Licorice, Glycyrrhiza glabra, has considerably different strengths than the strong candy flavor that has come to be associated with it. Licorice root is an adaptogen herb that grows in Europe, the Mediterranean, and Asia. It has been used for countless purposes over thousands of years, including as a leaky gut treatment.
Although some members of the legume family, including licorice, can be found in the United States, Glycyrrhiza glabra is predominantly indigenous to Europe and Asia.
Additionally, “Chinese licorice” could be listed on items. In that situation, the second variety, Glycyrrhiza Uralensis, is probably the culprit.
The advantages of licorice root are largely the same for both types. But it’s important to remember that Glabra is often the variety mentioned when talking about licorice root.
The term Glycyrrhiza recalls the plant’s best-known moniker sweet root. We can understand why our forefathers were motivated to transform the extract into candy because it can be 30 to 50 times sweeter than sugar!
Since ancient times, Chinese medicine has employed anti-inflammatory licorice root for conditions like coughs and colds, gastrointestinal problems, and problems with female reproduction.
It’s noteworthy to know that licorice was utilized as a “guide medication” in traditional Chinese medicine. Licorice root was combined with other herbs and treatments to boost their effects and essentially direct the other herbs to the areas of the body where they would be most helpful. 2013 saw Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine observe and evaluate its use.
The advantages of licorice as a supplement were not disregarded in Europe either. Ancient usage of licorice root date back to the Middle Ages and beyond, including in Greece and Rome.
By the 20th century, manufacturing had made it possible to remove the root for use in drugs and then extract it for use as a candy sweetener.
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You can still find genuine licorice candy, which is typically referred to as black licorice to distinguish it from the red imitation candy. However, that familiarly strong licorice flavor is typically replicated by the similarly flavored anise seed (a common biblical herb).
The FDA issued a warning to consumers to be aware that black licorice is more than simply a tasty pleasure due to the therapeutic potency and advantages of licorice root.
But why do we only consider licorice root as a candy flavoring if it has such a wide range of health benefits? What does DGL licorice root entail, and do you need to purchase specific licorice root supplements?
Let’s go over the background, applications, and unanswered questions of licorice root. This traditional herb has a lot to offer. Although licorice is well-known for its use in sweet foods, licorice root deserves to be known for its health advantages.
Since glycyrrhizin is mostly responsible for the licorice root’s adverse effects, DGL licorice is probably your best bet if any of them worry you.
Licorice root extract should never be taken by anybody who is pregnant since it may raise the risk of early delivery or miscarriage, or if they have heart, liver, or kidney problems.
According to some research, licorice supplements shouldn’t be consumed by those who have female hormone-sensitive disorders such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids since they may have estrogen-like effects.
Additionally, it could exacerbate erectile dysfunction, hypokalemia, potassium shortage (a muscular disorder brought on by nerve illness), and hypertonia.
5 Health Benefits of Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Given the variety of substances found in licorice and their obvious advantages, it is not surprising that this ancient herb has endured through the ages. Just a few benefits of licorice root include pain reduction, adrenal fatigue, PMS, heartburn treatment, and leaky gut.
These kinds of illnesses are incredibly common in our society. There aren’t many people out there who aren’t dealing with one (or more!) of these issues.
Americans spend $90 billion annually to treat gastrointestinal problems that include heartburn alone. Let’s quickly review each of these typical ailments and how licorice root helps them.
1. Helps Regulate Heartburn and Acid Reflux
Functional dyspepsia, which involves nausea, indigestion, and stomach discomfort in addition to heartburn, has been shown to be treatable with an extract of Glycyrrhiza glabra.
The licorice utilized in the trial was DGL, therefore there were no glycyrrhizin-related side effects for the subjects. Chewable tablets of DGL are available for purchase and can be taken before meals.
2. Adrenal Fatigue
Despite living in a relatively straightforward era of history, environmental, bodily, and mental stress problems are widespread in our culture. When we’re really just dealing with a budget issue or a choice at work, so many of us have put our adrenal glands into overdrive and feel like we’re running from woolly mammoths.
Licorice was discovered to assist the body more effectively regulate cortisol, the stress hormone, giving your adrenals a respite, according to a study published in the medical journal Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology.
It turns out to be one of the most important adaptogen herbs for enhancing stress response.
In the fight against illnesses including hepatitis C, HIV, and influenza, licorice is becoming a more important player. Licorice extract is possibly a potent immune system companion because the triterpenoid component has been proven to be an antiviral.
According to a study that appeared in Food Chemistry, licorice has “antioxidant, free-radical scavenging, and immuno stimulating” qualities.
4. Cure Sore Throat And Cough
Licorice root is a powerful expectorant that helps to loosen and evacuate the mucus that a sore throat or cough is attempting to get rid of. Its calming demulcent and anti-inflammatory qualities can provide quick sore throat relief.
Demulcents work best when they come into contact with the area of the body that needs to be calmed, therefore the extracts found in tea, cough syrups, and cough drops work best.
5. Pain Relief
Licorice can help with cramps in the abdomen and possibly in the muscles because it is an antispasmodic. Licorice functions as a corticosteroid when applied topically, which helps to relieve the discomfort associated with eczema and other skin disorders.
In addition to functioning as a natural cure for joint pain, anti-inflammatory properties may also assist reduce pain.
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