Licorice Root: Health Benefits, Side Effects, And Uses
Licorice is a herb that has been an integral part of ancient medicine to treat several diseases. Records say that the herb is being used for thousands of years now, in the treatment of various ailments. However, modern scientific research supports only some of the licorice uses, and it is not suitable for everyone.
The medicinal use of the licorice roots dates back to ancient Egypt, and it has also been used in traditional Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern medicines. If you want to know more about the licorice root, you have reached the right place. It is because today, in this article, we shall be talking about the health benefits, side effects and the uses of licorice root. Read on.
What Is A Licorice Root?
Licorice is a plant that is cultivated throughout Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. It is used as a flavoring substance for food, tobacco, and beverages. The licorice plant’s root is known as the licorice root and is promoted as a dietary supplement to treat multiple health issues.
As of today, very little has been scientifically proven about the roots, despite being in use for ages now. There is no scientific evidence that supports its use for any health condition. However, there have been several claims that go on to say that it is an effective drug. We shall read more about the health benefits of licorice root in the next section of this article.
Health Benefits Of Licorice Root
The licorice root is claimed to have multiple health benefits. It is said to be an efficient treatment for ailments like heartburn, hot flashes, bacterial infections, viral infections, coughs, and acid reflux. Apart from that, the root is also available in the form of licorice tea, which is very effective against sore throats.
Not only that, if you have issues like dead skins, acne, or eczema, you should consider availing topical gels based on the licorice root that is readily available in the market widely.
That is not all; some derivative products based on the licorice root contain active ingredients that may help relieve digestive symptoms. So now you know how useful licorice root can be if you are suffering from digestive inconsistencies.
Licorice root is also known to ease upper respiratory conditions and is claimed to have anti-cancer properties. It is also helpful in treating peptic ulcers and those cavities in your teeth!
Like everything in this world, an overdose of anything is bad for health. The same applies to licorice root, as well. However, even if you use the root in limited quantities, you must know that it is not suitable for everyone.
Chronic use or using large doses of the licorice root products may lead to the accumulation of glycyrrhizin in your body. This is harmful, as it leads to an abnormal release of a stress hormone called cortisol. It may cause an imbalance in fluid and electrolyte levels in your body.
It can lead to high blood pressure, muscle weakness, abnormal heartbeat, etc. In some extreme cases, it may even lead to kidney failure and congestive heart failure. However, the chances of such occurrences are meager.
Apart from that, pregnant women are usually advised not to use licorice products as it may negatively impact the baby’s brain development. One study also reveals that the children born to mothers with a large intake of glycyrrhizin based licorice products are more likely to have brain impairments in the later parts of their lives.
Uses Of Licorice Root
Since it has multiple medicinal values, it goes without saying that it has many uses, as well. Here, we list out some of the most common applications.
As we mentioned above, it has been proved highly effective against eczema, acne, and other similar skin-related ailments. Apart from that, it is also known to be very good for people who have side effects after removing the breathing tube—gargling with licorice fluid just before the breathing tube placement prevents cough and sore throat when the tube is removed.
Not only that, but the licorice root is said to be effective against dental plaque, dry mouth, indigestion, ulcers, hepatitis, high cholesterol levels, high potassium levels, fatty liver, obesity, Parkinson’s disease, etc.
While these are all the medicinal applications, the licorice root is commonly used as a flavoring substance in many food items. The Food And Drug Administration (FDA) has officially deemed the licorice root to be generally recognized as safe for food use.
With this article, we can conclude that the licorice root has been used for ages now, for its superior medicinal properties. However, it is also known to have some side effects upon abnormal use, and it is not safe for everyone to use it.
Pregnant women are usually advised to stay away from licorice root-based products, which might hamper the baby’s brain’s development. However, the root has been actively used to treat several skin-related ailments, the growth of cancer cells, dental plague, indigestion, etc. While these are some of the uses and side effects of the licorice root, there are several others that might have an impact on your health. We advise you to use it at your own discretion.