The benefits of licorice root are well known as this very popular herb has been part of Chinese medicine for at least 3000 years or more.
It is the world's most widely used herbal remedy, and this is because it helps such a wide range of different ailments.
Licorice root helps a large number of health issues including asthma and bronchitis, hives, indigestion and heartburn, stomach ulcers, herpes, genital warts, lyme disease and chronic fatigue.
It is one of the adaptogenic herbs that is beneficial to use for long term stress and adrenal gland fatigue, which is often the result of stress. It is common to find licorice tincture in liquid herbal remedies, and its distinct smell and taste is easily recognized.
There are two types of licorice root remedies, one containing the active ingredient glycyrrhizinic acid and the other, known as DGL, which contains a type of licorice called deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL). DGL is used for anyone who has specific health issues where the glycrrhizinate may cause side effects.
It is important to understand that if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, had a stroke, glaucoma, kidney disease or any hormonal disturbances, you must use only the DGL form of licorice.
The glycyrrhizinic acid can cause fluid retention, high blood pressure and potassium loss if its use is continued for more than six weeks at a daily dose of 3g. It is important to check your blood pressure before beginning to use licorice root remedies, so you know if you have high blood pressure.
It may be of value to check with your health professional before using it. If you do not have high blood pressure or health problems that prevent you from using the standard licorice, there are many impressive health benefits of using ordinary licorice.
The licorice root comes from a herb which has the botanical name Glycyrrhiza glabra. The meaning of the name of the licorice plant, comes from the ancient Greek word 'glukos' meaning sweet, and 'riza' meaning root.
One of the most highly regarded medical books of the ancient world, 'De Materia Medica', noted it as a useful herb for use to aid burning of the stomach and 'griefs' of the throat, liver and kidneys.
Ancient Chinese writers wrote about the virtues of licorice herb to aid a large number of health issues, and used it both internally and on the skin.
This woody herb is member of the legume family, but unlike most legumes it is not the fruit (usually peas or beans) that is used but the root of the licorice plant.
This fern like plant looks similar to most legumes, except it may be a little more woody. It is easy to grow the licorice fern in temperate climates, but it takes a full season for the root to be large enough to harvest.
Once the roots are harvested, they need to be dried out before being used. The pieces of root or sticks are pleasant to taste, and are quite sweet. You will need quite a few plants to get enough to use.
To utilize the many health benefits of licorice root, it is probably easier to simply use licorice supplements which you can get as root powder, capsules or tincture, or licorice tea.
Drinking licorice root tea or taking natural herbal remedies containing licorice extract may be the easiest way to use it. While some licorice candy no longer contains licorice, but may be made from aniseed instead, there are still some types of this candy that does contain standard licorice extract.
There may be health risks to you if you have high blood pressure, and you eat excessive amounts of it. It is not really a good way to take licorice as it would be hard to know how much actual active ingredient it contained.
If you have adrenal fatigue syndrome, fatigue and stress, it is the remedies containing the unaltered licorice that will help you. The DGL variety will not be beneficial for some health problems, including adrenal fatigue.
You do need to use the original standard licorice for adrenal fatigue, even though other health issues may be helped by the DGL.
Using unaltered or standard licorice: There are significant benefits of licorice root to treat a number of health issues including to aid adrenal gland fatigue. The DGL type will not be helpful for adrenal fatigue.
If you have high blood pressure or other issues that prevent the use of standard licorice, look at other adrenal fatigue treatment options.
This adaptogenic herb has been used for thousands of years in China and the side effects were not noted on old texts.
Perhaps this is because in herbal mixtures made up by trained herbalists, the amount of licorice used is usually quite small.
In our fast paced society everyone wants things to happen quickly, but often health issues took a long time to develop and in turn may also take a while to get better.
You do not need a lot of it for it to be effective. Problems with licorice may relate to the fact that if people are self dosing often they go overboard. They take high doses thinking that if a little is good a lot may be even better, but this is not true.
An excess of licorice can cause a health problem called hyperaldosteremia, where the patient retains too much sodium and loses potassium, causing high blood pressure.
Increasing foods that contain potassium may be beneficial while taking licorice, and it may be a good idea to decrease your sodium or salt intake.
It may also be beneficial to see a herbalist or naturopath who may make up a specific mixture for your individual needs. If you do not have any health reasons for avoiding it, licorice root is an effective remedy for symptoms of adrenal fatigue.
It is valuable, once you have reached the stage of adrenal gland fatigue where you have adrenal exhaustion, your body is no longer making sufficient cortisol. Licorice is helpful at this point to boost the level of corticoids in your system.
It works to do this, by blocking the activity of an enzyme that destroys the adrenal hormone known as cortisol. Check your blood pressure, as many people who have adrenal exhaustion will find that their blood pressure is low.
Low blood pressure is one of the common symptoms of adrenal fatigue, and it is often 100 over 60 or less. It can change quickly once you start using licorice root, so keep an eye on it by testing each week.
If you are self dosing, rather than having remedies made up by a naturopath or herbalist, it is of value to start with taking only one low dose capsule per day (300-450mg maximum) for the first week. Check your blood pressure before you start, and again after the first week to ensure it has not caused any elevation of your blood pressure.
If you have had trouble sleeping and wake up feeling extremely tired in the morning, you may choose to take your dose with your evening meal, as this is known to help you to sleep better and wake up feeling more alert.
Once you are sure that your blood pressure is stable you may increase the dose to a second capsule in the morning. Healing adrenal fatigue is a long term situation, but once you begin sleeping better you will find you will begin to improve.
Be aware that it may still take months to get better, but the use of natural health approaches including taking advantage of the benefits of licorice root, along with other natural remedies will be highly beneficial.
