(Legume Family) This herb has been used by TCM practitioners for thousands of years to treat ulcers, colds, skin disorders, and as a tonic for the heart and spleen.
It is also used to treat asthma, lupus, Meneire's disease, vitiligo, Lyme disease, cancer, celiac disease, Crohn's disease, gastritis and peptic ulcer. The root of this herb contains a saponin glycoside called glycyrrhizic acid which has a similar structure to hormones produced by our adrenal glands - giving licorice an anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and anti-arthritic effect similar to cortisone, but without the side effects. Steroid-like compounds in this herb can change to estradiol and estrone which are estrogen precursors, giving it mild estrogenic properties which can be helpful during menopause. Licorice has been quite successful at treating ulcers. It lowers stomach acid levels and relieves heartburn and indigestion. It acts as a mild laxative and can be used for irritation, inflammation and spasms in the digestive tract. Through its beneficial action on the liver, it increases bile flow and lowers cholesterol levels. It has a similarly soothing and healing action in the respiratory system, reducing irritation and inflammation and has an expectorant effect, useful for irritating coughs, asthma and chest infections. It has an aspirin-like action and is helpful in relieving fevers and headaches. Its anti-allergenic effect is very useful for hay fever, allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis and bronchial asthma. Licorice is available in a standardized form and as deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL). Each has specific healing properties. Follow indications on labels for each.
Do not exceed 3 grams daily for more than 6 weeks especially if suffering from heart disease or high blood pressure. Should be avoided by those with estrogen-sensitive disorders.