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Licorice: Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

By NS Desk | Herbs | Posted on :   18-Dec-2020

Licorice, popularly known as Mulethi or Sweetwood, is one of the most useful and powerful medicinal herbs. Licorice herb is consumed as a flavoring agent in tea and other beverages and is scented. Licorice is used to cure many ailments, mainly treating the sore throat and cough. It soothes your throat, and due to its anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, it is also helpful in managing gastric problems like stomach ulcers and heartburn. 
 
In India, Licorice is usually called Mulethi; it acts as a good flavoring agent and is also used as a home remedy due to its widespread medical properties. In Indian Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, Licorice is a popular condiment that has been in use since ancient times. This medicinal herb is of huge value in naturally treating sore throat, bronchitis, mouth ulcers, chest congestion, strengthening bones and muscles, kidney problems, hair loss, etc., and has extensive health benefits reach.
 
Licorice should be consumed in a specified quantity as, in some cases, excessive consumption of Licorice may cause headaches and nausea. Generally, to improve energy levels and manage fatigue, licorice can also be taken. In the case of mouth sores and dental plaques, Licorice helps manage oral problems. Due to its healing and cooling properties, applying a paste of Licorice powder and honey might help relieve mouth sores. To improve skin texture and color, licorice powder is quite helpful.
 
The presence of powerful phytochemicals such as flavonoids, chalcones, saponins, and xenoestrogens contains certain medicinal properties of mulethi chiefly. Glycyrrhizin, i.e., salts of glycyrrhizic acid, is a common saponin found in roots of mulethi that is accountable for the characteristic sweet taste, which is 50 times sweeter than sugar flavor. The distinct yellowish color of mulethi is provided by some popular chalcones like Liquiritin, lico avonol, liquiritigenin, etc. Due to anethole, the roots of licorice are aromatic.
 
Licorice's common uses are to heal swelling, i.e., inflammation of the liver or hepatitis, eczema mouth sores, and many other conditions that can be proved scientifically to validate certain uses. Licorice is also consumed in tobacco products, beverages, and flavor foods. Licorice may interfere with the body's response against COVID-19 as per some experts. Licorice majorly increases the chemicals in our body that heal ulcers, and these chemicals in licorice are considered to reduce swelling, thin mucus secretions, and reduce cough.
 
SYNONYMS OF LICORICE: Glycyrrhizae, Glycyrrhizic Acid, Glycyrrhizinic Acid, Isoflavone, Jethi-Madh, Kanzo, Lakritze, Licorice Root, Jethimard, Jestamadu, Jyeshtamadhu, Atimadhura, Multhi, Irattimadhuram, Jatimadhu, Jastimadhu, Athimadhuram, Atimadhuramu, Asl-us-sus, Liquiritiae Radix, Liquirizia, Mulathi, Mulethi, Orozuz, Can Cao, Chinese Licorice, Deglycyrrhized Licorice, East European Licorice, Glycyrrhiza glabra violacea, Glycyrrhiza glabra glandulifera, Glycyrrhiza glandulifera, Glycyrrhiza Radix, Glycyrrhiza uralensis, Gan Cao, Gan Zao, Glabra, Glycyrrhiza, Glycyrrhiza echinate, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza glabra typica, Phytoestrogen, Phyto-œstrogène, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Mulethi, Mulathi, Muleti, Jethimadhu, Jethimadh, Yastimadhuka, Yastika, Madhuka, Madhuyasti, Yastyahva, Jesthimadhu, Yeshtmadhu, Yashtimadhu, Jethimadha, Regliz, Russian Licorice, Spanish Licorice, Subholz, Sussholz, Sweet Root, Turkish Licorice, Ural Licorice, Yashtimadhu, Yashti-Madhu, Yashti-Madhuka, Zhi Gan Cao Acid Glycyrrhizique, Acide Glycyrrhizinique, Alcacuz, Alcazuz, Bois Doux.
 
What is the foundation of Licorice?
Plant-Based
 
BENEFITS OF LICORICE:
 
1. What are the benefits of Licorice for Cough?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Licorice powder helps cure sore throat, cough, and excessive creation of mucus in the respiratory tract. It also aids in loosening the mucus and coughing it out.

Licorice is fine for sore throat, throat irritation, cough, and bronchitis because of its Ropan, i.e., healing and expectorant characteristics.

