digestive problems, such as acid reflux and indigestion. As a weight loss aid, licorice tea may help reduce body fat.

Effectiveness

Because licorice in all forms, including tea, has not been thoroughly investigated, the overall effectiveness remains unknown. In one study, however, published in the "Journal of Health Science" in 2006, 103 overweight adults consumed licorice oil or a placebo for 12 weeks. People who consumed the licorice oil were more likely to maintain their body weight, while those who took the placebo tended to gain weight. A limited number of small studies have shown cholesterol-lowering, body fat-lowering and acid reflux-reducing benefits of licorice, says the UMMC. One small study showed that a warm licorice tincture, another word for tea, improved canker sore symptoms.

Side Effects

Some licorice contains a substance called glycyrrhizin. If your tea contains glycyrrhizin, you could experience serious side effects, according to the UMMC, including hormonal problems, headaches, fatigue, high blood pressure, water retention and heart attacks. Higher doses of licorice tend to pose the most glycyrrhizin-related risks. Lesser amounts of licorice can cause arm and leg numbness and muscle pain.

Drug Interactions

Licorice may interfere with medications, including high blood pressure medications, corticosteroid medications and antidepressants known as MAO inhibitors. Drinking the tea may cause these drugs to work less effectively, worsen side effects or, in the case of blood pressure medications, cause potassium buildup in your body. Licorice may also increase your risk for toxic effects of digoxin -- a drug used to treat heartbeat abnormalities. Women taking oral contraceptives have developed high blood pressure and low potassium levels while consuming licorice, says the UMMC. Discussing licorice root tea with your doctor is particularly important if you are taking medications or supplements or have an illness of any kind.


Licorice, the Sweet Root With Lots of Health Benefits

By Conan Milner (Epoch Times)

Say “licorice” and most people think of those black, chewy ropes from a bygone era of candy. But licorice is also a plant related to beans and lentils, and its root is one of the most important and most used herbs in ancient Egypt, Greece, India, and China.

The most striking thing about licorice root is its sweetness, about 50 times sweeter than sugar. The Chinese call it gan cao (“sweet herb”). The word “licorice” is the product of a centuries’ long phonetic corruption of the Greek word for the plant, glyrrhiza, which means “sweet root.”

If you can appreciate its heavy anise character, licorice is one of the best tasting herbs available. It is found in a great number of traditional herbal formulas because it takes the edge off the foul flavors of other herbs.

In Chinese medicine, licorice’s sweet and smooth quality makes it the perfect harmonizing herb, and that’s why it’s found in so many classic Chinese formulas. According to Chinese herbalists, the addition of a small amount licorice makes a formula more effective and minimizes the potentially toxic nature of other herbs, preventing unwanted side effects.


22 Amazing Benefits Of Licorice Root Tea For Skin Hair And Health

By Nithya Shrikant

The sweet sap of the licorice root is sweeter than sugar. No wonder it is called ‘Iratti Madhuram’ [Double Sweet] in Malayalam. Known botanically as Glycyrrhiza Glabra, the roots of licorice have been used for its numerous benefits since ages.

Packed with coumarins, flavonoid, volatile oils, glycosides, chalcones, plant sterols, anethole, and glycyrrhizic acid, this anise seed look alike is a rich source of various medicinal properties. A tea made with the roots of licorice is known to be extremely beneficial for treating throat infections. It is also known to offer relief from various other health conditions including depression, canker sores, assorted infections, ulcers, skin rashes, liver disorders, menopausal issues to name a few.

How to Make Licorice Root Tea at Home?

• Ingredients:

• Water – 4 oz
• Dried licorice roots – 1 tsp

• How to Make:

• Place a saucepan filled with water on medium heat.
• Once the water turns hot, before it starts boiling, add the dried licorice roots.
• Allow the mixture to come to a boiling point.
• Turnoff the burner and steep for 5 to 7 minutes.
• Place a fine mesh strainer above a cup and pour the mixture into it.
• Discard the roots.

Your licorice root tea is ready!


• Tips:

• Add 1 inch fresh ginger while steeping the tea, if you are using it as a natural remedy for cold and cough.

Now that your licorice root tea is ready, let’s read a little about what you can expect from it!

