Licorice is a sweet treat that can do well for your oral health. It can reduce the bacteria that cause tooth decay. However, licorice in most candy is not real licorice and is taken from anise oil.
What is real licorice?
Licorice is produced from the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant and has been part of the traditional medicine for centuries. It has been used to soothe sore throats and includes antibacterial and antimicrobial characteristics. Also, licorice is considered to be one of the herbs that relieve joint pain.
How does licorice combattooth decay?
There are many types of bacteria in our mouth. Some of them may be helpful, but some of them cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Streptococcus mutans is bacteria that live on sugar. It metabolizes the sugars present in the mouth and produces malic acid, which is responsible for the plaque on the teeth and leads to tooth decay, gum disease and cavities.
Bacteria produce biofilm which forms a protection around the bacteria. In order to remove bacteria, the protective layer needs to be removed first.
Licoricidin and ricorisoflavan are the two active ingredients included in licorice. They help eliminating the enzyme that helps bacteria create the protective layers.
How to Use Licorice for Tooth Decay
The licorice root is covered by a soft bark layer. Clean the root well and chew on one end until the root fibers become loose and look like bristles.
Other Health Benefits of Licorice
Soothes sore throat and relieves coughing
Licorice has been used as a remedy for sore throat, coughs and colds for centuries, even in Ancient Egypt.
According to a study done on post-operative patients who were smokers, licorice was helpful in repressing coughing and soothing the patient’s throats.
Make a tea from licorice root is you are struggling with a sore throat or cough, or you can add a few drops of licorice extract to some honey.
Inflammation can be the cause of many diseases nowadays. Licorice can be extremely effective in inflammation reduction. It is proved that licorice can be more effective in repressing inflammation than ibuprofen.
You need to use a good quality of licorice extract in order to prepare a tea using licorice root.
Licorice can be effective in managing the symptoms of dyspepsia. It is a condition that includes the symptoms of indigestion, including heartburn, abdominal discomfort, bloating and nausea.
Prepare a tea of fresh licorice root or take a teaspoon of two dried licorice root. Let it steep and relieve dyspepsia with this drink.
Burn fat with licorice
Licorice offers you some benefits if you are trying to lose weight.
The consumption of 3.5mg of licorice every day can reduce body fat mass. Additionally, another study has shown that consuming 900mg of licorice flavonoid oil every day can reduce body fat, body mass and LDL cholesterol levels.
Licorice for cold sores and herpes
In the past, licorice was used to treat and ease cold sores. It has natural antiviral properties. Licorice is thought to be beneficial as an antiviral medication, but still, more studies are needed to be proved this.
Boil one part of root to twenty parts of water and let it simmer for thirty minutes to five hours. The longer the decoction simmers, the stronger the decoction will be.
When the mixture is cool, use gauze or a cotton ball to apply the liquid on the affected area. It is a great toner as well. Licorice’s antibacterial and antimicrobial characteristics are good for cleaning the face before applying a moisturizer.
Side Effects and Warning for theUse of Licorice
Licorice should not be consumed for a period longer than 4 weeks at a time.
The side effects connected with over consumption of licorice include potassium levels reduction, high blood pressure, paralysis, and brain damage.
If you are suffering from kidney disease, heart disease, or high blood pressure consult your doctor before adding medicinal licorice in your health schedule.
Also, pregnant women should not take licorice for medicinal purposes.