 
2. What are the benefits of Licorice for Stomach ulcers?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Licorice root extract might assist in treating stomach ulcers. Glycyrrhetinic acid in Licorice extract has well-built anti-inflammatory characteristics and inhibits inflammatory mediators' activity to decrease pain and inflammation in the stomach.

Procedure:

1. Consume 1 teaspoonful of Licorice powder.

2. Take it thrice a day with 1 cup milk to relieve pain and inflammation related to stomach ulcers.

Licorice is helpful in stomach ulcer because of its Sita, i.e., cold) potency. It creates a thick mucus lining that safeguards the stomach due to its Ropan, i.e., healing nature.

 
3. What are the benefits of Licorice for Heartburn?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Licorice is efficient in treating functional dyspepsia and related symptoms such as pain due to intestinal gas, belching, upper abdominal fullness, bloating, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and hunger loss.

Licorice helps heartburn and decreases inflammation in the stomach because of its Sita, i.e., cold energy.

 

 
4. What are the benefits of Licorice for Fatigue?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Licorice is efficient in treating fatigue as it inhibits inflammatory mediators' activity to decrease dizziness and inflammation in the body.

Licorice is known to release tiredness and fatigue by offering instantaneous energy because of its Madhur, i.e., sweet, and Rasayana, i.e., Rejuvenating property.

 
5. What are the benefits of Licorice for Tuberculosis or TB?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Licorice might act as an alternate treatment in curing tuberculosis because of its antimicrobial activity that fights against the gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.

Licorice helps improve immunity and control bacterial infections in the lungs of patients with tuberculosis because of its Rasayana, i.e., rejuvenating and Ropan, i.e., healing characteristics.

 
6. What are the benefits of Licorice for Malaria?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Licorice might serve as a good anti-malarial agent because of the presence of Licochalcone A. It inhibits the expansion of parasites at all levels.

Licorice aids in fighting against malaria by improving immunity because of its Rasayana, i.e., rejuvenating characteristics.

 
7. What are the benefits of Licorice for Fatty liver disease?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Licorice might be valuable in the case of the fatty liver caused by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4). Because of its detoxification and antioxidant characteristics, Licorice reverses the liver harm inflicted by CCl4. It works by inhibiting liver enzymes' augmented activity and growing the level of antioxidants in the liver. Glycyrrhizic acid present in Licorice has high-quality hepatoprotective and anti-inflammatory characteristics, which can effectively treat non-alcoholic hepatitis.

Licorice aids in improving immunity and controlling bacterial infections in the lungs of patients and helps fight against fatty liver disease by improving immunity because of its Rasayana, i.e., rejuvenating characteristics Ropan, i.e., healing characteristics.

 
8. What are the benefits of Licorice for High cholesterol?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Licorice powder helps cure high cholesterol and excessive creation of mucus in the respiratory tract. It also aids in loosening the cholesterol formation in the body.

Licorice helps to cure high cholesterol and decreases the risk of plaque creation because of its Vata and Pitta balancing characteristics.

 
9. What are the benefits of Licorice for Arthritis?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Licorice can assist in managing rheumatoid arthritis because of its anti-inflammatory characteristics. It inhibits the activity of inflammatory mediators and cures pain and inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis is known as Sandhivata, in which an aggravated Vata causes pain and swelling in the joints. Licorice balances Vata because of its Sita, i.e., cold characteristics, and provides relief in case of arthritis as per Ayurveda.

 
10. What are the benefits of Licorice for Prostate cancer?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Glycyrrhizin in Licorice serves as a therapeutic agent against prostate cancer. Glycyrrhizin inhibits cell reproduction of prostate cancer cells by inducing apoptosis. Hence, Licorice is recognized to have anti-tumorigenic activity against prostate cancer cells.

Licorice helps improve immunity and control bacterial infections in the prostate of patients because of its Rasayana, i.e., rejuvenating and Ropan, i.e., healing characteristics.

 
USES & EFFECTIVENESS OF LICORICE
 
• Eczema: Eczema or atopic dermatitis can improve the skin as there is some evidence that applying licorice to skin cures skin. Three times Application of a gel containing licorice daily for 2 weeks reduces redness, swelling, itching, and makes your skin glowing. After breathing tube removal, some people may feel the side effects of the same. To help prevent cough and a sore throat from occurring when the tube is removed and Sucking on a licorice lozenge or gargling with a licorice fluid shortly before placement of a breathing tube cures skin related diseases.
 
