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What is Licorice?


The licorice plant is part of the pea family and is found in Turkey and Greece, although it is propagated in many parts of the world.

This herb contains asparagine, biotin, choline, folic acid, glycyrrhizin, gum, inositol, lecithin, manganese, pantothenic acid, PABA, pentacyclic terpenes, phosphorus, vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6 and E.

It is the glycyrrhizin that stimulates the adrenal gland to produce certain hormones, reduces inflammation and helps increase the level of interferon (which is made by the immune system).

The major benefit of licorice is the assistance it gives to respiratory problems as it fights the viruses attaching the respiratory tract, as well as relieving the symptoms such as couching and sore throat.

It is also useful in thinning the mucus when having a respiratory problem, making it possible for the body to get rid of the mucus.

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is also a traditional Chinese ingredient in herbal remedies and is referred to as Zhi Gan Cao and affects the channels of the heart, lung, spleen and stomach, and is thought to lengthen life.

In Chinese medicine it is used to revitalize the heart, while treating palpitations, strengthening the spleen and lungs - specially for wheezing, easing respiratory illnesses, coughing and phlegm while also protecting the stomach.

With its purported anti-inflammatory action it is helpful to fight infections and relieving arthritis as well as helping with the healing of stomach ulcers.

Some research also indicates strong anti-viral properties, making it a good ingredient to help boost the immune system. The viral fighting action is also useful in assisting inflammatory conditions, such as hepatitis.

Another plus point for licorice is the useful effect it may have with minor menstrual problems and menopause, since it exerts a mild estrogenic effect.

Creams made from licorice have a calming effect on the skin and is useful in eczema.

Dosage:
Capsules: 5 to 15 g a day of licorice root (200 to 600 mg glycyrrhizin) by mouth a day; daily intake greater than 50 g of the herb is considered toxic

Tea (steep 1 teaspoon oflicorice extract in 8 oz boiling water for 5 minutes): 1 cup of tea after each meal

Drops: 25 drops taken four times a day.

Side effects:
Licorice can cause a variety of adverse reactions, including numbness, tingling paralysis, hypokalemia, and hypernatremia. Before taking or combining any supplement, it is important to consult with your physician to determine any health risks or side effects that may come with mixing supplements with other medications you may be taking.

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