Skin Benefits of Licorice Root Tea:

1. Soothes and Hydrates Skin:

Regular use of this tea is known to keep the skin moisturized and hydrated from within. You can even apply cool licorice tea on your skin and leave it for a while before washing off for a visibly soft skin.

2. Natural Source of Fairness:

Licorice brightens the skin, making it look fairer. Prepare a face pack by mixing the tea with Fullers Earth and turmeric powder. Apply on your face, allow it to dry, and rinse off with normal water. You can add a few drops of olive oil, coconut oil, or even almond oil to keep your skin hydrated.

3. Cure for Skin Disorders:

Applying cooled licorice tea helps in healing various skin disorders, including psoriasis, eczema, skin rashes, and dry skin. The anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and demulcent properties of this tea help to reduce inflammation, redness, and paves way for faster healing. The hydrating nature traps the moisture and prevents the skin from drying out.

4. Natural Sunscreen:

Yes, inclusion of this tea in your diet can protect your skin from the harmful UV rays. A thick decoction like tea can be used as a sunscreen to safeguard the skin from sun burns, tan, and harsh UVA/UVB rays. It also prevents the loss of moisture from the skin due to excessive exposure to the scorching sun. Plus, it offers guaranteed fairness and smoothness. Apply a pack by mixing in the tea with crushed cucumbers and apply it on the affected area if you are already suffering from sun damage. Hair Benefits of Licorice Root Tea:

5. Good for the Scalp:

Known for its hydrating properties, a tea made from licorice root had been used by ancient Greeks to keep the scalp moisturized. It soothes the dry scalp and prevents various scalp conditions like dandruff and scabs. Massage the tea along with few drops of coconut oil on your scalp, leave for one hour, and wash off for a moisturized scalp.

6. Helps with Hair Growth:

Topical application as well as oral use of licorice tea is known to be beneficial for hair growth. It traps the essential moisture in the scalp, paving way for the lush growth of hair follicles. This, in turn, ensures you of radiant, lush tresses.

7. Prevents Premature Baldness:

Even though not proven scientifically, people have been drinking licorice tea to prevent premature balding triggered by excessive hair loss since ancient times. It makes sense to follow age old wisdom at times.

8. Effective Hair Treatment:

A pack prepared by mixing licorice root tea with henna and amla powder can be used as an effective hair treatment for various hair conditions, including sun damage, dandruff, split ends, and dull hair. Health Benefits of Licorice Root Tea:

9. Helps to Combat Depression:

As mentioned above, licorice root tea is a natural anti-depressant. It stimulates the functioning of the adrenal glands, regulating the synthesis of cortisol. A lower level of this hormone is a major cause of stress, anxiety, chronic fatigue, and nervousness. By maintaining the equilibrium, the tea ensures that your mood is elevated, and depression is warded off. Just include two cups of this tea in your diet daily and bid adieu to depression forever.

10. Natural Remedy for Cold:

This herbal tea is one of the most sought after and most effective remedy for cold and cough. While the antiviral property fights the infections, the tea also ensures that the body’s immunity power gets a boost. Once your immunity is pumped up, infections slowly vanish by themselves. It is also a good way to ease sore throat. A warm licorice tea eases inflammation and pain, ensuring faster recovery from cold. The expectorant properties of this herbal tea also ensures that the clogged nasal passages as well as lungs are cleared, guaranteeing quicker relief. That is why the licorice root tea is recommended by Ayurvedic doctors as a cure for various bronchial issues. So remember—three cups of licorice root tea a day keeps cold away!

11. Good for Arthritis:

The anti-inflammatory properties of this tea helps in easing the pain experienced due to inflammatory conditions like arthritis. Along with reducing the pain, it also alleviates the swelling experienced. The joint movements also improve with regular use of this tea.

12. Safeguards you from Cardiac Disorders:

Studies indicate that this tea has the potential to stimulate the flow of bile and can help in keeping the levels of cholesterol under control. The lower the levels of bad cholesterol, the better your heart health will be. Plus, it is a potential antioxidant agent. This actually impedes plaque from getting attached to the arterial walls, improving the health of capillaries. A lower cholesterol level together with a smooth circulation of blood ensures that you are safe from cardiovascular disorders.

13. Good for your Liver:

This tea has powerful detoxifying properties. Two cups of this herbal tea a day ensures that your liver is free from toxins. It empowers the liver and puts your worries about hepatitis to rest.

14. Cure for Low Blood Pressure:

Low blood pressure, or hypotension, is one condition that is actually quite difficult to cure. Luckily, this tea is a safe way to treat low BP. Two cups of this inexpensive tea can pep up your blood pressure levels to the desired level by warding off the stress factors such as dizziness, fatigue, and nausea.

15. Herbal Remedy for Stomach Disorders:

Licorice root extracts are known to possess mild laxative properties. A tea prepared by infusing these roots can be used to ease constipation. The chalcone and flavonoid present in these roots combat the irritation and inflammation triggered by bacterial infection in your stomach. The soothing properties soothe the inflamed mucus lining and strengthen your digestive system, offering guaranteed relief from gastric issues. Make sure you sip two to three cups of warm tea to reap the benefits.

16. Beneficial for Yeast Infections:

Many a time, women are subjected to vaginal yeast infections caused by Candida Albicans. Studies suggest that oral intake as well as topical application of this tea has the power to combat these infections and heal the condition.

17. Good for Diabetics:

Licorice root extracts are excellent sugar substitutes. While preparing regular tea, add licorice root tea instead of sugar—sweetness and health together in one cup!

18. Aids in Weight Loss:

Studies suggest that 3.5 grams of licorice root, when used in the form of tea, for about 8 weeks can help in lowering the body fat mass to a significant extent. Include just two cups of tea a day – each cup containing 1.75 grams of this root – along with a balanced diet and healthy workout regimen and see visible changes in your weight in 12 weeks.

19. Beneficial During Menopause:

Packed with antioxidant and phytoestrogens, this tea has shown positive impacts on the hormonal issues associated with menopause, including mood swings, hot flashes, and fatigue. Just two cups of the tea a day can help in creating a hormonal equilibrium, helping women tide over this messy phase.

20. Helps with PMS:

The tea is crammed with anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Plus, it has admirable levels of estrogenic properties too. A synergic action of these is known to ease premenstrual symptoms such as bloating, nausea, mood swings, and breast tenderness. Start including 2 cups of this tea three days before the expected date to combat menstrual cramps in a better way.

21. Natural Detoxifying Agent:

The detoxifying properties of this tea can be used to lose weight and even to flush out toxins and stones from the kidneys.

22. Home Remedy for Canker Ulcers:

Canker sores alias Apthous ulcers are painful inflammations that appear on the tongue and cheeks. Warm licorice tea can be used as a gargle for quick relief from these painful conditions. Just gargle with this tea 4 times a day – and see how fast the pain subsides and your sores heal.

Side Effects of Licorice Root:

Yes, as with other herbal teas, this one too comes with its own set of side effects. Excessive use of this tea is known to lead to the following negative effects:

• Dangerously low potassium levels in blood
• Hypertension
• Cataract
• Fluid retention

The roots are known to possess estrogenic properties. Hence, it is advisable for pregnant women to avoid the use of licorice root tea.

These were the benefits of licorice root tea for health, skin, and hair. Have we left out something? If so, share with us right below because sharing is learning…



5 natural cold sore remedies

By Chanie Kirschner

Once you have the virus, cold sores can appear with little warning. Here's what you can do to treat and prevent these unsightly blemishes.

Ugh. Cold sores are positively awful. Not only do they hurt, but they can make you feel like holing up in a dark room because you don’t want anyone else to see that wonderful-looking growth on your lip. Am I right?

Once you have the virus, you will have it for life, and cold sores — which are usually caused by the herpes simplex virus — may pop up from time to time, but most likely within the first two years of getting the virus. Type 1 herpes (oral herpes) is a virus that spreads through contact and usually passes from person to person through blister fluid or another fluid infected from the blister fluid, such as saliva. The most likely means of transmision is kissing, but if you share a drink with someone who has a cold sore, it’s possible that you could get the virus. Cold sores do heal on their own, and annoying as they may be, there are steps you can take to prevent them and things you can do to help them go away faster.

What do you do once you’re the lucky recipient of the herpes simplex virus? Know your triggers. For some, it’s stress. For others, it’s lack of sleep. Know what brings your cold sores on, and do your best to avoid those things. Also, make sure to keep adequate sun protection (lip balm and sunscreen) on and around your lips — because too much sun can cause a cold sore outbreak.

