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Anti-Viral Properties of Licorice Root
Licorice root is the root of the leguminous Glycyrrhiza glabra plant. It contains a large number of natural phytochemicals, the most common being glycyrrhizic acid. It was reported in 1979 that this acid could irreversibly inactivate the herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores and genital herpes, though was moderated in 1980 to include the herpes simplex-1 virus only, more commonly causing cold sores but also genital herpes. This has since been confirmed by more than one study, and in 2005 a New York University study found that glycyrrhizic acid could prevent Kaposi sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, from being initiated by a form of herpes virus that is known to trigger the cancer.
This acid is regularly used in Japan to treat chronic viral hepatitis, and has shown a significant anti-viral effect in many other studies. It is not yet clear whether or not the effects of the glycyrrhizic acid in licorice root is effective on just cold sores caused by the herpes simplex-1 virus, or whether genital herpes is also controlled. Its effect on the type 2 virus is also unknown. However, it is clear now that is effective in inhibiting the activity of the type 1 virus by topical application.
Licorice also appears to stimulate the production of interferon by the immune system. Interferon offers anti-viral properties, and is used in treating hepatitis and herpes. Results of tests on the use of licorice on SARS, HIV and influenza have also been encouraging.
How does this affect you and a licorice supplement? It may help you from contracting these viral conditions, although it is yet unclear how much would have to be taken to be effective in the licorice rather than the glycyrrhizic acid form. Keep in mind that of taken in excess, licorice can be damaging to blood pressure and the immune system, and licorice root is not recommended for those with hypertension, heart disease or kidney disease.
Taking Licorice Root for Digestive and Intestinal Problems
Licorice root offers a number of benefits to your digestive and intestinal system. It is an effective home remedy for heartburn, acid reflux and indigestion where it lowers acid levels, and it can also enhance the way your stomach protects itself by constantly regenerating its lining. It can be used to reduce the effects of ulcers and can even initiate healing of some forms of stomach ulcer. Licorice root can also help digestive spasms, and its anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce inflammation and irritation throughout the digestive tract.
Many use licorice root as a mild laxative and to cleanse the colon, and it generally helps to maintain a healthy digestive system from start to finish. In addition to these physical effects on the digestive system itself, licorice root supports good liver health, and helps the gall bladder store and release sufficient bile to maintain effective digestion. It is also used to control flatulence by those prone to this condition. Finally, licorice should be avoided by pregnant women or nursing mothers, and also those suffering heart disease, high blood pressure and kidney disease.
Serving Size: 2 Capsules
Servings per container: 50
Suggested Use: As an herbal dietary supplement, take 2 capsules 1 to 3 times daily.
Free of: yeast,wheat,corn,soy,milk,preservatives,additives
Other Ingredients: Stearic Acid
Warnings: Long term, high level use is NOT recommended. Persons with high blood pressure should consult a health practitioner prior to consuming licorice root.
Licorice Root is a popular herb used throughout the world. It is grown in China where it has been used and studied for thousands of years.