Licorice definitely has its place in dealing with digestive disorders, and on top of this has a great number of other benefits. In its pure form, this root is anti-inflammatory and prominently known for helping to heal ulcers in the stomach. I’d like to briefly discuss some properties of this ancient herb, and show you a fun review of a pure licorice product, ZOT 100% Organic Licorice.
Some other benefits to licorice are:
- Helping with other gastrointestinal issues
- Aiding colds and coughs
- Helping with female reproductive issues
- Quenching thirst
- Providing an “assistive” effect to other herbs, boosting their effectiveness by “guiding” them to the right place
Sounds great, right? Why aren’t we all drinking pure licorice everyday? It does indeed sound tasty and healthy. However, as with any herb or treatment, there are two sides to the health coin of this potent medicine. Through a complication in metabolizing its active ingredient, glycyrrhizin, licorice can cause high blood pressure (hypertension) and high levels of potassium (hyperkalemia). Other less commonly known but related side effects are inhibition of the breakdown of stress hormones, lowering testosterone, and alkalosis which can lead to myclonus. Read more about the dangers of licorice overconsumption here.
There is a solution however. You can get most of the benefits of licorice, and possibly more, by taking it in the form of DGL, which stands for deglycyrrhizinated licorice. I recommend DGL when you have upper gastrointestinal pain from acid reflux, heartburn, ulcers and gastritis, or even if just a burned throat from hot water or something acidic.
Take DGL in its powdered form mixed with some white or chamomile tea to get the best effect and avoid the artificial sweeteners in the tablets.
My Experience with Pure Licorice
Before I did this review, I had tried organic licorice tea (which does not need sweetener, because licorice is extremely sweet by itself). My reasoning for checking it out was to have a sweet treat, as well as to try it in its whole form, thinking that there may be some benefits to glycyrrhizin I might be missing out on with DGL.
It was fun for like 2 days, but I ultimately started to feel woozy and weird after these delicious cups of sweet warmness, and I even had some heart palpitations. This was most likely because of the potassium imbalance it causes. I really have been able to mess around with anything that affects my electrolytes, apart from some well-timed magnesium supplementation.
Recently, though, I thought I might try some licorice candy sweetened with Stevia or something. I know most of you think black licorice is gross—and I would tend to agree—but since going Paleo, my tastebuds have definitely matured (or at least changed). My search for healthy licorice candy led me to the discovery that licorice in its candy form is usually cut with wheat and sugar to make it gummy and sweet. That was a definite no-go for me.
There were some alternatives with replacements for wheat, but it was usually something that was GMO or had corn/vegetable oil. Upon searching Amazon further, I found this 100% organic licorice root and thought it might be worth checking out for a larf. What if it was good? What if it made me feel good? I couldn’t resist…
As you can see, the results weren’t that great. It wasn’t that tasty. Kind of like eating 100% baker’s chocolate, it was a personal challenge. But it was definitely fun to do that review.
The complications I experienced were not so great. It took me two or three nights to come back into balance. Lots of night urination and just well—strange sensations. Watch the video above to find out more.
Disclaimer: Although this post contains affiliate links, I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.