Liquorice and Licorice Root Gel
Liquorice herb is used in licorice root gel and numerous other products.
Licorice, also spelt liquorice, has many health benefits.
It is very popular for its flavouring in candy with the most popular in the United Kingdom being Liquorice Allsorts.
In most of these candies, the taste is reinforced by aniseed oil. The actual content of licorice is very low. Licorice is also found in some soft drinks and in some herbal teas.
Its main constituent is glycyrrhizin. Glycyrrhizin is 50 times sweeter than sugar. This enables it to be a widely used ingredient in the food industry. The distinctive flavour also makes it a popular additive to baked confectionaries, liqueurs and ice cream.
The flavour is also commonly used in medicines to mask their bitter and unpleasant flavours. It is also added to herbal blends because its distinctive and sweet taste conceals the bitterness of the other herbs.
The Chinese use licorice as a culinary spice for savoury foods. They also used it to flavour broths and foods simmered in soy sauce.
The licorice herb is one most prescribed herb in China. The Japanese also use the herb for medicinal purposes.
Liquorice Health Benefits
The herb also contains various sugars, starches, flavonoids, saponoids, sterols, amino acids, gums, and essential oil.
Glycyrrhizin stimulates the secretion of the adrenal cortex hormone aldosterone. In addition, the herb has an expectorant effect, which increases the secretion of the bronchial glands.
Licorice is rarely used alone. It is an ingredient in many cough medicines. It is a diuretic and a common component of many herbal teas used as mild laxative and for flatulence. The root extract produces mild estrogenic effects, which enable it to regulate menstruation and relieve menstrual cramps.
Glycyrrhizin has anti-viral properties used in the treatment of AIDS. Glycyrrhizin also encourages the production of hormones such as hydrocortisone, which give it anti-inflammatory properties.
Licorice has also been used in poultices for treatment of dermatitis and other skin infections. It helps to open the pores. It is used in combination with other cleansing and healing herbs as an emollient.
Licorice root stimulates the production of interferon. Deglycerrhizinated licorice may stimulate the body's defence mechanisms that prevent the occurrence of ulcers. It does so by increasing the amount of mucous-secreting cells in the digestive tract.
Licorice Side Effects
Licorice may cause headaches, elevated blood pressure, hypertension, lethargy, edema, or shortness of breath.
Do not use licorice root if you have high blood pressure, liver disease, or low levels of potassium.
The increased production of aldosterone can raise blood pressure. It also causes retention of fluids.
Licorice can also sap potassium and calcium from the body especially when taken for over two weeks.
Do not take it if you have a rapid heartbeat or are taking digoxin-based drugs. Also, avoid it if you have osteoporosis and or hypertension.