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Licorice

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Description

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is also commonly known as sweet root. This type of herb is considered to be a perennial legume that happens to grow about three to seven feet high. It is mostly prevalent in Asia and Southern Europe. The herb grows roots which are used for medicinal purposes. In short, it means that licorice supplements are derived directly from the roots. It is believed that the roots tend to have about fifty times sweetness as compared to sugar. Additionally, this herb contains flavonoids, phytoestrogens, volatile oils and coumarins among others which make it very effective.

Medicinal Uses

It is believed that the medicinal uses of licorice plant are many and at the same time varied.  In order to learn more about the medicinal uses, all you need to do is to keep on reading through the article.

  1. One of the major medicinal uses of licorice is treating and preventing stomach ulcers which if left untreated can result to death. In addition to this, it is used in the treatment of heartburn in the body.
  2. There are various respiratory ailments today such as bronchitis. One way of treating them is by using licorice or Glycyrrhiza glabra. All it does is to break any tightness in the chest and this in turn helps an individual to cough easily. You can as well use it in treating sore throats which causes a lot of discomfort.
  3. It helps in easing headaches, soothing pain and reducing fever caused by certain underlying conditions. If there are any allergies and disorders that are associated with headaches, fever and pain, licorice plays a major role in eliminating them all.
  4. Licorice in form of tea can be used in treating skin diseases as well as skin pigmentation disorder known as melasma.
  5. Ongoing studies show that licorice can be used in treating inflammatory diseases e.g. HIV, cancers and encephalitis among others.
  6. Licorice is used in treating diabetes and in controlling of weight in individuals.
  7. Used in women who suffer from PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) as well as other menstrual problems; additionally, it helps in reducing breast tenderness and irritability.

Dosage and Administration

Before you can use licorice or Glycyrrhiza glabra, it is imperative to always consult your physician first. This is because taking licorice supplements in large quantities can easily cause health complications that are very serious and difficult to reverse.

  1. It is believed that a typical dosage of licorice is usually 200mg and is readily available in various forms. As such, it is important not to take no more that the dosage recommended to you.
  2. Licorice can either be administered in form of capsules, dried herbs, tablets, tinctures and lozenges among others. As such, it is important to visit your doctor first so that he can recommend the best option for your condition.
  3. If you are taking licorice in for of capsules, it is important to take 250mg to 500mg, 3 times on daily basis but not more than that.
  4. During administration, the dosage should not be taken for longer than 4-6 weeks period not unless your doctor has determined it.

Parts Used

There are specific parts that are used when it comes to using licorice. The main parts include the leaves, flowers, thin green stems and roots.

  1. Licorice leaves and flowers are grinded carefully and then later on made into tea and used for medicinal purposes.
  2. The licorice roots are harvested and then completely dried before they can be used. They are later on cleaned thoroughly then ground into powder. The powder can either be mixed with water or used directly in powder form.
  3. The thin green stems are cut into small shapes then boiled as much as possible. The water is then allowed to evaporate and the extract is left behind.

 

Benefits

There are a plethora of benefits that are associated with licorice and play a major role in people’s lives today. Some of the benefits are as outlined below:

  1. One of the major benefits of licorice is that it plays a major role in boosting the immune system of an individual.
  2. Since our bodies produce various antioxidants, licorice helps in their functionality.
  3. It helps in lowering cholesterol and at the same time ensuring that the blood has been thinned.
  4. Licorice is beneficial in that, it acts as a natural remedy in the control of menopause and menstruation.
  5. Used in the treatment and prevention of stomach ulcers, heartburn as well as other respiratory ailments.

Side Effects

Even though licorice comes with various benefits, it is believed that too much of it can cause a negative impact on an individual’s health. Some of the side effects of heavy dosages include the following:

  1. Muscle tissue damage.
  2. Hypertension
  3. Loss of potassium and preservation of sodium

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