Licorice is an herbal medicine that has been in use for many years. The part of the plant that is used as a remedy is licorice root. This plant is found native to western Asia and southern Europe. Licorice is not used as a medicine but is also used t add flavors in drinks, candies, and medicines. There are not many scientific types of research behind the medicinal uses of licorice, but it is still used since ancient times.
Early use of licorice root
Licorice root has been used since ancient times, and its earliest use dates back to the time where it was used in making a drink for the pharaohs of Egypt. It is used not only in Egyptian medicine but is also present in Greek, Chinese and, middle eastern medicine. This was used back in time to relieve inflammation, upper respiratory tract problems, and the treatment of upset stomach.
The main ingredient of licorice
The main ingredient of licorice due to which has a sweet taste and medicinal properties is glycyrrhizin. In addition, Glycyrrhizin has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and antioxidant properties. But the adverse effects of licorice also happen because of glycyrrhizin, which is why the deglycyrrhizinated licorice in which glycyrrhizin has been removed from the extract.
Medicinal benefits of licorice
Many different health benefits come with the use of licorice. These benefits are what licorice is used most of the time. Following are all the benefits that you can experience with the use of licorice
- You can use it on your skin to treat acne and eczema; since licorice acts as an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, it can help in many skin conditions. The licorice gel is available that can be used topically for the treatment of these skin conditions. Unfortunately, the researches that have been done on the effectiveness of this medicine are very limited. However, you can still find many herbal formulations containing licorice.
- The licorice is also used in the treatment of gastric disorders. It helps in acid reflux by neutralizing the acids in your stomach. In addition, you can get relief from heartburn and GERD with the use of licorice. Studies have shown that it has positive results in patients with GERD two times more than those taking antacids for two years.
- Due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect of the licorice, it is also used to treat cancer. This prevents tumor cell growth in breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers. But the studies are limited to lab and animals, and no research has been done on humans.
- Another thing that licorice can help us in is tooth decay, The antibacterial effect was observed in the laboratory, and there has been no research that shows the actual antimicrobial activity in your teeth. that is why tooth decay is not specifically treated with licorice but holds the promise to be a successful treatment of tooth in decay in future.
- Sore throat that happens after the windpipe is inserted and later removed after the surgery can be treated with licorice. Postoperative sore throat is also known as POST. It can be treated with a gargling solution of licorice for 1 to 5 minutes. This may be as effective as the ketamine solution itself. The concentrated solution will be even more effective than the normal licorice solution.
- A virus causes c, and licorice has antimicrobial activity against that virus. There has been no research on human beings. However, the lab shows the clear activity against that virus by the licorice in Japan. Chronic hepatitis c patients are given glycyrrhizin as an injectable when they cannot respond to any treatment. It will play a great part in the treatment of hepatitis C shortly.
Dosage of licorice
When taking licorice as a treatment for some condition, you have to be sure about the dosage. The dosage depends on the condition you are taking this supplemental licorice for. The supplements are available which contain deglycyrrhizinated licorice because large quantities of glycyrrhizin can cause you certain side effects like mentioned below.
- This can result in low potassium levels. Due to that, you can end up having irregular heart rate, swelling. Lethargy and high blood pressure along with congestion.
- Overdose can also happen. Cases have been recorded in which children who ate glycyrrhizin containing licorice ended up having high blood pressure. In another case, a woman who drank 8 cups of licorice tea ended up having low potassium levels and high blood pressure.
- People who are already suffering from low potassium levels and high blood pressure should watch out for their intake of licorice.
Licorice in pregnancy
Women who are pregnant should avoid taking licorice in larger quantities and any licorice supplements. All this is because a study reported that licorice could interrupt the development of the brain in a fetus. Yi can also end up giving a preterm birth if you are taking large quantities of licorice. Even if you are thinking about taking deglycyrrhizinated licorice, you should consult with your doctor about it.
How to use licorice
It is very important to know how to use licorice in your diet when you are not consuming the licorice supplements
- For topical use, you can ix the herp with a gel-like aloe vera gel. The gel you should be sun should be skin-friendly.
- You can take it under the tongue or drink the tea in which licorice is present to treat stomach problems.
- Cook licorice herbs in water so that you can get a solution for gargling and as a mouth wash.
This was all the licorice-related information and along with the health benefits. If you want to take licorice for any of your health concerns, you can take it by the methods that have been discussed above; certain conditions restrict you from taking licorice or licorice supplements. So, to avoid any such mishap, you should consult your doctor beforehand. You can also go for the deglycyrrhizinated licorice, which is the safest licorice supplement option. You get maximum benefits with the least side effects that way.