Licorice extract comes from the same root that’s used to make some types of candy and can also be known as sweet root. In addition to adding it to sweets, the root’s extract has been valued for its medicinal properties for hundreds of years.
While some benefits of the root have yet to be proven through scientific research, years of use have made it a staple product among herbalists and natural healers.
Alleviates Digestive Discomfort
This root is especially effective in alleviating many gastrointestinal problems, especially the pain caused by stomach ulcers and the symptoms of food poisoning. It can also help alleviate heartburn. Taken regularly, licorice can repair the stomach lining. It can do all of this, because it contains glycyrrhizic acid, which is an anti-inflammatory agent. Glycyrrhizic acid also helps boost immune system functioning.
Detoxes Your Respiratory System
Even some doctors recommend taking licorice orally to their patients, because it’s effective in cleansing the respiratory system. When eaten, licorice root encourages the production of phlegm. While that may seem like the last thing you want, phlegm production actually draws contaminants from the lungs. As you produce more phlegm, you’re helping improve the respiratory process.
Your adrenal gland produces the hormones responsible for increased stress, adrenaline and cortisol. Licorice extract can be taken to help the adrenal gland regulate those hormones and restore balance to the body. While some cortisol production is normal, licorice helps ensure your body isn’t overrun with it.
May Help Treat Cancer
There’s limited research to prove that licorice root is effective in treating prostate and breast cancer. Many doctors in China do administer licorice as a part of cancer treatments, but, in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved it as a treatment. Even so, the American Cancer Society says research is ongoing into whether or not licorice root can effectively treat cancer.
Keeps Skin and Teeth Healthy
In addition to acting as an anti-inflammatory agent, licorice also acts as an antibacterial agent. This is why it’s effective in treating skin conditions, when extracted and developed into a topical solution. Many skin care products add licorice as a primary ingredient, so watch for these products in the beauty aisle. Additionally, the antibacterial properties in licorice help fight the bacteria in your mouth, when the root or extract is taken orally. This helps protect your teeth from decay and fights off gum disease.
Even considering all of these benefits, licorice wasn’t always a valued commodity. Historically, it was only common in Europe and Asia, where it was once thought to be a worthless weed. Later, as the root was introduced to the Egyptians, it was found to provide vast health benefits. The Egyptians developed a cure-all tea out of the root and it was in that form that it eventually made it’s way to China. Today, it’s readily available in the United States in many different forms. As we discover more benefits of this miracle root, it will likely become even more valuable in the medical community.
note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.