..The Intuitive Times
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Licorice Root: Glycyrrhiza glabra

By Kali Simmonds

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Licorice root is one of the most versatile herbs, and is probably my favorite herb for both practical and personal reasons. It comes in many forms and varying concentrations, including tea, candy (beware of imitations which contain anise instead of licorice root), capsule, chewable tablet, tincture, fluid extract, and solid extract. Teas are generally the weakest form of a herbal preparation, and solid extracts are the strongest.

Uses of Licorice Root:
Adrenal tonic - the adrenal glands produce cortisol, sex hormones, and adrenaline, and are often appropriately referred to as the "stress" glands. By boosting the adrenal glands, you increase energy, resistance to infection and inflammation, and improve hormone production (menopause, infertility, libido enhancer, etc...). Its' anti-inflammatory action makes it useful in any condition where inflammation is a problem including arthritis, eczema, asthma, fibromyalgia, acute injury, infections, etc..

Anti-viral - studies and clinical evidence suggest that it is particularly effective against the herpes family of viruses, including: herpes 1 (cold sores) and II (genital herpes), Epstein-Barr (mononucleosis), varicella (chicken pox), and zoster (shingles). In certain studies, it was shown to kill Herpes I & II, so there were no reoccurrences.

Inflammation and ulceration of the Digestive Tract - including peptic (works against H. pylori) and duodenal ulcers, fissures, hemorrhoids, Crohn's and Colitis.

Caution: Anyone with high blood pressure should not use licorice root. Also, anyone on a diuretic should be under supervision if taking licorice, due to potassium loss. Deglycirrhized licorice (DGL) does not affect blood pressure, and can be used for healing in the digestive tract. However, it seems to lack the anti-inflammatory effect exerted by glycirrhizin. Unsupervised use of licorice root should be discontinued after 6 weeks for 2 weeks before continuing and potassium rich foods such as avocado, apricots, potato, cantaloupe and bananas should be consumed daily.

Kali Simmonds (902-894-3868) is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor, who practices in Charlottetown, PEI.



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