Licorice is a sweet tasting root with a history as old as the existence of the world. The wild root has been widely favored by Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese and Hindus for various uses. A native to South-Eastern Europe and Middle East, licorice was extensively cropped in Russia, Spain, Persia and India. Best known for its sweet flavor, the wild root is basically used to flavor not just candies, but also cough drops, syrups, tonics, laxatives, beer, frozen dairy desserts, gelatins, puddings and meat products. Licorice was much preferred by Chinese physicians to tone down the effect of other medicinal herbs and promote vitality. A potent source of magnesium, silicon and thiamine, Licorice helps cleanse the colon, supports lung health and promotes adrenal gland function. Licorice is a common ingredient used in the manufacture of throat-soothing herbal supplements. To know more about the health benefits of licorice, read on.
Nutrition Benefits Of Eating Licorice
- Licorice has been used for hundreds of years now to treat disorders like cough, sore throat and gastrointestinal disorders. It is looked upon as an effective emollient and has been used expansively to comfort sore tissues of the mouth and throat and urinary and digestive tracts.
- Apart from being a demulcent, licorice is also prized as an expectorant. Glycyrrhizin, one of the active ingredients found in licorice root has expectorant property that assists in diluting and releasing mucus and phlegm from the respiratory tract, thereby easing cough. It is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Licorice root has been widely favored by alternative health care professionals to treat respiratory conditions like cough, cold, congestion, bronchitis, sore throat and allergies. What's more, licorice is highly favored to treat belching, heartburn, inflammation, eczema, psoriasis and liver disorders.
- Licorice root is known to boost body immunity by enhancing the levels of interferon, a powerful antiviral agent that is known to impede the activities of harmful viruses. A medical study has confirmed that licorice is especially active and effective against herpes simplex virus responsible for genital herpes and cold sores.
- Licorice root has been widely esteemed and favored by European physicians to combat viral hepatitis. However, people willing to use licorice for treating hepatitis should discuss the herb with a knowledgeable health care provider, before indulging.
- Latest studies on licorice have confirmed that the root contains ingredients that are immensely effective against the bacteria and fungus, accountable for vaginal yeast infections.
- Licorice has been found to be effective against stomach ulcers and is a popular healing herb used in this cause. Licorice accelerates cell growth of the stomach and intestinal linings, enhances the natural mucous lining of the stomach, step-ups blood flow to the damaged tissues and minifies muscle spasms.
- Licorice is found to be extremely effective for adrenal glands and is known to stimulate cortisol in the body. This helps the body to fight well against chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, by enhancing cortisol activity.
- Licorice contains phytoestrogens that somewhat function like mild estrogen. Thus, this root is commonly found in formulas that helps to fight PMS and other menopausal complaints.
- Licorice root is a potent source of flavonoids, which are believed to be powerful antioxidants. Experts believe that licorice is an excellent liver tonic too. What more, it is widely accepted as a ‘harmonizing’ herb, that helps to reduce the toxicity of other herbs in a formula. Also, licorice is used to subdue the bitter taste of many other medicinal herbs.
- The most recent study on the advantages of licorice has revealed that it is a powerful antiviral that contains 10 antioxidants, 25 fungicidal and 9 expectorant compounds. Licorice also includes MAO inhibitors, several XO inhibitors and natural estrogenic ingredients.