13 August 2008

LicoriceThe sweet root of the Licorice plants has a long history of use in traditional medicine, historically to treat the skin and coughs.

Health Benefits of Licorice

  • It contains various compound with anti-inflammatory and other soothing effects that make it helpful as a treatment for ulcers and digestive disorders such as gastritis.
  • It also acts as an expectorant for cough and bronchitis.

Contain -Active Ingredients

  • Glycyrrhizin, a glycoside, makes up almost 8% of the licorice plant. Two enzymes that break down prostaglandin E (PGE) are stopped by glycyrrhizin. Low levels of PGE are linked to problems such as stomach inflammation, colic, and ulcers. Glycyrrhizin stops the enzymes from lowering PGE levels allowing levels to increase. Increased PGE aids the production of stomach mucus which lowers the high acid levels that can lead to stomach disorders.
  • Respiratory mucus production is also increased by glycyrrhizin. This increase helps the mucus to lose stickiness and leave the body more easily. Licorice can also rid lungs of mucus and is used to treat problems such as bronchitis and to relieve coughing and sore throats. Many cough lozenges and syrups use licorice as flavoring and as a cough suppressant.
  • Restrained production of cortisol and anti-inflammatory effects are caused by the flavonoids and glycyrrhizin in licorice. Research has shown that licorice flavonoids can kill the bacteria that causes stomach inflammation and ulcers, called Helicobacter pylori. Licorice is thought to have other antiviral properties, but none have been proven thus far.
  • Liquiritin, a licorice extract, is used as treatment for a skin pigmentation disorder called melasma. The effectiveness of licorice on this condition has not yet been proven.

Dosage and Administration

  • DGL extract: 0.4 to 1.6 g three times daily to treat peptic ulcer; in chewable tablet form 300 to 400 mg 20 minutes prior to meals to treat peptic ulcer
  • Tincture: 2 to 4 mL three times per day
  • Dried root: 1 to 5 g three times per day as decoction
  • To treat sore throats in older children, use licorice tea or chew a licorice piece.
  • To find the correct amount of tea, adjust the adult dose to the child’s weight.
  • Adult dosages are calculated from a 150 lb adult. A 50 lb child should take 1/3 of the adult dosage.

Warning

  • Licorice should not be taken with digoxin, diuretics, or medications that lower blood pressure.
  • Licorice should also not be used in people with hepatitis and other liver disorders, kidney disease, diabetes, arrhythmias, high blood pressure, muscle cramping, low potassium levels, and pregnancy.

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