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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 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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