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Licorice ~ An Elixir Of Life ~ 13/04/08

(Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Since earliest recorded history, licorice has been used for many ailments and for vitality and longevity. It was often called an elixir of life. In China, licorice has remained one of the most frequently used herbs, over thousands of years.

Licorice water has been a popular sweet drink since the time of the Pharaohs. It contains a unique substance called glycyrrhizin, by analysis found to be 50 times sweeter than refined sugar and safe for a diabetic to use. Due to its sweetening and flavouring properties, it has been utilised to make bitter medicines more palatable.

is a hardy deciduous perennial to 1m, an easy-care plant that adapts to a wide range of soils and climates. It is the root that provides sweetening, flavouring, and over 600 constituents, powerful antiviral and antioxidant action, and nutritive health and healing benefits.

It is valued for building stamina and energy, and for having a beneficial effect on the digestive, respiratory, reproductive, and excretory systems. Licorice has an action that helps to calm the mind and soothe the nervous system; it acts to facilitate hydration with increases in cranial and cerebrospinal fluids. Other uses include: coughs, colds, constipation, fatigue, candida, diabetes, duodenal and peptic ulcers, depression, stress, arthritis, herpes, tuberculosis, heart burn, poor circulation, thyroid conditions, prostate enlargement, pre-menstrual symptoms, menopausal discomforts, Addison s Disease, skin rashes, libido insufficiency, insomnia, and for soothing benefits to the stomach and digestive tract.

Licorice has been shown to have activities similar to those of cortisone and, to a lesser extent, oestrogen. It induces the adrenal cortex to produce larger amounts of cortisone and aldosterone. As licorice supports and strengthens the adrenal glands, using licorice helps to sustain regulation of blood sugar-levels and so, reduce cravings for sweets. Using licorice root tea over a period of time has given complete recovery for a number of shingles sufferers. It has also been demonstrated to have powerful anti-HIV action in vivo.

Researchers have found that licorice can kill the bacteria in the mouth that causes tooth decay. It makes good sense to grow licorice and chew the root, regularly, as this action may reduce dental bills. Some people chew on licorice sticks in place of lollies and chocolate, or when feeling like a snack.

Chew on a licorice stick or make a licorice tea, when studying for exams. When students are cramming knowledge and studying long hours, the adrenals may be overworked. Students frequently suffer nervous stress, so & let licorice come to their rescue.

Any person who would like to give up smoking could have a licorice stick handy to suck on to appease the nicotine craving and to calm the nerves; this method has helped many people to quit.

Isabell Shipard

Shipards Herb Farm News

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