What You Probably Don’t Know About Licorice
Written by: Brandi Monasco
Do you remember eating licorice as a kid? That sweet, pungent taste and smell was one of my favorites growing up. And while candy is not exactly healthy for you, licorice root is!
Licorice is more than just a candy – it’s an herb that has been widely used for many centuries in both traditional Chinese and Asian medicine. It is also used as flavoring in chewing gum, soft drinks, toothpaste and a lot of other things. It can also be made into a tea.
While many people like the taste of licorice, consuming licorice root in one form or another can also benefit your body in more than one way!
1. Boosts Your Immune System
Licorice helps to boost your levels of interferon, which is a very important chemical that helps your immune system to fight off viruses. Licorice also contains a powerful antioxidant that stops the growth of many viruses and bacteria, including influenza A. To improve your immune system and to help fight off the flu, drink one cup of licorice root tea each day for a month.
2. Cleans Your Respiratory System
You can take licorice as an oral supplement and doing so can help to clear out your respiratory system as well as relieve symptoms. Licorice roots helps to promote the production of healthy mucus within your respiratory tract and helps to keep your respiratory system clean of that nasty mucus that could clog it up and cause problems.
3. Helps Treat Depression
Licorice contains a type of acid called Glycyrrhizic acid that helps relieve the symptoms of depression and nervousness. This acid works by encouraging the function of your adrenal glands, which control stress hormones such as cortisol. To help combat anxiety and depression, take licorice extract at least once per day.
4. Helps Relieve PMS And Menstrual Cramps
Licorice contains antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties can help to relieve the symptoms that come along with PMS and menstrual cycles such as cramps, bloating, nausea and even mood swings. It is suggested that you drink licorice root tea starting about three days before your cycle in order to help alleviate the symptoms.
5. Alleviates Gastric Issues
Licorice root contains flavonoids that can help alleviate many issues with your digestive system such as discomfort and inflammation. Licorice also contains soothing agents that can help to quiet and soothe your digestive system. The best way to alleviate stomach and gastric issues is to drink licorice root tea two to three times each day.
Licorice root can be found in extract, powder and tea form. Each of which can be found at health food stores and online. The extract can be used as a sweetener in beverages, but you should not consume more than 30 mg of the extract per day. The powder can be used to create topical ointments for your skin as well as be placed in capsules and taken orally. For the powder, do not go over a 75 mg dosage. You shouldn’t consume more than 8 ounces of licorice tea per day.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy licorice? Share with us in the comments below!
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Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
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