Friday, 1 November 2013

Popular #Herbs - Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabra)

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) also known as sweetwood, is the genus Glycyrrhiza, belonging to the family Fabaceae, native to the Mediterranean and certain areas of Asia. The herb has been used in traditional medicine to treat treat skin diseases, coughs, constipation, bronchitis, inflammation, arthritis, etc.

Health Benefits
1. Anti cancers
In the investigation of the effects of a hexane/ethanol extract of G. uralensis (HEGU), which contains undetectable amounts of glycyrrhizin, on the apoptosis of androgen-insensitive DU145 cells found that HEGU induced apoptosis and increased the levels of cleaved caspase-9, caspase-7, caspase-3 and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). HEGU also induced mitochondrial membrane depolarization and cytochrome c release to the cytosol. HEGU increased the levels of Fas, death receptor 4 (DR4), cleaved caspase-8, Mcl-1S, and truncated Bid proteins. A caspase-8 inhibitor suppressed HEGU-induced apoptosis, according to "Isoangustone A present in hexane/ethanol extract of Glycyrrhiza uralensis induces apoptosis in DU145 human prostate cancer cells via the activation of DR4 and intrinsic apoptosis pathway" by Seon MR, Lim SS, Choi HJ, Park SY, Cho HJ, Kim JK, Kim J, Kwon DY, Park JH.(1)

2. Prostate cancer
In the evaluation of the effects of a hexane-ethanol extract of Glycyrrhiza uralensis (HEGU), which lacks glycyrrhizin, on the metastatic characteristics of DU145 prostate cancer cells.
found that HEGU, which contains licoricidin, is a potent anti-metastatic agent, which can markedly inhibit the metastatic and invasive capacity of malignant prostate cancer cells. The observed reductions in the activation of proteases and the levels of adhesion molecules may constitute a component of the mechanisms by which HEGU inhibits the migration and adhesion of prostate cancer cells, according to "Hexane-ethanol extract of Glycyrrhiza uralensis containing licoricidin inhibits the metastatic capacity of DU145 human prostate cancer cells" by Park SY, Lim SS, Kim JK, Kang IJ, Kim JS, Lee C, Kim J, Park JH.(2)

3. Anti cardiotoxicity
In the exploration of the possibility of Glycyrrhiza uralensis licorice effect on DOX-induced cardiotoxicity found that the cells were pretreated with 0-15 mg/L HEGU, then treated with doxorubicin. The pretreatment of cells with HEGU resulted in a significant mitigation of DOX-induced reductions in cell numbers (34 +/- 7%) and increases in apoptosis (53 +/- 1%). The Western blot analysis of cell lysates showed that HEGU suppressed DOX-induced increases in the levels of p53, phospho-p53 (Ser 15), and Bax. In addition, HEGU induced an increase in the levels of Bcl-xL, regardless of DOX-treatment. HEGU inhibited the DOX-induced cleavage of caspases 9, 3, and 7, as well as DOX-induced poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage, according to "Hexane/ethanol extract of Glycyrrhiza uralensis licorice suppresses doxorubicin-induced apoptosis in H9c2 rat cardiac myoblasts" by Choi HJ, Seon MR, Lim SS, Kim JS, Chun HS, Park JH.(3)

47. Hirsutism and polycystic ovary syndrome treatments
In the investigation the effect of licorice on androgen metabolism in nine healthy women 22-26 years old, in the luteal phase of the cycle by giving 3.5 g of a commercial preparation of licorice (containing 7.6% W.W. of glycyrrhizic acid) daily for two cycles found that serum testosterone decreased from 27.8+/-8.2 to 19.0+/-9.4 in the first month and to 17.5+/-6.4 ng/dL in the second month of therapy (p<0.05). It returned to pre-treatment levels after discontinuation. Androstenedione, 17OH-progesterone, and LH levels did not change significantly during treatment. Plasma renin activity and aldosterone were depressed during therapy, while blood pressure and cortisol remained unchanged, according to "Licorice reduces serum testosterone in healthy women" by Armanini D, Mattarello MJ, Fiore C, Bonanni G, Scaroni C, Sartorato P, Palermo M(4)

5. Estrogenic activity
In the determination of glabridin and glabrene from licorice roots and its estrogenic effect on post-menopausal women, found that Glabrene activity was not inhibited by raloxifene. Therefore, glabridin shows greater similarity to estradiol-17beta and thus greater potential, with or without Vitamin D, to modulate bone disorders in post-menopausal women, according to "Estrogenic activity of glabridin and glabrene from licorice roots on human osteoblasts and prepubertal rat skeletal tissues" by Somjen D, Katzburg S, Vaya J, Kaye AM, Hendel D, Posner GH, Tamir S.(5)

6. Body fat mass
In the experiment of the effect of licorice in reducing body fat mass found that licorice was able to reduce body fat mass and to suppress aldosterone, without any change in BMI. Since the subjects were consuming the same amount of calories during the study, we suggest that licorice can reduce fat by inhibiting 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase Type 1 at the level of fat cells, according to "Effect of licorice on the reduction of body fat mass in healthy subjects" by Armanini D, De Palo CB, Mattarello MJ, Spinella P, Zaccaria M, Ermolao A, Palermo M, Fiore C, Sartorato P, Francini-Pesenti F, Karbowiak I.(6)

7. Anti-inflammatory effects
In evaluation of the anti-inflammatory activity of licorice (LE) and roasted licorice (rLE) extracts
found that LE and rLE have benefits in protecting against both acute inflammation and chronic inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis. rLE may inhibit the acute inflammation more potently than LE, according to "Anti-inflammatory effects of licorice and roasted licorice extracts on TPA-induced acute inflammation and collagen-induced arthritis in mice" by Kim KR, Jeong CK, Park KK, Choi JH, Park JH, Lim SS, Chung WY.(7)

8. Osteoclastogenesis
In the assessment of the inhibitory effects of glabridin, a flavonoid purified from licorice root, on the receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclast differentiation and its molecular mechanisms in murine osteoclast progenitor RAW264.7 cells, found that that glabridin holds great promise for use in preventing osteoclastogenesis by inhibiting RANKL-induced activation of signaling molecules and subsequent transcription factors in osteoclast precursors and these findings may be useful for evaluating treatment options in bone-destructive diseases, according to "The inhibitory effect and the molecular mechanism of glabridin on RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis in RAW264.7 cells" by Kim HS, Suh KS, Sul D, Kim BJ, Lee SK, Jung WW(8)

9. Eosinophilic meningitis
In the determination of Diammonium glycyrrhizinate (DG), a compound related to glycyrrhizin (GL), a triterpene glycoside extracted from liquorice root and theirs effect on A. cantonensis, and compared these with therapy involving albendazole and dexamethasone found that The observations presented here suggest that the albendazole and dexamethasone combination could be replaced by the combination of albendazole and DG in treating eosinophilic meningitis, according to "The use of albendazole and diammonium glycyrrhizinate in the treatment of eosinophilic meningitis in mice infected with Angiostrongylus cantonensis" by Li Y, Tang JP, Chen DR, Fu CY, Wang P, Li Z, Wei W, Li H, Dong WQ.(9)

10. Caries
In the identification of functional foods and their components with the attemption of the use of synthetic chlorhexidine, and at the reduction or prevention of caries found that Some other foods able to act against MGS growth and/or their virulence factors in in vitro tests are: apple, red grape seeds, red wine (proanthocyanidins), nutmeg (macelignan), ajowan caraway (nafthalen-derivative), coffee (trigonelline, nicotinic and chlorogenic acids, melanoidins), barley coffee (melanoidins), chicory and mushroom (quinic acid). In vivo anticaries activity has been shown by cranberry (procyanidins), glycyrrhiza root (glycyrrhizol-A), myrtus ethanolic extract, garlic aqueous extract, cocoa extracts (procyanidins), and propolis (apigenin, tt-farnesol), according to "Food components with anticaries activity" by Gazzani G, Daglia M, Papetti A.(10)

11. Etc.

Side effects
1. The herb may interact with blood thin medicine such as warfarin
2. Do not use the herb if you have high blood pressure or heart diseases without approval from the related field specialist(a)
3. Do not use the herb in children or if you are pregnant
4. Licorice can lower potassium in the blood, if you are diagnosed with hypokalemia(a)
5. Do not use the herb, if you have untreated kidney diseases(a)
6. It may cause cognitive impairment(b)
7. Etc.

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