Licorice is a flavorful herb that has been used in food and medicinal remedies for thousands of years. Also known as “sweet root,” licorice root contains a compound that is 50 times sweeter than sugar. Supplements containing therapeutic amounts of licorice come in two forms: either licorice with glycyrrhizin or licorice without glycyrrhizin, a form known as deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or DGL.
Features & Benefits
- DGL is often used as a treatment for stomach ulcers
- Topical application of licorice has been used to relieve symptoms of eczema and shingles
- Licorice is a traditional treatment for cough, asthma and other respiratory problems
- Topically, kava can be used as a numbing agent
- Licorice contains isoflavones and other constituents that have estrogen receptor modulating activities. Can be helpful for PMS and menstrual symptoms.
Suggestions & Precautions
- In large amounts, licorice containing glycyrrhizin can cause high blood pressure, salt and water retention, and low potassium levels, which could lead to heart problems. DGL products are thought to cause fewer side effects.
- Taking licorice with diuretics, corticosteroids, or other medicines that reduce the body’s potassium levels could cause dangerously low potassium levels
- Pregnant women should avoid using licorice as a supplement or consuming large amounts of licorice as food, as some research suggests it could increase the risk of preterm labor
- No side effects have been associated with DGL use