Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) For Dogs, Cats, and People
Health Benefits of Licorice Root
I’m betting when I mention licorice, the first thing that comes to your mind is the licorice candy you had as a child. But that is a far cry from the licorice root that we can use for healing purposes. Just a quick glance at the popular licorice rope ingredients and you will probably guess I’m not a fan. Are you ready?
Ingredients: Corn Syrup, Wheat Flour, Sugar, Modified Corn Starch, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Glyceryl Monostearate, Malic Acid, Lecithin, Artificial Flavors, Glycerin, Salt, Red 40.
Yikes. Having our health in mind, I hope you remove any licorice from your candy drawer if it has ingredients like the ones listed above. But today, we’re talking about the health benefits of REAL licorice root. Oh, did you notice that there isn’t even licorice in that licorice rope?
Licorice Root is often used as a steroid replacement and acts as an anti-inflammatory. It also aids in stimulating digestion and relieving bowel irritations and leaky gut. It can also have a mild laxative effect and is a diuretic. Licorice root has also been used to relieve coughs, and can be used to help balance cortisol and relieve stress. Licorice root is commonly used as a “guide drug,” meaning it is used to enhance other herbals.
Licorice Leaves can also be used for their antimicrobial benefits.
Licorice Root Side Effects and Precautions: Licorice root should not be used in patients with high blood pressure, who are pregnant or nursing, or who have heart issues or kidney concerns. Licorice also lowers potassium, and can lead to increased sodium levels in the blood, increased blood pressure, and water retention. Do not use for more than a couple of weeks at a time. If your dog has any other medical issues like diabetes, liver disease or heart disease, please consult a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine Practitioner.
Internally: Giving licorice root to you or your pet orally is one way to utilize the benefits of this spice. This can be accomplished through the root, tincture, capsule or tea.
- Tincture: 10 to 20 drops per 20 pounds of body weight, up to two times a day.
- Tea: Place 1 tsp. of licorice root in a tea bag and steep in 1 cup of hot water for one hour. Use 20-40 drops of the resulting tea per every 20 pounds of body weight up to two times a day.
- Dry Powder: Up to 10 pounds of body weight = 1/8 tsp; 10-20 pounds = ¼ tsp; 20-50 pounds =1 tsp; 50-100 pounds = 2 tsp; over 100 pounds, up to 1 tbsp. Can be given twice a day.
Topically: Licorice root can be used topically to relieve inflammation and other skin conditions. This can be accomplished through a tea compress, oil infusion, sprays or salve.
- Tea Compress: Place 1 tsp. of licorice root in a tea bag and steep in 1 cup of hot water for one hour. Allow tea bag to cool, then place on irritated skin.
- Oil Infusion: Place 2 tsp licorice root powder in a glass jar and add 1 cup almond oil. Secure jar with a lid and place in a dark place for at least 2 weeks, and up to 6. Strain the oil through cheesecloth, discard the licorice, and keep the oil in the refrigerator until needed. Apply the oil topically to irritated skin.
- Salve: Place 5 cups of water and 2 tbsp. licorice root powder in a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30-50 minutes. Remove from burner and allow to cool. Dip a cold compress into the cooled mixture and place on skin or directly rub mixture into skin. Place any remaining mixture into a glass jar in the refrigerator for a few days.
Have you or your pet used licorice root for your health? Tell me in the comments.
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