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Licorice Standardized Extract

Licorice Standardized Extract

COMMON NAME
Licorice

LATIN NAME
Glycyrrhiza glabra

ORIGIN
Italy, Spain, Iran, Russia

PART OF PLANT USED
Roots

DESCRIPTION
Licorice has long been used for both culinary and medical purposes. Used for flavoring and sweetening candies and medical remedies, licorice also has potent effects of its own, particularly for ulcers and adrenal insufficiencies. Whole Licorice is used for cases of adrenal insufficiencies and inflammation. Another more widely used form is the deglycyrrhizinated one which is as effective as whole Licorice in its ulcer treating properties but without any hypertensive side effects.

HISTORICAL USES
Ulcers and stomach distress
Inflammatory problems, arthritis
Adrenal insufficiency, Addison's disease
Hypoglycemia
Cirrhosis and liver damage
Skin problems, rashes, dermatitis, impetigo
Coughs and bronchial complaints
Bacterial infections
Constipation
As a female tonic

ACTIVE SUBSTANCES
glycyrrhizin, glycyrrhetinic acid, flavonoids, asparagine, iso-flavonoids, chalcones, coumarins, triterpenoid saponins

PHARMACOLOGY
Licorice contains the glycoside, glycyrrhizin which has a similar structure and activity as the adrenal steroids. Licorice has an anti-inflammatory activity similar to cortisone and has been found useful for arthritis and allergies. In addition licorice has been used for mild Addison's disease and other adrenal insufficiencies, such as hypoglycemia. Licorice also acts like the hormone, ACTH, causing sodium retention, potassium depletion, and water retention. Excess consumption of licorice can lead to the classic symptoms of hypertension, with edema, increased blood pressure, potassium loss, and muscular weakness. Licorice is also highly effective in the treatment of gastrointestinal complaints, particularly peptic and gastric ulcers. The Deglycyrrhizinated form is most often used to avoid the hypertensive side effects of the glycyrrhetinic acid in whole Licorice. Licorice and DGL have a mild laxative effect and can protect the intestinal lining by increasing the production of mucus, thus alleviating heartburn and ulcers. Licorice and DGL also have a demulcent action and have been used for coughs and other bronchial complaints. Recent research has also revealed anti-bacterial, anti-toxin, and estrogenic effects for licorice.

TOXICITY, CAUTIONS & CONTRA-INDICATIONS
Glycyrrhetinic acid increases blood sodium and decreases potassium levels by stimulating renal tubules to absorb excessive amounts of water. Edema and slight rises in venous and arterial blood pressure may result. Potassium supplementation (75-100 mg.) prevents this problem. Persons with high blood pressure should supplement licorice root with potassium. Use of DGL form avoids this hypertensive effect.

DIRECTIONS FOR USE
1000 mg/day DGL extract 3X day 1/2 hour before meals.

BIO-ENHANCING AGENTS
Liver: milk thistle, dandelion, cascara, wild yam
Stomach: goldenseal, ginger, gentian root
Adrenal Support: panax ginseng, Siberian ginseng
Arthritis: alfalfa, celery seed, chapparal
Immune System: echinacea, ginseng, Schisandra, saw palmetto
Bronchial Complaints: anise, yarrow, mullein.

STANDARD
Deglycyrrhizinated licorice with 0.4% glycyrrhizin

ANALYSIS STANDARDIZED EXTRACT

ProductDeglycyrrhizinated Licorice
TypeStandardized extract
StandardizationDeglycyrrhizinated with 0.5% glycyrrhizin
Loss on drying4.1%
pH5.6
Ash14.1%
StorageSealed in cool, dry, dark place



SCIENTIFIC REFERENCES

Gaby, A. (1988) Deglycyrrhizinated licorice treatment of peptic ulcer. Townsend Letter for Doctors. July: 306.

Mowrey, D. (1990) Guaranteed Potency Herbs. A Compilation of writings on the subject.

Mowrey, D. (1986) The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine. Cormorant Books.

Tagi, K. et al. (1965) Peptic ulcer inhibiting activity of licorice root. Proc. Int. Pharmacol. 7(1).




 


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