• Canker sores: Application of licorice gel in the mouth for 16 hours daily for 8 days decreases the size of canker sores but does not speed up healing time as per the research. To decrease pain in patients with canker sores, researchers show that applying licorice gel on patches and gargling with warm water containing licorice cure canker sores.
 
• Dental plaque: It has been found in recent research that the application of a toothpaste containing licorice twice daily does not decrease plaque, gingivitis, or bleeding when compared to a toothpaste without licorice. It is advised to use mouthwash consisting of glycyrrhizin also does not seem to decrease plaque.
 
• Dry mouth: As per recent research, researchers believe that consuming a licorice mouthwash with every meal for 10 days in people on kidney dialysis with dry mouth might boost dry mouthfeel but not the amount of saliva formed.
 
• Indigestion: It is advised to consume a definite combination of products consisting of the licorice roots and many other herbal ingredients that help improve indigestion or dyspepsia symptoms. When used alone, It's unclear if licorice is beneficial or not. Ulcers, Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori can occur due to a digestive tract infection. Taking a standard medication treatment alone cures the infection more than taking licorice twice daily together with standard medication for H. pylori infection, as the researchers claim. For the infection in people with peptic ulcer disease, Licorice may only be helpful. Still, researchers are working on licorice to provide the best product.
 
• Hepatitis: While treating hepatitis B and hepatitis C when given intravenously by IV, certain licorice components might be effective, which has been proven with shreds of evidence. To reduce death by about 50%, using a specific IV licorice product can be beneficial for the latest research. This has experimented with certain patients in the research, and most have been cured by using licorice.
 
• High cholesterol: Consuming licorice root extract every day for 1 month decreases total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, i.e., bad cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in people with high cholesterol. As per research, bad cholesterol can be controlled by the consumption of licorice powder.
 
• High potassium levels: Licorice reduces potassium levels in people with diabetes or kidney problems due to anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties; problems related to high potassium levels can be controlled by taking licorice.
 
• Mouth sores: If you are struggling with issues of Mouth sores, then a specific licorice component intravenously by IV boosts symptoms of mouth sores or lichen planus in people with hepatitis C.
 
• Symptoms of menopause: Consuming licorice root extract can decrease the number and intensity of hot flashes in menopausal women as per the latest research. At the same time, other researchers think that licorice builds up fat in the liver in people who drink little or no alcohol, i.e., non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD. Research shows that consuming 2 grams of licorice root extract daily for 2 months decreases test markers of liver injury in liver disease patients not caused by drinking alcohol.
 
• Obesity: Consuming licorice doesn't decrease body weight in overweight or obese people, but it improves the metabolism that repairs the body in a way that stimulates weight loss.
 
• Parkinson’s disease: Consuming licorice by mouth may boost symptoms and tremors in people with Parkinson’s disease as per the latest study, which improves the quality of research needed to confirm.
 
• Stomach ulcers: Licorice usually speeds up the healing of stomach ulcers when made, especially on the health care experts' instructions. Consuming a definite licorice product consisting of definite antacids for 4-16 weeks might speed up ulcer healing. To improve stomach ulcer symptoms taking similar licorice products that do not contain additional antacids to reduce stomach ulcers. 
 
• Physical performance in elderly adults: Exercise, in general, does not get better with their walking speed or other physical abilities as per recent research, and this licorice oil to older women is used to make the bones stronger. Licorice is consumed to repair hormonal disorder, causing enlarged ovaries with cysts, i.e., polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS.
 
Is Licorice effective?
Licorice is quite effective in treating ailments such as Heartburn, Arthritis, Chronic hepatitis C virus or HCV infection, Cough, Local anesthesia,i.e., Numb tissues in a specific area, Malaria, Menopausal symptoms, Obesity, Prostate cancer, Stomach ulcers, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Tuberculosis, Familial Mediterranean fever, i.e., Hereditary inflammatory disorder, Fatigue, Fatty liver disease, High cholesterol, Increased potassium levels in the blood, Infections, Infertility, Irritable bowel syndrome.
 
