Licorice

Uses of Licorice | Health Risks

Botanical Name– Glycyrrhiza Glabra Other Names– Sweet Root, Spanish Licorice Licorice which is also known with the name  Glycyrrhiza Glabra, is a kind of flavorful herb and this is the main reason that is used in foods and also for medical remedies from thousands of years. The herb has another named “sweet root” as this is about 50 times sweeter than sugar. The root of the herb is also used Eastern and also in Western medicine for the treatment of a variety of illnesses. Some of them are commonly cold and  liver diseases. The herb is known as cooling and also soothing agent. It also helps to get rid of phlegm and also mucous from the respiratory tract.

Even, today the herb is used to get relief from various health conditions. Also, this is used for the treatment of canker sores, peptic ulcers and reflux (GERD). Also the whole Licorice is best for cough, asthma, and the respiratory diseases. Also, topical preparation is used for skin issues and also eczema. Licorice has an active ingredient name Glycyrrhiza that can provide side effects. An another form of Licorice called DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice) haven’t same kind of side effects.

Description of Plant- For Plantation of Licorice, there is a need of wild atmosphere. So, the Europe and Asia are the best for plantation. A perennial growing since 3-7 feet high. Also, Licorice has extensively branched root system. The roots of the herb look like some straight pieces of wrinkled, fibrous wood and that are long and round. It also grows horizontally underground. The roots of the Licorice are brown from the outside and the inside color of them is yellow. Also, the supplements are made up of roots and underground stems of the plant.

Medicinal Uses and its Indications- Here are some of the medical conditions for that the Licorice is used from years and even now is using.

Peptic ulcers- DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice) is helpful in the treatment of stomach ulcers and also it provide evidence too. Many studies conclude that DGL and the antacids are helpful for the treatment of ulcers. Some of the prescribed medicines should also be taken along with it. When there is a combo of antacids and DGL then there is no clear indication of the benefits of the DGL. A study concludes that when an aspirin coated with icorice has given to the rats then the ulcers were decreased by 50%. Also, another study says that the licorice root fluid extract was given to the 100 patients of stomach ulcers and out of 100 people, about 86 people got improvements and 22 people were getting the complete benefit as there ulcers were completely removed.

Canker Sores (Apthous Ulcers)- A study says that people who have canker sores, if gargle with DGL resolved warm water  times a day can able to get relief. Eczema- Another survey says that if the Licorice gel was applied over the eczema topically, then it would help to provide the relief from swelling, redness an itching. Also, if a gel which have 2% of licorice gel is more effective as compared to gel with 1% licorice.

Dyspepsia (GERD, indigestion) –  Some of the surveys say that an herbal formula called lberogast or STW 5 if have included licorice, can provide help from the symptoms of GERD and indigestion. Also, the herbal formula is included with peppermint and chamomile, these are the two herbs which are very often used for the treatment of indigestion.

Upper Respiratory Infections (Cold, Cough)- Licorice is helpful in providing treatment for cough and also asthma. Some of the studies say that it shows mixed results for the same.

Fat reduction- A study says that preparation of the licorice is helpful in reducing body fat. For making the surveys they gave 3.5 g of licorice to 15 normal people for about 2 months. Their body fat was measured before and even after the experiment completed. After that they have reached to the conclusion that licorice is helpful in reducing the body fat mass and also as a suppressant for the hormone aldosterone. Some of the participants in the experiment retained more water. Another study was done and said, for topical preparation of glycyrrhetinic acid, which is a component of licorice, is able for the reduction of thickness of fat over the thigh region in humans. Some other studies said that licorice is helpful in reducing fat.

Health risks- On the other hand, some studies even said that it can help to reduce fat but along with this, it provides some health risks. Those people who are regular consumer of large amount of licorice ( amount more than 20 g in a day), may have the raised blood  level of the hormone aldosterone, this may also provide some side effects and that can be headache, high blood pressure and even heart problems. Those who are suffering from the heart issues or even kidney problems even a dose of less than 5g a day can be harmful.

Precautions– The herb is well known for the treatment of various diseases. Also, it is a good way to strengthen the body, but on the other hand, Licorice is a herb which contains some components that can cause side effects. For these reasons, you have to take this her with a little care. It would be the best option for you, if you would take the herb under the physicians’ supervision.

A  health care provider who has a good knowledge about the botanical medicines can also work well for you. Licorice having glycyrrhizin can also prove harmful as it provides some of the side effects. When there is too much glycyrrhizin, then it can also cause pseudoaldosteronism and in this particular condition, patient becomes very much sensitive to hormone in the adrenal cortex. The side effects of the condition include high blood pressure, headache, fatigue and in severe cases it can cause heart attacks. Water retention and leg swelling can also be caused due to the problem. So, to be safe and secure have the licorice which is monitored by your health care provider.

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