A perennial herbaceous native to Europe and Asia, the Glycyrrhiza glabra The plant produces woody roots that are highly prized as natural sweeteners. Commonly known as licorice, the roots are 30 to 50 times sweeter than sugar, and are mainly composed of the glycyrrhetinic acid (AG) compound, which is what gives licorice its unique flavor.
Although it is grown primarily to flavor tobacco and sweets, licorice root has been used for millennia in folk medicine to treat a wide range of ailments.
1. Reduce body fat
The consumption of 2.5 grams of pure licorice root extract per day for 2 months had the effect of reducing body fat mass in a group of healthy volunteers. the study, published in 2014, measured extracellular water that can contribute to excess weight, body mass index and fat body mass before and after the test period. Although the water levels increased and the body mass index remained unchanged, the thickness of the skin fold was reduced after consuming the liquorice, even though the caloric intake of the subjects remained the same.
Other study involved the use of glycyrrhetinic acid topically to specifically attack the fatty areas of the body. The cream was prepared with 2.5% AG and the participants applied 80 mg per day to the thighs for a month. Using ultrasound analysis, the researchers found that treatment with GA cream significantly reduced the thickness of the superficial layers of fat. Although the dose of GA was moderately low and the subjects in the study were in the normal BMI range, the authors speculate that topical creams could have an even greater effect in people battling obesity and excessive fat accumulation in men. thighs and abdomen.
2. Improve learning and increase memory
Licorice root contains several antioxidants, including isoflavans, chalcones and isoflavones, which can contribute to brain health. In a study of animalsGroups of mice were fed with 150 mg / kg of licorice root extract in the course of seven days. In experiments designed to measure cognitive abilities, such as labyrinths and passive avoidance tests, mice showed a marked increase in learning and memory. Taking these results one step further, the researchers fed the mice diazepam and scopolamine to induce amnesia; When fed with licorice root, the amnesiac effects are completely reversed.
Comparable to Prozac (Fluoxetine) and Tofranil (Imipramine) in its effects, licorice root has proven to be an effective treatment for depression according to a study of animals published in 2006. At a dose of 150 mg / kg every day, the mice showed an increase in mobility when they underwent several stress tests that are traditionally used to evaluate antidepressant medications. It was found that licorice root is effective for depression because it increases neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, the brain feels good chemicals.
4. Natural relief for hot flashes
Hot flashes are the most common symptom of menopause and may persist for several years. Although hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is quite effective in mitigating discomforts of the menopausal transition, this treatment can increase your risk factor for heart disease, breast cancer, stroke and blood clots.
Licorice root has long been used as a natural treatment for menopausal symptoms due to its estrogen-like activity in the body. Comparing the effects of licorice and HRT in 60 menopausal women, a Study 2014 He found that licorice exerted a similar effect in hot flashes such as hormone therapy. During a 90-day period, half of the women received 1140 mg of licorice, while the other half received estrogen and progestin. Although both therapies reduced the number and duration of hot flashes, licorice was particularly good at reducing the duration of hot flashes and HRT was better at reducing the intensity of hot flashes.
5. Sore throat and cough remedy
The use of licorice root as a remedy for cough and sore throat dates back to prehistory. Licorice glycyrrhetinic acid is a powerful anti-inflammatory, able to inhibit the activity of cyclooxygenases and prostaglandin that can cause irritation in body tissues.
According to a study published in 2013, licorice helps prevent and relieve irritated respiratory tract. Because postoperative sore throat is a common complication, the study included 236 patients who had to be intubated and anesthetized before surgery. The groups were responsible for gargling with a solution of 0.5 grams of licorice diluted in 30 ml of water or sugar water for 1 minute before surgery. Those who took licorice water had a significant reduction in the incidence of sore throat and cough, the effects of which lasted for several hours afterward.
6. Antiviral and Antimicrobial
The GA component of licorice root has a profound effect on viruses, bacteria and fungal infections. It has been found to be very effective against several difficult-to-treat conditions:
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) – Fortunately, the SARS outbreak of 2003 is no longer a major health issue, but then as now, there is no effective cure or vaccine for this highly infectious virus. However, a study published at the height of SARS, panic identified GA as an effective treatment for SARS because it was able to completely block the replication of the virus where many other antiviral drugs had failed.
Helicobacter pylori – A bacterium that resides in the stomach, a H. pylori The infection can lead to the development of peptic ulcers. Although it is increasingly resistant to antibiotics, H. pylori it can be successful dealt with GA.
Resistant to methicillin Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) – Difficult to cure due to resistance to antibiotics, MRSA can be deadly when left untreated. Using extracts from Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Chinese licorice), researchers he found had a strong antimicrobial effect against several strains of MRSA, as well as standard S. aureus Infections, and was 2.5 times more potent than penicillin.
Fungal infections – Minced licorice root against 14 fungal strains – including Candida Y Aspergillus Crops as well as mutants resistant to drugs. result In the inhibition of the growth and propagation of each fungal strain. It was especially effective against drug-resistant cultures.
Influenza – The antiviral effect of licorice root is. So powerful that mice injected with lethal doses of influenza virus survived when they received doses of 10 mg / kg of GA before and after infection.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities of licorice root can have a beneficial effect on skin conditions like eczema. A 2003 Study investigated the results in patients with atopic dermatitis using a 20% solution of GA formulated in a topical gel. Applied to the skin over the course of two weeks, patients had a statistically significant reduction in redness (60%), swelling (83%) and itching (72%) compared to baseline.
8. Functional dyspepsia
Functional dyspepsia is the term used when the symptoms of indigestion, such as heartburn, bloating, nausea and feeling of fullness, do not have a clear cause.
Because licorice root tends to have a calming and healing effect on the intestine, study published in 2012 explored how extracts from Glycyrrhiza glaba People affected with functional dyspepsia. The licorice root extract taken twice a day for 30 days significantly improved the total symptoms of the group with a marked reduction in the symptoms of stomach pain, belching, bloating, nausea, vomiting and heartburn, without adverse effects.
How to take licorice root
Licorice root and GA are available in several forms, but unfortunately eating black licorice candy will not provide these excellent effects.
Although licorice root is generally safe and well tolerated, it should not be taken during pregnancy or if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease or low potassium levels. Licorice root can be toxic when taken in high doses, so always consult your doctor before taking it and never exceed the dose on the label.
Organic loose licorice root It can be used to sweeten drinks or to make a tea. Licorice Root Capsules It can be taken as a daily supplement. Liquorice root liquid extract It is wonderful to make your own products for skin care. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice extract capsules It is a licorice root form that has been stripped of its sweetness (and GA content). It is recommended as a safer option for people with indigestion, acid reflux and stomach ulcers.
Reference: https://www.naturallivingideas.com/licorice-root-benefits/, by Lindsay Sheehan
You May Also Like: