"Natural Healing with Herbs for a Healthier You"
THE BENEFITS OF THE USE OF LICORICE
IN HERBAL PREPARATIONS
CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS OF LICORICE
The major active component of Licorice is saponin known as glycyrrhizin, also known as glycyrrhizic acid, which is an extremely sweet, foaming triterpene glycoside. It has a similar structure and activity as the adrenal steroids. Glycrrhizin, the potassium and calcium salt of glycyrrhizinic acid, is 50 times sweeter than sucrose and encourages the production of hormones such as hydrocortisone. Diabetic patients can safely take this type of sugar. Glycyrrhiza consists mainly of 20% starch, up to 6.5% glucose, 2 - 4% asparagines, 8% fat, resins, mannitol, gum protein, a trace of tannin, .03% volatile oils, bitter principles and other constituents.
Glycyrrhizin has a cortisone-like effect that raises prostaglandin levels locally, increasing mucous secretion and promoting proliferation of cells in the stomach. The intestinal flora hydrolyzes glycyrrhizin. This action has been found to be useful in the treatment of peptic ulcers and treating Addison’s disease. Glycyrrhizin has a similar chemical structure to corticosteroids released by the adrenals, which may aid in relieving withdrawal symptoms from cortical hormones. Licorice has shown estrogenic activity and is anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, and antibacterial. The flavonoids liquiritin, isoliquiritin, liquiritigenin and isoliquiritigenin found in the root are thought to be responsible for its antiulcer benefits. The flavonoids are also responsible for the yellow color of the root as well as for the health of the arteries.
by Mishelle Knuteson