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Medical researchers have isolated several active substances in licorice root including glycosides, flavonoids, asparagine, isoflavonoids, chalcones and coumarins. Primary of these is Glycyrrhetinic acid, a natural anti-inflammatory compound that led to the successful development of drugs used in the treatment of duodenal and gastric ulcers, as well as ulcers of the mouth and genitals.

Licorice may be effective against Chronic Fatigue Syndrome CFS. Licorice root has immune enhancing properties, anti-viral properties, and stimulates the adrenal gland function. All three of these mechanisms are relevant to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. As well, recent research has identified an inability of many people with CFS to maintain normal blood pressure.1 For this reason it is now being recommended for people with CFS and low blood pressure. A case study has reported that taking 2.5 grams of licorice each day helped one patient who did not respond to any other therapy.2

People with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are often on many different medications,  even when not taking licorice, drugs should be frequently reviewed by a physician or pharmacist to make sure that adverse interactions don't occur. For more information see: POTENTIAL INTERACTIONS OF DRUGS AND FOODS WITH LICORICE ROOT Copyright 1996 Camilla Cracchiolo, R.N. We are trying to find links to these article which used to reside on primenet.com.

On the whole, Liquorice as a domestic medicine is far more frequently used on the Continent. It is much used in China and largely produced (both L. glabra and L. echinata) in some of the northern provinces, a variety of medicinal preparations being employed, not only as possessing tonic, alternative and expectorant properties, but also for the rejuvenating and highly nutritive qualities attributed to it.

Licorice contains glabridin, a chemical that blocks LDL oxidation and may prevent heart attacks, but that doesn't mean that you should go out and start eating large amounts of licorice3

It was recommended by Gervase Markham, a noted authority on husbandry and farriery in the early part of the seventeenth century, for the veterinary use.

Estrogen & Phyto- Estrogens
Please see: http://www.sciencenews.org/sn_arc98/6_20_98/bob1.htm

Melasma
Is a disorder of cutaneous hyperpigmentation (skin pigmentation) which is sometimes treated with licorice extract.

Cancer
Please see
http://breastcancer.about.com/library/weekly/bllicorice.htm?terms=licorice and Licorice Extract Kills Cancer Cells In Lab Cultures - In a discovery researchers believe could lead to a safe treatment for cancer patients, a new study suggests that licorice extract can kill human cancer cells. Research at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey found that extract from the licorice root killed cancer cells taken from patients with leukemia and breast and prostate cancer. Boston Globe 11/17/99.

1 Bou-Holaigah I, Rowe PC, Kan J, Calkins H. The relationship between neurally mediated hypotension and the chronic fatigue syndrome. JAMA 1995;274:961–67.
2 Baschetti R. Chronic fatigue syndrome and liquorice. New Z Med. J 1995;108:156–57.
3
B Fuhrman, S Buch, J Vaya, PA Belinky, R Coleman, T Hayek, M Aviram. Licorice extract and its major polyphenol glabridin (100 mg/day) protect low-density lipoprotein against lipid peroxidation: In vitro and ex vivo studies in humans and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 66: 2(AUG 1997):267-275.

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