Licorice otherwise known as glycyrrhiza glabra is widely used in traditional, modern and Siddha medicines due to incredible medicinal properties. The root is mainly used to cure cough, bronchitis, inflammation, upper respiratory inflammation, eye problems, epilepsy, and ulcers. The sweet root is not only used for medicinal purposes, but also used in the cosmetic industry to make shampoos, skincare cream, hydrates the skin, and treats various skin disorders and much more. The sweet root can cause high blood pressure and may decrease potassium levels in the blood, hence, it can lead to heart and muscle problems. Don’t guzzle licorice root powder without the doctor’s knowledge. Speak to your doctor and learn its ill effects before you start taking it.
Now, let’s read to get to know, how the external application or internal consumption of licorice roots can provide us with multiple benefits. Sit on your couch and read the article to know more about it.
Health benefits of licorice:
Licorice owns 300 different types of flavonoids and 20 types of triterpenoids. Due to the presence of these active components, like antimicrobial, glucocorticoid, anti-carcinogenic, anti-ulcerative, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing properties, the licorice is being extensively used to treat various health ailments. Let’s understand a few of its benefits by reading this article now.
Skin: Licorice roots are used in skin-whitening creams and also to treat various skin diseases. The high antioxidant activity of licorice roots can protect the skin against oxidative damage. The liquiritin present in the licorice root helps to diffuse melanin pigment in the cell, encourages skin lightening activity due to the inhibition of the enzyme tyrosinase.
Dental: Dental difficulties are one of the major problems faced by individuals of all age groups. For many years, medicinal herbs have been used to treat many human diseases. Due to high levels of bacterial, fungal, viral and other parasites, there is always an emergency to develop a medicine that is cost-effective, easily available, safe and proficient for the patients. Considering all the above applications licorice is one such root that can treat orofacial infections. The bioactive ingredients in licorice such as glycyrrhizin, glabridin, licociridin, licorisoflavan A, licochalcone A can treat oral diseases such as oral cancer, gingivitis, dental caries, aphthous ulcer, and periodontitis. Licorice is also used in the failed root canal therapies as a drug. If you are already taking medicines for cardiovascular or cerebrovascular diseases, then speak to your doctor before using licorice root powder as it can increase the risk of bleeding in patients who are already on conventional medications.
Respiratory system: The compounds glyyrrhizin, liquiritin and 18 beta glycyrrhetinic acids present in the licorice roots help in reducing immunoglobulin IgE molecule in the blood. Licorice root helps in reducing health ailments like cough, sore throat, asthma, bronchitis, and other chest infections. The presence of saponins and flavonoids present in the root also helps in treating oxidative stress that occurs during asthma.
Stomach discomfort: Yes! Licorice is a potent anti-ulcerative property. It helps to heal peptic ulcers caused in the duodenum lining or stomach. The presence of flavonoids such as glabridin and glabrene present in the sweet root helps in relieving stomach discomfort, heartburn, nausea, and stomach pain. The research study also states that licorice also helps in eradicating H.Pylori bacteria in the stomach, thereby decreasing the effect of stomach ulcers and discomfort.
Chronic hepatitis C: Licorice is a potent herb and has hepatotoxic effects. Roots have an amazing property and hence used to treat various liver disorders. It also helps to restore liver functions and protects the liver from further damage especially with the patients who have a chronic hepatitis C disorder. People in Japan use injectable glycyrrhizin to treat chronic hepatitis disease.
Hair growth: According to the in-vivo study, the animals treated with the petroleum extract of licorice root helps in promoting the hair growth, controls hair fall and greying of hair. The study states that when the extract of sweet root or yashtimadhu, when applied to the denuded skin for 30 days, increases hair growth. Follicular density and cyclic phase of hair growth showed longer hair growth compared to that of minoxidil or controlled, used in the study.
Wound healing: Treating the wounded area with yashtimadhu controls methicillin-resistant S.aureus. Glicophenone and gliciosoflavanone present in the licorice root effectively aids in healing the wounded area.
Treats diabetes: Diabetes is one of the deadliest diseases suffered by the people around the globe. The pioglitazone and glycerin in licorice root help to suppress the blood glucose level in knockout, diabetic mice. Hence licorice root powder is used as a substitute for sugar or act as an artificial sweetener in diabetes patients.
Toxicity and safety: Licorice root provides us with numerous health benefits as discussed above. But it also exerts potential side-effects if used for a prolonged time. A few adverse effects include hypertension, hyperkalemia, pseudoadolsteronism, cause vasospasm throughout the body, and bring changes in the cytochrome P450 enzyme.
Pregnant ladies shouldn’t consume large quantities of licorice root powder without your doctor’s advice. This is because the glycyrrhiza in licorice can affect your fetus’ brain, leading to a decrease in cognitive skills. Another study also states that increased consumption can lead to preterm delivery.
Licorice root or sweet root or yashtimadhu is an age-old remedy to treat various systemic and non-systemic ailments. Due to its amazing medicinal properties, the mileage of health benefits is immeasurable. Treat your diseases and manage your symptoms with this wonderful ancient herb. Always pay attention to your medicines if you are already taking on to avoid any serious adverse reaction. Consuming a little powder of it can do wonders. So, eat this sweet and treat your health!