Licorice Root Info
The licorice root herb, like many other herbs, dates back literally
thousands of years and has been widely used as an herbal medicine.
Its greatest popularity in contemporary society is as a sweet tasting candy due to its unique, rich taste,
although its sweetness is not as rich naturally.
Among ancients, though, its
primary uses were medicinal being used in everything from helping upset stomachs to restoring libido as a
Botanically, it comes from the pea family and is still widely cultivated in Greece and Turkey. Licorice-root
herb's chief therapeutic compound is glycyrrhizin, which is found in the underground stem.
Literally, hundreds of therapeutic substances have been found in licorice including flavonoids and plant
estrogens or phytoestrogens.
Besides its health benefits, which we'll get to momentarily, it is often added to other bitter herbs so as to
mask the characteristic bitterness of most herbs due to its unique sweet taste.
Licorice Root Herb Qualities & Benefits
What are the benefits of licorice herb? Significant if not varied. Licorice-root extract has been
extensively studied and have been found to be beneficial in many ailments.
The glycyrrhizin that we mentioned, along with DGL (another potent compound in licorice root herb, have been
found to help in the following:
- Fighting cancer. Animal studies show glycyrrhizin to boost immune-system activity, fighting various cancers
including breast, colon, and lung. Other studies conducted, for example, by the National Cancer Institute have
validated these findings as well.
- Alleviate indigestion, crohn's disease, colitis, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
- Prevent coronary disease. Studies have found it minimizes the damage done by LDL (the bad cholesterol) by
minimizing plaque formation. The compound glabridin is what helps with this.
- Licorice-root extract has
been found to have powerful antioxidants, thus fighting aging.
- Helps to minimize the effects or existence of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia
- Helps soothe skin problems like shingles and eczema.
- It helps with PMS and menstrual issues endemic to females, namely minimizing breast tenderness, bloating,
mood swings, etc.
- Licorice actually helps your liver as licorice herb's anti-inflammatory properties
help contribute to liver health and by extension the health of our system as the liver helps detoxify the body
- Licorice's anti-inflammatory properties also contribute toward minimizing the pain of rheumatoid
Needless, to say and as you can see, licorice-root herb has many therapeutic and health benefits you probably
weren't aware of. Don't think that taking licorice candy can provide the therapeutic benefits of licorice root
herb -- it can't. The DGL, glabridin, and glycyrrhizin active compounds can be found only in standardized
extracts of licorice root and in licorice root extract supplements.
GuidelinesThe side effects and general guidelines that you need to know about that are
possible with Licorice Root Herb we felt significant enough to put on a separate web page. To learn more
about licorice root side effects, click the preceding link.
Licorice Root Extract SupplementIt's possible to get Licorice Herb in many different forms,
i.e., as a wafer, tincture, tablet, lozenge, liquid, dried herb for tea, as a cream (this is where it's especially
beneficial for eczema and other skin problems) and of course as a capsule. In order to get a good licorice root
extract supplement, we recommend the following criteria:
- Again, avoid licorice candy if you're seeking the therapeutic health benefits of licorice root. The active
compounds are destroyed in the candy making process.
- As licorice is is an herb, only get it as a standardized extract form. Standardized extracts
preserve the therapeutic active compounds like glabridin, glycyrrhizin, and DGL.
- It is also important that you buy the root extract as this is where the active ingredients are for licorice
- If the licorice doesn't have glycyrrhizin, look for medications labeled DGL or ones that are
- For licorice with glycyrrhizin, ideally, look for licorice supplements that have 22% glycyrrhizinic
- 1. The supplements should be produced at pharmaceutical standard GMP registered facilities.
Facilities that are GMP registered comply with the most rigid standards so as to minimize the possibility of
product contaminants. (These are the same standards pharmaceutical companies in the United States are required
to operate under as mandated by the FDA.) Nutritional supplements are not regulated by FDA and as such
fraud is rampant with many so-called supplements containing contaminants with 1 in 5 not having the ingredients
as proclaimed on the label!
- Ideally, make sure the supplement does not contain any fillers or additives such as sucrose (sugar),
starch, gluten, silica (sand) or any other artificial colors, dyes, or flavors.
- If buying tablet licorice, look for tablets with enteric coating as this inert substance protects
the vitamins from being lost in the gastric acids. Enteric coating protects the vitamins until they can dissolve in the upper
intestine where they are then assimilated into the blood stream.
Quite frankly, I don't have a licorice supplement to recommend to you. I too want all the benefits of licorice
but haven't been able to find in our ongoing research a licorice root herb supplement that meets all the above
What I've done is find a supplement that gives us all the benefits of licorice root
extract found in other herbal extracts or nutrients. If you're interested in perhaps the
most scientifically designed nutritional supplement or vitamin in the world, click on the
I sincerely hope this Licorice root herb page has been useful to you.
Yours in health,