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Has over 400 phytochemicals, which all have healing qualities. Can grow up to 9 ft tall. Leaf stems have up to 15 thin leaves on them. Small whitish flowers. Seed pods are prickly with curved spines. Similar to the famous Asian licorice root, a very common medicinal plant. Roots are sweet. Great sweetener for tea. Raw licorice root and flowers have been historically used to treat hormone imbalances in men and just about every female problem known, giving women a sense of well being and control. Licorice is a source of DHEA and contains phytoestrogens which help reduce the adverse effects of estrogen on the prostate and reduces prostate enlargement in men. It blocks the formation of DHT from testosterone so it helps stop hair loss. Stimulates aldosterone, a key adrenal hormone. It’s an immunestimulating steroidal anti-allergy, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-tumor, antioxidant, adaptogen, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory with chemical components similar to cortisone (without the bad side effects) Used for respiratory/lung conditions like bronchitis, asthma, coughs, sore throat, hoarseness. Also bladder infections, stomach and duodenal ulcers, gastritis, allergies. Helps detox poisons, Chew fruit for toothaches and gum disease (antibacterial). Balances blood sugar. Helps pancreas of people with diabetes cut down on insulin. If used too much, can raise blood pressure, hypertension and sodium retention. Use only one month at a time. Complete B complex (except B12), A, C, E, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, zinc, lecithin, coumarins, fatty acids (caprylic, hexonic, and palmitic), bioflavonoids, saponins, phytoestrogens, salicylic acid (aspirin). Used as an liver and kidney tonic, increases bile flow from liver, builds nerve tissue, removes arterial plaque, reduces body fat, treats hypoglycemia, ulcers, laxative, expectorant, regulates intestinal flora, helps alleviate foot cramps, boosts interferon to help fight bacteria and viruses, helps build strong muscle tissue, healthy heart function. Recommended to take for a month, then stop for a week or two before starting again. (or two weeks on and 4 days off) Licorice is not recommended for people with history of renal failure (kidneys), liver disease or who take heart medication or steroid drugs. Do not take if pregnant. The natural plant is good for you, but avoid the store-bought standardized form that can dangerously raise blood pressure. Used externally for herpes, eczema and shingles.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz