Licorice – Glycyrrhiza

Preamble

When I came down with CFS about 1999, Licorice was one of the items that assisted me to full remission by 2001.

Licorice comes in several forms, we are NOT talking about a confectionery candy. There is a pure Licorice candy called Spezzata which Cap’n Dave introduced me to in 1999 and which I continues to use. The active ingredient is Glycyrrhiza.

What does it do?

It does almost everything that you really want from a supplement: PubMed studies report that it alters microfloras, is anti-bacterial, Inhibits viruses(including EBV via a unique mechanism, and rota-virus). It reduces inflammation, depression and crosses the blood-brain-barrier.

In terms of the thyroid, it increases the biological half-life of cortisol and potentiates the action of hydrocortisone.

It has been documented in patient studies to reduce symptoms — in fact, there are published reports of remission. This report is very creditable if EBV is the primary pathogen.

Three ways of taking

The report of remission was by dissolving taking 2.5 grams of extract dissolved in a pint of milk. Taking 40 grams/day as capsules did not result in remission.

The last  approach is using Spezzata and dissolving it in the mouth (possibly with warm milk, hot chocolate or a latte). This is my usual method.

Licorice may cause adverse interactions with some drugs so you should review any use of it with your medical resources.

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3 Responses to Licorice – Glycyrrhiza

  1. Hi Ken — what do you think about this study that suggests licorice can have an aldosterone-like effect, and also lower potassium levels?

    http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=340260

    Also, if one has elevated cortisol at certain times of the day, is licorice then contraindicated?

    Thanks in advance,

    Dan

    • Dan, this 1968 report was for someone taking 36gm x 3 = 108gm / day for 6 years. The recommended approach is 2.5 grams in warm milk once a day. If after 6 months there have been no effect — then discontinue…

      Again, it does interact with various drugs — so if you are doing any prescription drugs, your MD should OK it’s use.

      Most CFS are low on cortisol, so increasing it’s half life has a beneficial side effect of raising cortisol levels. See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21946893 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21549189

      As always consult your knowledgeable medical professional before starting any supplements.

  2. Purple Law Lady says:

    In Germany, licorice was named the ‘medicinal plant of 2012′

    http://fibromodem.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/all-sorts-of-health-benefits/

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