Licorice The Medicinal Sweet Root

Licorice is a popular medicinal herb used worldwide for treating several illnesses. The licorice root or rhizome, noted for its extremely sweet taste, is the main ingredient in several herbal medicines used for treating respiratory and digestive problems. There are usually two types of licorice – licorice containing glycyrrhizin and licorice without this active ingredient or deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL). Although both types of licorice exhibit similar medicinal properties, DGL is preferred for its minimal side effects.

Licorice benefits

Treats cough and cold
Licorice root is used as an expectorant. Folk healers recommend this rhizome for treating cough and cold. The active ingredients present in the herb could eliminate mucus blocking the respiratory tract. This herb could benefit people suffering from asthma.

Remedy for digestion problems
Licorice could be taken for treating peptic ulcer. Licorice combined with antacids could cure peptic ulcer. This herb can even reduce the risk of ulcer in people on aspirin medications. In a study, researchers observed that licorice root fluid extract is capable of healing stomach ulcers within 6 weeks.

Licorice is even recommended for GERD sufferers. Chronic acidity, indigestion and dyspepsia could be treated with licorice roots. Herbalists often blend licorice with chamomile and peppermint for treating digestion disorders.

Eczema remedy
People suffering from eczema could get rid of the irritating sores by applying licorice root extract or licorice gel to the sores. Licorice could reduce itching, redness and inflammation.

Canker sore remedy
The symptoms of canker sore could be treated by gargling with licorice extract dissolved in warm water, four times a day.

Fat loss
Licorice might melt the excess fat in your body. It could even lower the level of LDL or bad cholesterol in the blood. Topical medications containing licorice could be used for reducing the fat buildup in the thighs.

Side effects of licorice

Excess dose of licorice, especially licorice containing glycyrrhizin, could cause serious side effects. It can cause high blood pressure, water retention, headache, fatigue and in the worst case – heart attack. People suffering from heart diseases, high blood pressure, kidney problems, edema, liver diseases and diabetes should avoid this herb. Licorice is not recommended for pregnant and lactating women.