I was just reading a report on how licorice can be good for you. Now, don't just hop up and go run to the store to get you some. It's not just any licorice, it's just the black licorice. Blugghhhh I personally am not a fan of the black licorice. But reading how it can help you, I might just have to grow a taste for it.
Black licorice has dated back all the way to the ancient Greeks, to the Chinese Emperors and to Egypt's King Tutankhamen. Hundreds of years ago, it was used as an antiviral medicine, has tons of antioxidants and estrogen. WHAT?? ESTROGEN??? Yep, estrogen.
It can help with:
Believe it or not, you can treat menstrual problems and PMS with this. I wonder if this works on men for PMS?? Ha!! Anyway, it has a mild estrogenic effect. Because estrogen can cause many menstrual problems, licorice has been known to balance estrogen levels in the body and by reducing estrogen, which in turn helps with bloating, irritability, and tenderness.
If you have an ulcer or an upset tummy, Europe has used licorice for many years to help people with their ulcers. It's know to lower the acid in your stomach and help relieve heartburn as well. Studies have shown that it is just as effective as a pharmaceutical drug.
Having trouble kicking that cough? Licorice has been known to help with respiratory problems such as coughing, sore throats, bronchitis, or asthma. It gives you an immunity boost! :o)
This appealed to me because I recently went to the doctor for a checkup. He wanted to check my cholesterol levels and well, I got a call saying that it was a little high. On a study of about 20 students, it showed that licorice made their LDL (bad) cholesterol resistant to oxidation!
Now with that being said, there are some downfalls. Experts say you are not supposed to consume more then 50 grams of real licorice a day and you shouldn't use it long term. It can cause water retention and high blood pressure. Also, if you are pregnant, you are advised to NOT eat licorice. Eating licorice while pregnant has been link to premature births.
Look for the REAL licorice. Not the stuff that has tons of sugar and artificial sweeteners in it. You should look for Licorice Root or Glycyrrhizin.
Now I know I am going to have to try and develop a taste for real licorice. We shall see ;o)