SIDE EFFECTS & SAFETY MEASURES OF LICORICE
• When taken by mouth: Licorice is taken in most food items; it is safest for human consumption and should be utilized in a specified amount. When taken by mouth in larger amounts as medicine, this licorice has been clinically tested and is known as glycyrrhizin, which is safe for consumption. It should be consumed by individuals as prescribed by the medical officers that are doses of up to 4.5 grams daily for up to 4 months. People might develop high blood pressure and other serious side effects that chew tobacco flavored with licorice, drink licorice tea, or ingest large amounts of candy or lozenges containing licorice.
 
To consume in huge amounts for more than 4 weeks or in smaller amounts, long-term licorice products that include glycyrrhizin are probably unsafe. For several weeks or longer, one can cause severe side effects consuming licorice 5 grams or more. The consumption of high dosage leads to very high blood pressure, paralysis, irregular heart rhythms, low potassium levels, weakness, and heart attack. Individuals who eat a lot of salt or have heart disease, kidney disease, or high blood pressure are extra sensitive to licorice. After eating smaller amounts of licorice, one can have these troubles.
 
• When applied to the skin: When a licorice gel is used with licorice root extract, 2% is applied to the skin for up to 2 weeks; in such cases, Licorice is perhaps safe. In various people, it may cause a rash after consuming licorice in inappropriate quantity.
 
SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS & WARNINGS
• Pregnancy and breast-feeding: If you are pregnant, then it is unsafe to take licorice by mouth. To increase the risk of early delivery, high utilization of licorice during pregnancy, i.e., about 250 grams of licorice per week, is utilized, which is unsafe. Early delivery or might cause a miscarriage. When breastfeeding, there isn't much dependable information available about the safety of consuming licorice. Avoid using licorice and stay on the safe side.
 
• Heart disease: Consumption of licorice can make congestive heart failure worse and cause the body to store water. It can also boost the risk of an unbalanced heartbeat. If you have heart disease, don’t consume licorice.
 
• Hormone-sensitive: Ailments like such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids, and uterine cancer: Licorice might act as an estrogen in the body. Don't use licorice if you have any situation that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen.
 
• The consumption of licorice can raise high blood pressure: Blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, don’t consume large amounts of it.
 
• Hypertonic: Usually, Hypertonic is a kind of muscle condition caused by nerve problems. To cure the same taking Licorice can cause the level of potassium to go down in the blood. Licorice can create hypertonic worse, so keep away from consuming licorice if you have hypertonic.
 
• Hypokalemia: Generally, Hypokalemia is Low potassium levels in the blood. Don't utilize licorice if you have this situation; if your potassium is already low, licorice might make it excessively low.
 
• Kidney disease: Don't use licorice as the overuse of licorice could make kidney disease worse. 
 
• Sexual problems in men: Licorice can worsen erectile dysfunction by lowering levels of a hormone called testosterone and worsen a man's interest in sex.
 
• Surgery: Avoid consuming licorice at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery as Licorice might hinder blood pressure control during and after surgery. 
 
HOW TO CONSUME LICORICE
 
1.  Licorice Honey Face pack
• Consume 15-20 fresh Licorice leaves and blend them to form a smooth paste
• 2 teaspoon of honey to the paste should be Added
• Evenly apply licorice paste over the face, neck, and hands
• For 5-6 minutes, it should be kept
• With tap water, wash carefully
• Three times a week, utilize this remedy to get relief of tanning and dullness.
 
2. Consume Licorice Powder with Amla juice
• Consume 2 teaspoons of Licorice powder
• Apply licorice gel consistently on the scalp and blend 5-6 teaspoons of amla juice with licorice
• For 1-2 hours, let it sit
• With tap water, wash carefully
• Twice a week, utilize this remedy for a spotless and oil-free scalp.
 
3. Use Licorice Powder with Turmeric
• Consume ½ teaspoon of Licorice powder
• ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon of Multani Mitti must be added
• 2-3 teaspoons of rose water should be added to licorice powder
• Blend all the components to form a silky paste
• Keep for 5-6 minutes to dry and apply evenly on the face and neck
• With tap water, wash carefully
• To improve your skin tone, repeat it thrice a week. 
 
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
 
Q. Can Licorice powder be used for hair growth?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Licorice powder is frequently utilized then it can assist in controlling hair loss, but sufficient scientific evidence is not available currently. It might also help in the expansion of new hair.

Licorice is fine for hair growth; to protect hair and increase the hair quality, licorice can be used to maintain the quality of hair, then Ropan, i.e., healing and expectorant characteristics of licorice, is very beneficial.