What about once you have a cold sore? There are some natural remedies you can try:

Milk. If you feel one lurking beneath the surface about to make its grand entrance, try soaking a cotton ball in milk and applying the cotton ball to the affected area. Some swear by this natural remedy to stop the cold sore dead in its tracks.

Licorice. Real licorice, that is. The stuff you buy in the candy aisle of the grocery store ain’t gonna do much (though you might will it to). Try making a licorice tea and applying it topically or drinking it while you have a cold sore.

Ice or cold compress. You might try putting an ice pack on the cold sore as well. Some say this can speed up the healing process and it definitely feels good since ice works as a numbing agent.

Petroleum jelly. Don’t try to cover the cold sore with makeup, as this can aggravate the cold sore and make it worse. (Hearkening back to your awkward high school days, you might remember that covering pimples in makeup has much the same result.) If you insist on putting something on it, try some Vaseline, as this will create a barrier and moisterize the area.

Lemon balm ointment. You can buy this ointment at most drugstores. Lemon balm has been used as a calming herb for centuries alternative medicine studies have shown that it can actually reduce the redness and swelling of cold sores in as little as 2 days.

Either way, they can be treated with any of the remedies above. Of course, you can also try over-the-counter topical ointments like Abreva. Or if they’re popping up really often, ask your doctor about a prescription cream or antiviral therapy. The creams won’t necessarily make the cold sore go away faster, but they can relieve any pain or itching caused by the sore.

Good luck to you, and I hope by the time you’re reading this, that cold sore is gone!




Liquorice loaded with health benefits

By ANNABEL ROSS

Are you a liquorice lover? In news that will have fans reaching for the allsorts, The Atlantic has published an article suggesting that liquorice root contains anti-diabetic properties.

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, Germany identified a group of natural substances within liquorice root called amorfrutins.

Testing on mice, the scientists found that the consumption of amorfrutins reduced blood sugar levels and inflammation that would otherwise be present in the mice suffering from Type 2 diabetes.

The amorfrutins also prevented the development of a fatty liver - a common side-effect of type 2 diabetes and a high-fat diet.

Type 2 diabetes generally affects people who are already overweight or obese, causing the body to become resistant to insulin.

Another action of amorfrutins is to bind to a nuclear receptor called PPARy which activates various genes that reduce fatty acids and glucose in the blood.

The reduced glucose level prevents the development of insulin resistance, thereby blocking the cause of Type 2 diabetes

But before you march off to your nearest dairy, take note. "The amount of amorfrutin molecules in a piece of licorice available for human consumption is far too low to cause the same beneficial effects that were identified in the diabetic mice."

In response, the researchers developed a method of extracting sufficient concentrations of amorfrutins from the Amorpha fruticosa bush in which they are also found, which could be used to produce amorfrutin extracts on an industrial scale.

So is there any benefit to be had in eating liquorice sweets? Well, it depends on the sweet.

What you're looking for is products containing liquorice extract or liquorice root. You won't get the same medicinal properties from anise oil, which is what is used to flavour many commercial liquorice products.

Even if the sweet does contain extract, the quantity is usually far too small to have any sort of health benefit.

As nutritionist Catherine Saxelby notes, Darrell Lea liquorice contains just 3 per cent liquorice extract, coming in after flour, sugar, molasses, and glucose syrup on the ingredient list.

Manufacturers of liquorice sweets are quick to point out that liquorice is a low-fat food.

Saxelby says that while liquorice is a healthier snack than milk chocolate, care must be taken with portion size.

"There's nothing wrong with having a few pieces of liquorice three or four times a week, so long as it's your only 'treat food' that week," says Saxelby.

"It's not safe for coeliacs though; the main ingredient of liquorice is wheat flour."

Those with high blood pressure should also avoid the salty Dutch variety of liquorice, she says.

Liquorice is slightly lower in sugar and carbohydrates than most other lollies, and contains small amounts of protein, iron and calcium.

Real liquorice also contains glycyrrhizin, a substance obtained from the root of the liquorice plant.

