Licorice Root – Review the Latest Research

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Licorice root is a source of beneficial compounds like glycyrrhizin. This compound contains antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It could have health benefits, including decreasing acid reflux.

Licorice root originates from the licorice root plant Glycyrrhiza Glabra. It is found across Asia, Southern Europe, and the Middle East.

Licorice's medicinal use dates back to Egypt, when the root was used to make a sweet alcoholic drink for the Pharaohs. Today, it treats various illnesses and flavors candy drinks, medicines, and candies.

Licorice root has more than 300 compounds, but its main active component is Glycyrrhizin. This is why the root has a sweet flavor and also because of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial qualities.

But glycyrrhizin is associated with some adverse side effects. In the end, certain products make use of deglycyrrhizinated liquorice (DGL) which has been sprayed with glycyrrhizin.

Read on to find out more about the possible advantages, adverse effects, and the recommended dosage of licorice.

Potential benefits

Recent research has shown potential for a variety of its medicinal benefits However, it's important to keep in mind that further research is required to fully confirm these benefits.

May help the appearance of skin conditions

Research suggests that extracts of licorice can help treat a wide range of skin problems including acne, eczema and more.

In addition, a study showed that a cream made of the gentian root, licorice root along with extracts of willow tree bark was just as efficient as 1percent hydrocortisone cream when treating eczema-related symptoms.

Might lower the incidence of acid reflux and reduce Indigestion

Licorice root extract can ease symptoms of gastroesophageal acid reflux disease (GERD), including acid reflux, heartburn and Indigestion.

A 2017 study of 58 adults suffering from GERD discovered that consuming licorice root daily was more effective than common antibiotics in decreasing symptoms over two years.

Can help treat peptic ulcers.

Licorice extract from the root and its glycyrrhizin could aid in treating ulcers of the peptic system. The painful ulcers can develop in your stomach, the lower the esophagus or in your small intestine due to the presence of H. Pyloribacteria.

A 2023 study of animals found that licorice flavonoid might assist in relieving peptic ulcers through producing more mucus, reducing inflammation, and enhancing the gut microbiome.

A study conducted in 2016 on 120 adults showed that consuming licorice extract in conjunction with an existing treatment significantly reduced the amount of H. Pylori after two weeks.

May contain anticancer properties.

According to the National Cancer Institute, the extract of the Licorice root is being investigated for its anticancer effects against specific types of cancer.

Animal studies have shown that licorice root slows or stops the growth of cells in the skin, colorectal, and even breast cancer.

Because research is limited to animals and test tubes the effects of this on human cancers remain a mystery.

Research suggests that extracts from licorice roots could be as effective as usual remedy for mucositis of the oral cavity one of the side effects of chemotherapy.

May help ease upper respiratory symptoms

A review from 2019 found that the extract of glycyrrhizin from the licorice root could help ease asthma symptoms due to its properties that reduce inflammation. The authors suggest it could be an asthma treatment with the fewest possible side effects.

Another study in 2019 revealed that the extract of licorice root tea may help fight strep throat.

However, more investigation is required.

It might help prevent cavities

The research suggests that the licorice root can help to prevent dental cavities and help treat the following oral health issues:

  • oral thrush
  • canker sores
  • tooth decay
  • periodontitis

However, it is imperative to conduct more research regarding the ideal dosage and the form of licorice root to improve oral health.

Other benefits that could be a benefit

The extract of the Licorice root is linked to other benefits that could be derived from it like:

  • aiding diabetes
  • Menopausal symptoms can be reduced
  • boosting weight loss
  • treating hepatitis C

However, more research is needed to prove the full benefits of these benefits.

Risky side effects and cautions

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found licorice root safe for use in food.

However, the FDA does not examine products for their purity or efficacy or the exactness of ingredient labeling.

Therefore, it's essential to consult a medical specialist before using licorice to treat any health issues.

Licorice root overdose

The long-term use as well as the large doses of licorice root can cause glycyrrhizin to accumulate within your body. Studies suggest that in some cases, this can result in:

  • high blood pressure
  • Low levels of potassium
  • arrhythmia
  • kidney failure
  • congestive heart failure
  • Edema pulmonary

Who is not allowed to make use of Licorice root?

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Care (NCCIC) states that long-term usage of licorice roots could create the risk of the conditions of hypertension or, heart disease or kidney disease and also for women who are nursing or pregnant.

Drug interactions

Licorice root was found to interact with various drugs that, including:

  • Blood pressure medication
  • blood thinners
  • medication to lower cholesterol
  • diuretics
  • Contraceptives that contain estrogen
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)

When you're on any of the drugs you should stay clear of any products that contain licorice, unless your doctor advises that it is not necessary.

Dosage and types of the root licorice

Licorice root is available either fresh or dried. In addition the extract of licorice root can be found in various types, including:

  • capsules
  • powders
  • Tinctures
  • topical gels
  • teas

What amount of licorice root can be considered healthy for you to consume daily?

There are no current standard dosage guidelines.

A review from 2021 suggests that doses vary based on the kind of licorice root and the health issue being addressed. For instance, two 380 milligrams (mg) DGL tablets before eating are recommended to treat GERD.

To treat asthma, there are three options to treat asthma:

  • One to five grams of powdered dried licorice three times per day
  • 2-5 milliliters of licorice-based tincture three times a day
  • 250-300 mg of extracts from licorice, three times per day

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as the European Scientific Committee of Food (SCF) both recommend restricting the intake of glycyrrhizin to less than 100 mg daily.

A different option would be to search for DGL capsules or powdersbecause they're free of glycyrrhizin which is the ingredient responsible for the majority of the adverse effects that licorice can cause. However, it's not known if DGL products can cause the same effects on health.

It's recommended to talk with an expert in the field before you try any licorice-based products.

Frequently asked questions

Can licorice root help heal the digestive tract?

A few studies suggest that licorice root could benefit the gut microbiome in mice. However, further research on humans is required.

Do I have to drink licorice root tea each all day?

One cup of licorice-infused tea is not likely to cause adverse reactions. In rare instances drinking excessive quantities of licorice root tea each day can cause low potassium levels and hypertension and may require hospitalization.

Takeaway

Licorice has long been used to treat a wide range of illnesses, including respiratory ailments and digestive issues.

The plant compounds in it have powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits.

Although it can help relieve the symptoms of eczema, acid reflux, Peptic ulcers, as well as other health issues More thorough human studies are needed.

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