Licorice root is perhaps the most versatile of herbs and is actually used in almost half of all Chinese herbal formula’s. It’s healing powers have been known for over 5000 years and it’s popular in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. In addition to having healing properties of its own, it also helps other herbs to do their job more effectively as well as reduce the toxicity of them.
This herb has important substances that have been shown, in studies on animals, to increase interferon which is a powerful antiviral compound. In fact, in Europe it is one of the top herbs used to treat hepatitis. The Chinese have used it to suppress coughing, soothe the digestive tract and belief spasms for centuries. It can also help detoxify the liver, or balance your hormones, support your adrenal glands which help you fight against stress and is also a powerful anti-inflammatory herb.
Licorice root can be found in pill or tincture form and one should take between 1000 to 3000 mg a day. Be careful with this herb, however because if you abuse it and take high doses (3000 mg or more) each day for long periods of time, you can end up with water retention and potassium loss both of which could lead to high blood pressure. Anyone with kidney failure or low potassium should consult a physician before using licorice root as should anyone who is pregnant or has high blood pressure.
In addition to relieving coughs and detoxifying the effects of other herbs, this herb can also be excellent when used topically to treat psoriasis eczema and can be just as effective as cortisone. It’s also a great herb to take if you’ve been stressed out for a really long time and are suffering the effects of this such as fatigue, memory loss, getting sick often and even problems with your blood sugar and hormones.
Since it has anti-inflammatory properties they can be used to combat inflammation and is sometimes included in medicines to treat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Another popular use is to treat ulcers of the digestive tract sincse eating this herb increases the natural mucus in the stomach and encourages blood flow.
As with any herb, you should consult your physician before taking licorice root. It can be very powerful to heal what ails you but you want to make sure it won’t interact with anything you’re currently taking.