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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 July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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