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Licorice Root and Your Health
Glycyrrhiza glabra might not have been so popular had it not been given the name licorice! That is its correct name, but licorice is easier on the tongue and it is actually the root of the plant that spreads for several feet underground. It also offers a wide variety of health benefits, from controlling viral hepatitis to regulating menstruation. It is an excellent maintenance supplement that can keep you clear of many conditions, among them preventing flatulence, cleansing the colon, relieving the pain and swelling of arthritis, supporting the adrenal glands and regulating hormones, and lowering cholesterol levels in the blood.
Its main component, glycyrrhizic acid, is used routinely in Japan for the control of chronic viral hepatitis, and the substance displays powerful anti-viral properties in other areas, such as in the treatment of shingles, cold sores and mouth ulcers. Its isoflavones are phytoestrogens, and help to regulate menstruation and relieve menstrual cramps. It can be used in the treatment of auto-immune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, and is highly antioxidant and anti-inflammatory in nature.
In short, licorice root is a powerful herbal treatment for a wide variety of conditions and worth taking regularly to help you avoid any of these conditions. It is not recommended for diabetics, pregnant or lactating women or anybody suffering heart disease, high blood pressure or kidney disease.
Licorice Root and Your Hormones
Licorice root is the root of the leguminous Glycyrrhiza glabra plant, and possesses a large number of beneficial health properties. Among these are its effects on the endocrine system responsible for your hormones and the processes they control. For example, licorice root can prevent the breakdown of cortisol, an adrenal hormone that prevents stress. This will also help increase energy levels and reduce the effects of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue symptom.
Licorice root has also been found to help the pancreas function by stimulating the secretion of their exocrine glands. The effect of licorice on estrogen is also important, and research has found that licorice can supplement the activity of estrogen when it is low, and inhibit it when too high. This property may be made use of by giving Glycyrrhiza immediately after a hysterectomy, in cases of severe PMS or to moderate the discomfort of menopause.
By maintaining a healthy electrolyte balance, licorice can prevent adrenal failure, maintaining the integrity of the adrenals and helping those suffering from Addison's disease. The licorice glycosides work in a similar fashion to natural steroids, and can help people whose adrenals have been strained, leading to stress, fatigue, depression and worry, live a normal life without the need for synthetic drugs and the side effects that come with them.