Glycyrrhizin is the active agent in liquorice that combats illnesses such as upper respiratory infections, and is said to lessen the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

But the amount of real liquorice found in liquorice sweets is not standardised, making it far more safe and effective to take the recommended quantity of liquorice root or extract as a pill or powder.

Those with high blood pressure may want to consider the deglycyrrhizinated (DGL) form of the product.

In spite of its benefits, continued consumption of large amounts of glycyrrhizin may reduce blood potassium levels, lead to water retention, and increase blood pressure.

Other ailments liquorice is used to treat include:

Hepatitis: The anti-inflammatory properties of liquorice is said to help calm hepatitis-associated liver inflammation. Liquorice is also said to fight the hepatitis C virus and supplies valuable antioxidant compounds that help maintain the overall health of the liver. Results from large-scale high quality studies are not available.

Dyspepsia (Heartburn): According to the US National Library of Medicine, liquorice may be an effective treatment for heartburn when used in combination with other herbs. Sold as Iberogast or STW5, research suggests that the formulation significantly reduces severity of acid reflux and associated pain, cramping, nausea, and vomiting.

Eczema: In one study, liquorice gel, applied to the skin, helped relieve symptoms of itching, swelling, and redness, reports the University of Maryland Medical Centre. A gel with 2 per cent liquorice worked better than a gel with 1 per cent liquorice.

Cancer: Laboratory studies have identified several substances in liquorice that may help prevent DNA mutations, inhibit tumour formation, or even kill cancer cells, says The American Cancer Society. While animal studies suggest some chemicals from liquorice might be useful in preventing or treating some forms of cancer, human clinical trials are yet to be carried out.

Liquorice has also been associated with weight loss. According to the University of Maryland, consumption of liquorice was linked to body fat mass in one study.

Another study found that glycyrrhetinic acid (a component of liquorice) reduced the thickness of fat on the thigh in human subjects.

A study carried out by Japanese scientists and published in Obesity Research and Clinical Practice linked the consumption of liquorice flavonoid oil to significant decreases in total body fat mass, weight, BMI and LDL ("bad") cholesterol.

Medicinal forms of liquorice include wafers, tinctures, tablets, lozenges, teas, loose dried herbs, creams and capsules.

To treat a cough, wholehealthmd.com suggests 1 teaspoon of liquid liquorice extract in 1 cup of hot water 3 times a day.

For PMS, 200 mg of standardised extract three times a day for the 10 days preceding your period is recommended.

Last year in Germany, where around 500 tonnes of liquorice are imported each year, liquorice was named "the medicinal plant of 2012".

Professor Johannes Mayer, an expert on the history of medicinal botany at the University of Würzburg, noted the myriad indications of liquorice, used medicinally since ancient times.

"Liquorice is special because it can quickly soothe sore throats and coughs and was used centuries ago to treat coughing, hoarseness and asthma by Ancient Greek and Egyptian physicians," he said.


Natural Health Remedy: The Benefits of Licorice Root

(Best Health)

The health benefits of licorice root are astounding; it's time we stop thinking of it as a candy ingredient and start taking it seriously

Learn about the health benefits of licorice root

When you think of licorice you probably think of a sweet red chewy candy stick, or maybe the anise-flavoured black licorice we all seem to either love or hate. A real old-fashioned licorice stick is actually the dried root of the licorice plant. Sink your teeth into one and what happens next just might surprise you.

Hidden inside is a super-sweet compound called glycyrrhizin. This and dozens more chemicals lend this ancient herb its healing medical potential. For thousands of years, licorice has had a well-deserved reputation for soothing irritations such as sore throats and upset tummies and relieving congestion. Now it appears it might also have other, yet more powerful properties, though there are a few downsides worth noting, too.

So what are some of the health benefits? Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is used to treat indigestion, hepatitis C, memory loss, cancer and skin infections. Traditionally it was used as treatment for stomach ulcers, heartburn, indigestion, toothache, fever, asthma, bronchitis and coughs, too.

How to take licorice root as a supplement

Peeled licorice root is available in dried and powdered forms and as capsules, tablets and liquid extracts. The safest dose for most adults to get the full health benefits is 1 to 5 grams of licorice daily containing 1 to 10 milligrams of the active ingredient glycyrrhizin, for 4 to 6 weeks.

