Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for February 26, 2008


I’ve had a really bad cold with a cough for about five days now and it doesn’t really seem to be improving. In fact, my cough is a lot worse today. The only thing I’ve done differently is stopped taking the licorice root. Dr. Google?

Licorice is a perennial herb native to southern Europe, Asia and the Mediterranean. It is extensively cultivated in Russia, Spain, Iran and India, and is one of the most popular and widely consumed herbs in the world.

Although known for its flavoring in candy, it contains many health benefits. Ancient cultures on every continent have used it, the first recorded use by the Egyptians in the 3rd century BC. The Egyptians and the Greeks recognized the benefits in treating coughs and lung disease. It is the second most prescribed herb in China followed by ginseng, and is used for treatment of the spleen, liver and kidney. The Japanese use a licorice preparation to treat hepatitis.

The most common medical use is for treating upper respiratory ailments including coughs, hoarseness, sore throat, and bronchitis.

The main constituent found in the root is glycyrrhizin. The plant also contains various sugars (to 14%), starches (30%), flavonoids, saponoids, sterols, amino acids, gums, and essential oil. Glycyrrhizin, stimulates the secretion of the adrenal cortex hormone aldosterone.

It can be as effective as codeine, and safer, when used as a cough suppressant. Rhizomes in the plant have a high mucilage content which, when mixed with water or used in cough drops, sooths irritated mucous membranes. The drug also has an expectorant effect which increases the secretion of the bronchial glands. It is an effective remedy for throat irritations, lung congestion, and bronchitis.

I’ll be adding licorice root back as soon as I get home…

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August 22, 2009 - Posted by | Health | ,

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