 
Q. What are the benefits of Licorice tea?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Licorice comprises definite constituents that guard the liver against harm—drinking Licorice tea that helps in managing ulcers, diabetes inflammation, constipation, and depression.

 

 

Licorice assists in administering issues such as the stomach, mouth ulcers, hyperacidity, and can be consumed along with ginger in the form of tea. Licorice promotes healthy liver function because of its Pitta balancing and Rasayana, i.e., rejuvenating characteristics due to its Vata and Pitta balancing characteristics.

 
Q. Can Licorice help relieve muscle cramps?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Yes, particular substances are attained from the licorice root that helps reduce muscle cramps or spasms.

Muscular cramps are due to the unevenness of Vata Dosha in the body. As Licorice has the property of balancing Vata Dosha, it acts very efficiently in muscular cramps.

 
Q. Can Licorice help with weight loss?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Licorice increases human metabolism and is not adequate as scientific shreds of evidence are not available for the use of Licorice in weight loss.

 

Licorice makes it efficient in maintaining normal body weight as it has Balya, i.e., tonic characteristics.

 
Q. Does Licorice help improve gastrointestinal health?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Licorice comprises definite substances that have anti‐inflammatory characteristics. It soothes the stomach by shielding the gastrointestinal tract lining Due to this and any kind of pain or inflammation.

 

The gastrointestinal disturbance is suffered due to the imbalance of Pitta dosha. Licorice has the characteristics of balancing Pitta Dosha in the body, which assists in improving digestive health.

 
Q. Does Licorice aid the treatment of diabetes?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Yes, licorice might assist in improving insulin resistance, which helps in the treatment of diabetes.

 

Due to an imbalance of Vata and Kapha dosha, diabetes is a situation that occurs. Licorice assists in supervising diabetes because of its Rasayana, i.e., rejuvenating characteristics. It helps control normal blood sugar levels and prevents the complexities of diabetes by balancing Vata and Kapha dosha.

 
Q. Does Licorice help improve male fertility?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

For the use of Licorice in male fertility, there is no enough scientific evidence available.

It improves male fertility, as Licorice has Rasayana, i.e., rejuvenating, and Vajikaran, i.e., aphrodisiac characteristics.

 
Q. Does Licorice help relieve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome or PMS and menopause?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Licorice root contains certain substances that help in the symptomatic control of menopause and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) by lowering the estrogen level.

Premenstrual syndrome or PMS and menopause both are the effects of imbalanced Vata and Pitta Dosha. Licorice has Vata and Pitta Dosha balancing property, which assists in managing the features of both these problems.

 
Q. What does Licorice do to your skin and hair?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Glycyrrhizin in Licorice is determined to be the chief component to battle against free radicals and prevent skin disease. Licorice has antimicrobial, antioxidant, UV protective, and anti-inflammatory characteristics. Licorice powder, when applied regularly, improves the elasticity of the skin apart from these benefits.

Due to its Ropan, i.e., healing properties, it shows good results in treating blemishes, and licorice is good for skin and dark spots because of its Pitta balancing and Rasayana characteristics.

 

 
Q. Does Licorice help in skin lightening?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Licorice is known as the safest skin lightening instrument. Liquidity in Licorice powder inhibits an enzyme named tyrosinase, leading to a reduction in the melanin content. It contributes to a reduction in melanin as antioxidants are present in Licorice, which helps in skin lightening.

Licorice helps to cure blemishes and dark spots in melasma because of its Pitta balancing and Rasayana, i.e., rejuvenating characteristics. It also gives a soothing and cooling effect on the skin.

 

 

 
Q. How is Licorice powder good for hair?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

DGlycyrrhizin present in it, Licorice powder is good for the hair. It aids in fighting against free radicals and prevents hair damage.

Due to its Pitta and Vata balancing characteristics, licorice powder controls hair fall and premature greying.

 

 
Q. Is Licorice good for your dental health?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Licorice has anti-cariogenic characteristics that prevent cavities' formation and inhibit the devotion and biofilm creation of the bacteria on teeth. Licorice powder stimulates saliva flow and is sweet, known to have antibacterial action, cleansing effect, and demineralization activity to restore the mineral loss. Licorice powder also decreases the creation of inflammatory mediators accountable for the inflammation of gums.

It is advised to use mouthwash consisting of glycyrrhizin, also does not seem to decrease plaque.

NS Desk

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