Note that in large amounts and in people with hypertension or heart, kidney or lung disease, licorice that contains glycyrrhizin can cause adverse reactions. Choosing deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL)’licorice with the glycyrrhizin removed’can lower the risk of serious side effects.

Stomach protection

For a time, licorice was considered a natural and effective remedy for stomach ulcers, after Dutch physician FE Revers used it to treat his patients. Intrigued, researchers in the 1950s discovered that licorice compounds worked by triggering the release of stomach-protecting mucus and by protecting the stomach’s lining from the ravages of pepsin, a powerful digestive enzyme.

It has since been shown, however, that long-term exposure to the glycyrrhizin in licorice can boost blood pressure, cause water and sodium retention and lower levels of potassium in the body, making it unsafe for extended use.

And although researchers in India have experimented successfully with a safer, glycyrrhizin- free licorice to ease ulcer pain, today most people take antibiotics to wipe out the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers, and most scientists have switched their attention to other exciting healing possibilities in licorice.

Stalling cancer

Can licorice stand up to cancer? A lab study conducted at India’s Roland Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2011 says yes. The compounds licochalcone-A, glabridin and licocoumarone halted the growth of or killed, breast cancer, prostate cancer and leukemia cells. Glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhizic acid also put the brakes on the formation of tumours in skin, colon, liver, uterine and breast cancers.

This use of licorice has not been widely tested in humans, but one herbal prostate-cancer formula that contained licorice, PC-SPES (which is no longer available), was shown in human studies to slow the progression of some prostate cancers. Certainly, licorice is no substitute for conventional cancer therapy, but scientists think it has potential.

Fighting infection

There are other health benefits being looked at into the future, too. It looks like licorice could be a mainstay in medicine’s arsenal of infection-fighters. A 2010 University of Texas study revealed that glycyrrhizin helps damaged skin create bacteria-fighting proteins called antimicrobial peptides, which are an important defense against infection. This could lead to treatments to counter antibiotic-resistant infections, such as those that sometimes occur in severe burns and can be fatal.

Perhaps most surprisingly, this sweet root could even be a dentist’s dream. Two licorice compounds, licoricidin and licorisoflavan A, have been shown, in lab studies, to kill off 2 major types of cavity-causing bacteria and 3 types of bacteria that fuel gum disease.

Anti-stress and anti-inflammatory effects

Licorice may be good for the brain, too. During a 2004 study at the University of Edinburgh, older men took a licorice extract containing the compound carbenoxolone and their verbal memory and fluency (the ability to put thoughts into words), improved. Why is that? Carbenoxolone seems to help by inhibiting a brain enzyme that helps make stress hormones, which contribute to age-related brain changes. Scientists say more research is needed but that a growing stack of lab research backs licorice’s potential for memory enhancement. In a mouse study, for example, animals that received licorice extract excelled at learning and memory tests.


What does licorice root do in the body – 5 top benefits

(Ask Naij)
What useful licorice root properties do you know? Read the article to learn about all advantages of this remedy.

Licorice is one of the most unusual medical plants. Thanks to various curative properties Ancient Chinese healers included it in the list of 50 main medicinal herbs. Bright taste makes treatment process quite pleasant.

The main miracle part of licorice is its root. It is actively used as medicine and mean for maintenance of health.

What does licorice root do?

Licorice root extract has a various chemical composition: vitamins, valuable elements and acids. It does it universal remedy.

This root strengthens capillaries and reduces their fragility, removes spasms, helps to clean various inflammations and accelerate regeneration of cells. Licorice properties strength immunity, help to struggle with allergy and infections and to resist to stresses more actively. Licorice also blocks pain and is successfully used in treatment of gastritis.

It is also successfully used in treatment of cough. Its medicinal properties help at pneumonia and bronchitis. In addition, licorice root tea is often used at treatment of stomach diseases.

Where to buy licorice root?

Production of licorice root is rather widespread in Nigeria. You can buy it in a drugstore or order in online store.

Licorice root benefits

Licorice root is one of the most popular food additives recommended for treatment and prevention of diseases of digestive tract. Researches note high efficiency of this natural product in maintenance of healthy digestion, stimulation of gastric juice and fast digestion of food, and also in prevention of heartburn.

The acid,

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