Licorice - Latin name: Glycyrrhiza glabra
Licorice Root is known for its antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antioxidant, antidepressant, demulcent, and expectorant activity. It is used for coughs, sore throats, laryngitis, bronchitis, mucus congestion, teething, colic, canker sores, high cholesterol, heart disease, menopause, PMS, menstrual cramps, skin disorders, shingles, herpes, low energy, depression, and for calming down and relaxing. It is also used for digestive system complaints such as ulcers, heartburn, and chronic gastritis because it stimulates the growth of the natural mucous linings of the stomach and intestines, which soothes and coats irritation caused by acid. It is a good choice for keeping teeth healthy because research shows that it may help prevent and treat tooth decay and gum disease.
In a study done at the University of California School of Dentistry, researchers studied whether licorice lollipops would decrease a bacteria, Streptococcus mutans, that caused cavities in nursing home residents. Participants were given two lollipops per day for twenty-one days. Saliva samples were collected throughout the study and it was found that participants who consumed more lollipops were more likely to have fewer numbers of the S. mutans bacteria.
Tea:1-2 cups of licorice tea a day. 1/2 teaspoon licorice root is steeped in 1 cup boiling water and left to simmer for at lease 5 minutes. It is especially good to drink before or after meals to assist in digestion. Tincture: 1/2 teaspoon twice a day. It should be noted that dosages higher than this that are taken for longer than 4-6 week can cause serious side effects.
Licorice. MedlinePlus. (October 11, 2012). http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/881.html
Licorice root health benefits. (January 19, 2013). Herbal Health Care. http://herbalhealthcare-daw.blogspot.com/2013/01/licorice-root-health-benefits.html
Mentes JC, Kang S, Spackman S, Bauer J. (October 2012). Can a licorice lollipop decrease cariogenic bacteria in nursing home residents? Res Gerontol Nurs. 5(4):233-7. doi: 10.3928/19404921-20120906-07. Epub 2012 Sep 17.
McMillen, Matt. (January 2012). Licorice root may cut cavities, gum disease. WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/news/20120105/licorice-root-may-cut-cavities-gum-disease