Licorice Root named “Medicinal Plant of 2012”

We have just learned that licorice root has been named “Medicinal Plant of 2012″*

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

How interesting, I hardly knew when the nominations were? Licorice is certainly an interesting plant. It is widely known as a flavoring for “Licorice” the black chewy candy. Before its fame in the land of sweets it was and still is used widely in Chinese medicine.

And this year it got another boost from Dr. Oz. On his show he told everyone how licorice can aid weight loss, when used in conjunction with Modifilan brown seaweed extract. If you are interested in learning more about Modifilan there are 3 other posts on this blog about Modifilan. Just search for them. 

Back to the star Licorice. I recently came across a study that has found licorice compounds to be beneficial for people with diabetes. This is completely new research, really new research and we will be seeing more about this as it develops. So far this is what we know. Certain molecules found in licorice reduce blood sugar and possess anti-inflammatory properties. The molecules of interest are known as amorfrutins. And, they seem to reduce glucose levels which in turn prevents insulin resistance. It is important to note that the concentration of amorfrutins in licorice is to low to be effective.  So researchers are looking to concentrate amorfrutins and study it on humans. So far tests have only been done on mice. *This research was carried out by the Max Plank Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, Germany.

Licorice and Oral Health 

Recent research has found that two licorice compounds, licoricidin and
licorisoflavan A, are effective antibacterial substances.
These substances killed two of the major bacteria responsible for dental
cavities and two of the bacteria that promote gum disease. One of the
compounds — licoricidin — also killed a third gum disease bacterium.
researchers say that these substances could treat or even prevent
oral infections. This is an excerpt from a story published by the ACS.
It should be noted that licorice is not beneficial for people with high blood pressure and it can have undesirable effects and interactions
with prescription drugs. 
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This piece was written and compiled for Zebra Organics by Mark D’Aquila, flower essence practitioner,
*Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (2012, April 17). Liquorice root found to contain anti-diabetic properties