Licorice root?

EddieB

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I stumbled across this write up, it’s probably old news. But is there any truth to this?

exert from article...
There is one area, however, that does merit a closer look. And that, believe it or not, is the use of licorice in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). This is a baffling and potentially devastating condition. It is not just run of the mill fatigue. It comes along with headaches, muscle pains, “mental fog” and depression. In 1995, Dr. Riccardo Baschetti, a retired Italian physician, submitted a letter to the New Zealand Journal of Medicine, describing how he had cured himself of the condition using licorice root. Because he had noted that he felt better after eating salty foods, Baschetti wondered if eating licorice, which he knew caused sodium retention, might be an antidote for CFS. He described how he dissolved about five grams of licorice powder in milk and drank the concoction. Within two hours he felt virtually cured!
Other researchers picked up on this idea and began to explore the possibility that CFS may in some cases be due to low blood pressure and may be treatable with licorice. They saw results, but only in patients who had enlarged lymph nodes which can be associated with chronic fatigue syndrome. If it does turn out that CFS is somehow associated with adrenal insufficiency, in other words, low levels of aldosterone, then treatments based on hormonal supplementation can be devised. These will be more reliable than experimenting with licorice. For now, it goes without saying that anyone who wants to try licorice should do so only under a physician’s care because blood pressure and potassium levels must be monitored.
https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/health-nutrition/liquorice-natural-not-always-harmless
 
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These will be more reliable than experimenting with licorice. For now, it goes without saying that anyone who wants to try licorice should do so only under a physician’s care because blood pressure and potassium levels must be monitored.
licorice root is in my chinese traditional formula, but other herbs are included to address some of the licorice root side effect issues.

so yes, be very careful, but its a very important and useful in the arsenal.
 

wabi-sabi

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Licorice acts like the medication flourinef that increases blood volume by causing you to retain sodium and excrete potassium. Increased sodium retention means increased water retention and then better BP.

Unfortunately, decreased potassium means potentially fatal arhythmia unless someone is monitoring your potassium levels. if someone prescribes you flourinef they will do this so you don't die. Someone has to do this for you to take licorice safely. If you want to go the electrolyte route for BP management, then flourinef is safer, both for the monitoring that comes with it and the ability to get a consistent dosage from pill to pill which you don't get with licorice.
 

Viala

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I tested lirocice a few years ago, not a DGL type, a regular herb with glycyrrhizin. I made a licorice tea. First it gave me very nice rush of energy. It was strange, I was still fatigued, maybe a little bit less, but could do more and even much more, I was physically and mentally active, yet after a while it felt like energy borrowed from tomorrow and then I noticed a negative influence on my mood.

So I don't use it anymore and don't intend to use it, but I remember couple of stories where people got good results, so maybe it will work for others, give a proper kick to get out of this fatigue loop. Potassium is also important here, so a lot of bananas, potatoes, veggies, possibly with potassium supplement may be a good idea if someone wants to try it long term in higher amounts. There's a story on Pubmed about a guy who ingested massive loads of licorice tea (I think), which landed him in a hospital because his potassium was too low.
 

nina22

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I know that in nutritional health, Licorice root is often used to help replenish depleted adrenal glands along with adaptogenic herbs. Adrenal glands are how the body stores reserve energy. If you experience prolonged stress over many months or years the adrenals can become worn out beyond repair. Some people think that adrenal fatigue, if it goes unhealed, passes the point of no return and becomes Chronic Fatigue, meaning you can no longer produce any reserve energy in the body. Again, it’s just a theory, although a long standing one. But as for licorice (in diluted tea form without any additives or sugar in it ) it is said to slowly repair the adrenals AND is anti-viral AND helps with digestion, all of which could help us. But yes dosage matters - just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s harmless, take all things in moderation and consult a doctor.

A small warning not to get your hopes up: Licorice is good for a lot of things but it’s a slow healer, like you might feel stronger over the course of a year, maybe two so it’s still helpful but I don’t think you will suddenly feel fantastic within a week. I’d say its more of a help than a cure.
 