It is advantageous to also use some of the tonic herbs when using licorice, and some of the most effective are the adaptogens. Licorice is itself on the list of adaptogenic herbs, and this is a group of highly effective herbs for stress and adrenal fatigue.
Other adaptogens that can be combined with it to aid this health problem might be Ashwagandha also called by its botanical name Withania somnifera, rhodiola rosea root, Eleuthero root also known as Siberian ginseng, cordyceps, schizandra and panax ginseng.
There are benefits of licorice root to aid digestive problems. The active ingredient in licorice called glycyrrhizinic acid, has a soothing action on inflammation within the lining of the stomach and intestines, as it provides protection from the result of stomach acid.
It does not reduce the production of acid in the gut, instead it helps to increase the defensive action of the stomach, and supports the protective coating of the lining of the stomach.
It does this by strengthening the mucous coating that protects it from excess acid.
This creates an impressive healing action for a number of stomach problems including helping leaky gut syndrome, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and celiac disease.
It is also known to stop diarrhea and gastric irritation.
This herbal remedy has an excellent anti-inflammatory action for anyone who has any type of stomach problem where inflammation plays a role.
The benefits of licorice root to aid peptic ulcers are well known. Due to the fact that the glycyrrhizinic acid causes retention of sodium and fluids, they began to use deglycyrrhizinated licorice or DGL for ulcers.
DGL licorice has also been proved to be an excellent remedy to inhibits the secretion of gastric juices, and helps to protect the stomach lining from the effects of aspirin damage.
Herb based natural remedies that contain this herb have a soothing effect on the lining of the gut. Recent studies have now found that there are benefits of licorice root to inhibit the growth of the helicobacter pylori bacteria that causes stomach ulcers.
For healing gastric and duodenal ulcers, this herb may be combined with aloe vera and codonopsis root to aid the gut to heal more quickly.
Licorice is an excellent tonic to support the heart and spleen, and has significant advantages for helping stress and to purify the liver and blood.
There are benefits of licorice root to stimulate the immune system, and it is very helpful for people who have auto immune diseases such as Lupus, scleroderma or rheumatoid arthritis.
This plant has been shown to have anti-cancer properties. Cancer patients who took licorice were shown to have less pain.
Herbal treatment using licorice in combination with specific herbs, were most effective to aid a range of cancers. This herbs anti-inflammatory action is helpful to aid a number of health issues.
This action combined with its immune boosting characteristics can be useful to aid health problems such as sore throats, and it aids the healing of bacterial infections. For sore throats the DGL type will not work, as it is the glycyrrhizinic acid that increases the immune boosting substance called interferon.
There are saponins in licorice that encourage the multiplication of immune cells called macrophages, whose role is to ingest bacteria. It also has an antiviral effect against virus's such as measles and herpes simplex virus, and will help to heal genital warts.
If you have a sore throat, gargling with licorice root tea or a little licorice extract in water may help to relieve the pain. It also has an anti inflammatory action, which may help to ease swelling.
In the past this herb was a natural home remedy for colds in Europe, as it aids coughs, including the wheezing of asthma and the cough of pertussis or whooping cough.
This herb helps to stop the production of free radicals, making it a good anti aging herb. Licorice root also acts as an expectorant, demulcent and immune stimulator, and these actions help both asthma and bronchitis.
Free radicals are well known for their action to create aging in the body, but they also have a role to help the release of hormones that stimulate inflammation in the bronchial tubes.
So by preventing the activity of the enzyme that destroys the adrenal hormone called cortisol, there are benefits of licorice root to help anyone who is having treatment using hydrocortisone.
Researchers have confirmed that there are compounds in licorice that increase the half life of cortisol, allowing patients to take lower doses of the drug.
There are benefits of licorice root for patients with the skin problem called vitiligo. If you're using hydrocortisone cream, it will extend the length of time that the effect of the cream lasts.
Other skin problems such as diaper rash, canker sores and psoriasis may also benefit from a speeding up of their healing when taking licorice.
For sufferers of Lyme disease, it is known to help to stop the advancement of the neurological symptoms and help the fatigue associated with it.
Other uses for this herb include to treat depression and to help women during menopause. It helps to normalize women's reproductive system throughout menopause.
It may also help chronic fatigue syndrome, and multiple chemical sensitivity or mcs, which are often related. There are benefits of licorice root to relieve the MCS symptoms caused by poisoning from the use of herbicides or pesticides, or any type of poisons such as arsenic, lead, heavy metals or prescription drugs.
If you have had liver damage from poisons, drugs or from virus's, you may benefit from licorice root, as it has a hepa protective action.
The licorice side effects relate to the use of unaltered or original licorice. There are no doubts that there are amazing benefits from taking this herb, but if you suffer from a number of health problems you will not be able to take the unaltered licorice but must use DGL or deglycyrrhizinated licorice.
It is very important to understand that if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, had a stroke, glaucoma, kidney disease or any hormonal disturbances, you must use only the DGL form of licorice.
The glycyrrhizinic acid can cause fluid retention, high blood pressure and potassium loss if its use is continued for more than six weeks at a daily dose of 3g.
So if you wish to take licorice it would be highly advisable to see your health professional and have your health checked to see if you have any of these health issues. There are many health benefits of licorice root, as it helps so many health issues.
For adrenal fatigue it is a highly advantageous adrenal fatigue treatment, that will help you to get better quickly. The licorice side effects are important to note, as they are well known.
But by simply keeping an eye on your blood pressure and taking advice from your health professional you may be able to use this amazing remedy to help your healing. If you have stomach ulcers the DGL form of this natural health remedy works well, without the side effects.