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10 Surprising Health Benefits Of Licorice Root (Mulethi)

10 Surprising Health Benefits Of Licorice Root (Mulethi)

When most people hear the phrase licorice root, they are taken back to times spent at the candy store. While sweet, licorice root – also known as Mulethi – is no candy. In fact, it’s far from it.

Mulethi is the root of the licorice plant, which is a member of the legume family. Its uses go back to ancient times where it was actually found in great quantities in the tomb of King Tut. The Egyptians believed it to be a cure-all.

Additionally, Mulethi has been used by the Hindus, who believed it to increase sexual vigor. The Greeks used it to chew on when water was scarce to prevent dehydration.

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Though its roots are ancient, today most of Mulethi is imported from Spain and Italy. Its uses today are a bit different than those of our ancient ancestors. However, the medicinal properties of licorice root live on.

That being said, here are some benefits of licorice root you might not know about:

1. Promotes a Healthy Liver

In an extracted form, Mulethi has proven the ability to reduce and protect against liver disease such as Hepatitis C and Cirrhosis. The liver is the body’s filter. It works to detoxify the body from pathogens, environmental pollutants, metabolic waste and more.

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2. Prevents Balding

Licorice root is a natural DHT (dihydrotestosterone) blocker and anti-androgen. Androgens can lead to excessive DHT, which when not metabolized efficiently by the body can attach to the hair follicle, leading to patterned baldness. DHT shrinks the hair follicle, cutting off its blood supply, which eventually starves the hair shaft of nutrients. Licorice root has demonstrated phytoestrogen abilities, reducing testosterone that may lead to excessive DHT.

3. Treats Chronic Fatigue

Many people are suffering from environmental, physical and mental stress disorders. The adrenal glands (the glands that handle our stress response) are in overdrive as if we were in still in primitive times. It doesn’t mater whether our stress is imaginary or real, the adrenals act accordingly, sending a surge of stress hormone, or cortisol, at every pang of terror. Over time, the adrenals become fatigued and we no longer produce adequate energy, leading to chronic fatigue. Licorice is one of the most effective herbs to regulate cortisol, giving your adrenals a break and you more energy.

4. Acts as Internal Sunblock

Studies have found that an active antioxidant, Licochalcone A, which happens to be the main component in Licorice root, can protect the skin from subsequent UV irradiation damage from within. It does so by strengthening the skin’s immunity. In this way, licorice root provides protection from sun exposure while supporting the health benefits of the sun. Best of all, you don’t need to purchase and use potentially questionable sun block lotions.

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5. Treats Eczema

Inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema have been treated with licorice root. Taking internally, licorice can work systemically to lower inflammation in the liver and kidneys, which will have its effects holistically on the skin. Applied topically, a gel or lotion with licorice root extract has been shown to alleviate itching, redness and swelling caused by eczema.

6. Heals Canker Sores

A mixture of 1/2 teaspoon licorice extract with 1/4 cup water used 4 times daily has been shown to reduce size of canker sores. Canker sores are often caused by stress, hormonal fluctuations, and bacteria imbalances that lower immunity. Licorice demonstrates antimicrobial benefits that may also help to heal canker sores by inhibiting the overgrowth of pathogenic microbes.

7. Soothes Inflammation

Licorice root has natural plant steroids that have anti-inflammatory properties.

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8. Stimulates the Immune System

Taking Licorice stimulates the immune system by elevating interferon levels, which stimulates SOD (superoxide dismutase) to produce natural hydrogen peroxide. This ‘supercharges’ white blood cells and hormones to fight off infection.

9. Prevents Diabetes

Licorice root contains a phytoestrogen called Glabridin that has been shown to protect against diabetes. It does so by up-regulating manganese superoxide dismutase, a powerful antioxidant.

10. Protests the Prostate

Licorice root extract contains ingredients that may slow the growth of tumor cells. In one study, it was found to be more effective in shrinking prostate tumors than medical drugs.

Generally speaking, this popular herb is very safe to consume. However, like any other supplement or herb, you will want to consult with your physician before using as treatment.

Featured photo credit: Lakrids/Johan Bülow via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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