Related Articles

5 Surprising Health Benefits of Licorice Root

By By NRI Staff • Updated November 7, 2022

The roots of the licorice plant have been used for thousands of years, dating back to at least 500 B.C. in ancient Greece. Today, licorice root remains a common ingredient in many herbal supplements and is often seen in cough syrups. Licorice has traditionally been used to help with stomach ulcers, sore throat, asthma, and bronchitis, but it also has a number of benefits for general health.

For thousands of years, licorice root has been used to cure a variety of ailments. Today, doctors are discovering that this natural remedy may be more beneficial than previously thought. It contains soothing properties that can help with many health problems including sore throat, stomach aches, muscle pain, and even chronic fatigue. Licorice root is also rich in vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and digestion. Plus, it tastes good too!

In this article you’ll learn about the health benefits of licorice root and how it can benefit your overall well-being.

What is Licorice Root?

Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra), also known as “sweet root”, is a perennial plant that grows in marshy areas in Europe, North America and Asia. Licorice root is used to flavor licorice candy (although it isn’t the same as licorice flavored candy) as well as herbal medicines and herbal teas. It is also used to flavor root beer. The roots are harvested and dried for use in herbal medicine.

5 Impressive Health Benefits of Licorice Root

The benefits to health are numerous and it would be impossible to name them all here; however there are a few benefits that stand out more than others:

1. Reduces Blood Pressure

Licorice root has been shown to lower blood pressure. Researchers at the University of Rome found that participants with high systolic blood pressure (SBP) had a significant reduction of their SBP by 7-8 mm Hg, and researchers from the American Heart Association found that people with high diastolic blood pressure (DBP) had an average of 5 mm Hg decrease in DBP.

white and black digital device

2. Improves Iron Levels

One common use for licorice root is to improve iron levels, which can help treat anemia in both children and adults. The main active compound in licorice root is a substance called glycyrrhizin, which boosts the body’s production of red blood cells by increasing how much hemoglobin is manufactured.

3. Supports Intestinal Health

Licorice root provides natural relief from gastrointestinal issues such as spasms, cramps, diarrhea, and more. It provides a soothing effect not only on the lining of the intestine but also on the digestive tract. A study has shown that one of the compounds found in licorice root called glycyrrhizin can help promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, strengthening the gut’s immune system. Glycyrrhizin can also help alleviate chronic constipation and improve overall digestive health.

4. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

Licorice extract contains L-glutamine, which helps to reduce blood sugar levels by slowing the rate at which carbohydrates are broken down in the body. This leads to a slower rise in blood sugar levels after eating food with lots of sugars and increases the time it takes for insulin to lower blood sugar levels.

5. Can Improve Skin Conditions

In the olden days, licorice root was used to relieve skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Recent research has revealed that licorice root can help to improve skin conditions by helping to stimulate collagen production which leads to more elastic skin. Licorice contains glycyrrhetinic acid which helps produce collagen, makes skin softer and tighter, and can even help to reduce acne. Additionally, it also improves skin hydration.

How To Take Licorice Root

There are a variety of ways to take licorice root, from drinking it as a tea to adding it as an ingredient in your homemade baking recipes. While licorice root can be found in the produce section of most grocery stores, it is also possible to grow your own at home if you live in an area where this plant grows naturally.

Licorice roots are also extract by boiling or extract by soaking in alcohol. They can be eaten, drunk, or consumed in the form of an extract. Below you’ll find a few of the most common ways to take licorice root.

Tea

Licorice root tea can be made in many ways. One of the most common is to simmer the licorice roots in water for an extended period of time. This tea can be made by simmering fresh or dried licorice root pieces in water for 20-30 minutes. Another way to make licorice root tea is to steep the roots for 3-5 minutes, then remove them from the water before pouring into a cup.

white and brown ceramic teapot on wooden tray

Capsules

Licorice root is most commonly available in capsule form and can be taken at different dosages depending on the user’s specific needs. The standard dose of licorice root capsules is between 400mg and 600mg per day, usually taken in divided doses throughout the day.

Powder

Licorice root powder is a great herb to have on hand because it has many benefits. It may help if you are looking for natural, herbal remedies for digestive distress. It can also be used to treat sore throats or other ailments. To use licorice root powder, mix it with water or tea and drink one cup three times per day. You may also try adding it to your favorite beverage.

brown powder on white surface

Lotion

Licorice root lotion is a natural way to treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne. This type of lotion is best for sensitive skin because it has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the redness in your skin. Licorice root lotion also contains natural moisturizers that will keep your skin smooth and hydrated without clogging pores or causing breakouts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does licorice root taste like?

Licorice root has a sweet and slightly aniseed taste and is often used to flavor sweets and candies. Licorice root can also be used to make tea, which has a sweet and earthy flavor. Some people find the taste of licorice root to be overwhelming, while others enjoy its unique flavor.


Does licorice root kill candida?

There is some evidence that licorice root may be effective in treating candida overgrowth. Candida is a type of yeast that can cause infections in the body. Licorice root has anti-fungal properties and has been shown to kill candida in test tubes and in mice. However, more research is needed to determine if licorice root can kill candida in people.


Why is licorice root in skincare bad for pregnancy?

Licorice root is often found in skincare products, but it’s actually bad for pregnant women. Licorice root can cause early labor and other problems. Licorice root can cause preterm labor, early delivery, and low birth weight in babies. It can also cause high blood pressure in pregnant women. Pregnant women should avoid all skincare products that contain licorice root.

Conclusion

In this article you learned about the health benefits of licorice root and how it can benefit your overall well-being. Hopefully you were able to learn something new about this powerful herb and how it can help you overcome certain health challenges and improve your health. If you would like to learn more about other natural remedies that can help improve your health, please visit our blog where you’ll find articles on a variety of different botanicals.

Sources:

Kao, Tzu-Chien et al. “Bioactivity and potential health benefits of licorice.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry vol. 62,3 (2014): 542-53. doi:10.1021/jf404939f

Kwon, Yu-Jin et al. “A Review of the Pharmacological Efficacy and Safety of Licorice Root from Corroborative Clinical Trial Findings.” Journal of medicinal food vol. 23,1 (2020): 12-20. doi:10.1089/jmf.2019.4459

Most Popular