Licorice Herb - Uses And Side Effects
Used medicinally since Roman times, licorice is still popular in Chinese herbal medicine. The "licorice candy" sold In the United States usually is flavored with anise oil and doesn't actually contain licorice. Besides serving as a flavoring and sweetener for bitter drugs, licorice is an ingredient in some tobacco products, chewing gums, candies, beverages, toothpastes, and shampoos.
The plants are graceful, with light, spreading, pinnate foliage, presenting an almost feathery appearance from a distance. The leaflets (like those of the False Acacia) hang down during the night on each side of the midrib, though they do not meet beneath it. From the axils of the leaves spring racemes or spikes of papilionaceous small pale-blue, violet, yellowish-white or purplish flowers, followed by small pods somewhat resembling a partly-grown peapod in form. In the type species glabra , the pods are smooth, hence the specific name; in others they are hairy or spiny.
The underground system, as in so many Leguminosae, is double, the one part consisting of a vertical or tap root, often with several branches penetrating to a depth of 3 or 4 feet, the other of horizontal rhizomes, or stolons, thrown off from the root below the surface of the ground, which attain a length of many feet. These runners are furnished with leafbuds and throw up stems in their second year. The perennial downward-running roots as well as the long horizontal stolons are equally preserved for use.
Common doses of licorice
Licorice comes as:
Some experts recommend the following dose:
Uses of licorice
licorice root can be chewed or made into tea. It is frequently found in cough preparations and candies, often combined with anise seed. Consumption of licorice is believed to aid in healing stomach ulcers. Tea made from licorice and other anti-spasmodic herbs is often taken for menstrual cramps.
Side effects of licorice
Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of licorice:
Licorice also may cause:
Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about prescription or nonprescription drugs you're taking, especially:
Don't use licorice when taking:
Important points to remember
What the research shows
Researchers have studied licorice extensively as a treatment for peptic ulcers. They've found that it performs no better than established drugs, may cause more side effects, and can be poisonous if taken in large doses for a long time.
However, glycyrrhetic acid, a chemical made from the licorice plant, shows promise in enhancing the effects of steroid preparations applied to the skin.
Other names for licorice : -
Other names for licorice include Chinese licorice, licorice root, Persian licorice, Russian licorice, Spanish licorice, and sweet root.
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