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Second star to the right ...
I just got hold of a DGL without the sugar alcohols, but after taking a couple today, I think they are making me sick too.
DGL is deglycyrrhizinated liquorice, because the glycyrrhizin is what is believed to cause the BP problems, among others.


This means that it's been substantially processed, and while it works wonders for stomach aches and excess stomach acid and sore throats, it's not really a full herb anymore ....
 
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Some people think that adrenal fatigue, if it goes unhealed, passes the point of no return and becomes Chronic Fatigue, meaning you can no longer produce any reserve energy in the body.
Ive always really liked this theory and felt that it resonated with certain other aspects of both the personalities of most ME patients (a lot of type A's) and mny of the symptoms, but finding any substantial studies or research on it has yielded crickets .... which of course, given my.... respect ..... for the medical community, seems to fuel my belief tht there may be something of value there ....
just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s harmless,
Boy, howdy. Between the belief that 'natural' means harmless (arsenic anyone? A little monkshood or amanitas in your pasta sauce?), and the general belief that herbs are good for making tea and not much else, with little potency or usefulness otherwise, there's a casualness about using herbs that sometimes alarms me.


Plus, as @Rufous McKinney has often pointed out, the combining of herbs into a treatment requires considerable experience and deep knowledge of each of their often extnsive protperties ....

Herb 'simples' are usually safe, and in many cases at least as effective as prescription meds, and considerably cheaper ....

EDIT ... for clarity
 
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You are always very knowledgeable, but your statement is hurtful. If my postings here are that out of line, this will be my last one.
I want saying it would be a problem for you, however, it could prove dangerous for others reading your comments.
I think that @Learner1 was just putting in a little caveat for future readers of this thread, when you might not be immediately available to clarify things for sometimes desperate newcomers. ...

I thought that your post was quite clear, and certainly not an endorsement for unbridled experimentation with a potentially damaging substance ....
 
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Between the belief that 'natural' means harmless
Rightio!
Every chemist would faint reading “natural”... That's a view (the difference between green “natural” and pharma “chemical”) that has nothing to do with the chemical reality.
The problem with herbs is indeed that they - in contrast to drugs - don't have one active ingredient but sometimes more than a hundred! And to make them work for a specific biochemical reaction often needs maga-dosing them, which also potentiates the risks of nasty unwanted side-effects bc of the other ingredients. That's I think why @Rufous McKinney often warns of f...ing around with TCM. At least that is the reason I do it.

I have 3 books on therapeutic herbs, one focusses mainly on biochemical reactions (it's medical literature so sometimes a bit complicated for me) but I always advise ppl to be careful with mega-dosing herbs!

@Learner1 is very right highlighting it for other users here. Not everyone is physically/mentally capable of inform him*herself about biochemistry.

You have to be cautious in particular when combining herbs with drugs/other herbs bc interaction of herbs are not that easy to predict as pharmaceutical drugs!!!
 
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You have to be cautious in particular when combining herbs with drugs/other herbs bc interaction of herbs are not that easy to predict as pharmaceutical drugs!!!
Especially combining herbs with other herbs .... as @Martin aka paused||M.E. pointed out, herbs are often compilations of dozens and dozens of constituents, some highly active, others just in a sort of supporting role, there sometimes to limit or balance the effects of others in that herb, which in truth is why I prefer to take a well-researched herb rather than a heavily hyped prescription drug.


And any time I take a standardized herb product like, say, curcumin, I always combine it with the non-standardized herb from which it was extracted, just to make sure that if there are constituents that support or modify the standardized product, I'm getting those, too.

HERB 'SIMPLES'
PS .... When I referred in my post above to an herb 'simple', I was referring to taking one single herb as opposed to a concoction that contains a primary herb along with several others, sometimes quite a few others, which leaves the consumer having to guess at the expertise of the company that created that blend and hope for the best....