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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 November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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