The benefits of licorice are widely known, and it has been used as a remedy for a number of conditions. The herb can be taken in a number of forms, including licorice root extract, tincture, tablet, tea, or dried root.
Another popular way to administer the herb is to take it as a tea. It is the root of the plant that has the medicinal benefits.
The benefits of licorice extract include:
- Soothing the respiratory system when suffering from a cough or cold. It is also useful against stronger conditions such as bronchitis. Licorice is often found as an ingredient in traditional cough and cold remedies. It can reduce inflammation in the respiratory system.
- Traditional Chinese medicine has used licorice for tuberculosis.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties and can help when suffering from conditions such as arthritis.
- It is thought that licorice may have a positive effect on the symptoms of depression and could be used in place of St John’s wort.
- One can use licorice for asthma due to its anti-inflammatory properties and the soothing effect it has on the respiratory system.
- Licorice extract may be used for digestive conditions such as ulcers. It does not discourage the production of stomach acid but allows the stomach lining to protect itself from the acid that is there. The health of the stomach lining is vastly improved. It is beneficial for the digestive system in general, as it can reduce inflammation and help to control a number of digestive disorders. A slightly laxative effect can help to ease constipation.
- Licorice benefits also include its effectiveness in controlling blood sugar.
- Licorice herb has antiviral properties, which make it a good choice for helping the body to fight conditions such as flu and herpes.
- Licorice can help to soothe skin that is afflicted with eczema.
- Licorice is a natural cleanser and can be used to prevent water retention as it is also a diuretic. Along with its benefits for the digestive system, this makes it an aid to weight loss. This also has an effect on organs such as the liver and kidneys, helping them to function well.
- It can have a beneficial effect on PMS and the symptoms of menopause.
- One can also use licorice for blood pressure, though in some people it may actually raise levels instead of reducing them. It can be beneficial for those with low blood pressure, though this should only be done under the supervision of a medical professional.
Licorice Side Effects
Though there are many benefits of licorice, large amounts of licorice should not be consumed. Due to the effects of licorice to imitate the hormone cortisol, some people may experience licorice side effects of slight weight gain and a tendency to retain water.
There is also a small possibility of heightened blood pressure. For this reason, anybody taking a steroid-based medication should consult with their medical practitioner prior to using licorice as an herbal remedy. Those who have kidney disorders or arterial hypertension should not use this herb.