Posted by Larry Hoover on October 29, 2004, at 8:58:58
In reply to Re: ? for Tealady and Raybakes - Licorice Root » raybakes, posted by tealady on October 29, 2004, at 5:02:16
> Just gotta add..all that dangerous stuff (other than the big danger of low potassium itself) is from having too high levels of cortisol for too long..
> and I think licorice also raises oestrogen as well as cortisol..good for most females, but usually doesn't go down that well in males <grin>
> Jan cya
I'll just slip into this discussion here....
Licorice contains at least two active principles, glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhetinic acid. As mentioned by others, one direct effect is to slow the conversion of cortisol to cortisone. This has the effect of tricking the hypothalamus into thinking the output of the adrenal glands is greater than it actually is. The adrenal stimulation signal is reduced, and provides the adrenals with a "rest period". That is useful if prolonged stress has led to adrenal fatigue, for example.
Those same two active principles also bind to steroid uptake modulators, sometimes called peripheral benzodiazepine receptors, shutting them down. Cholesterol uptake is reduced, and testosterone synthesis decreases, in both men and women. This leads to a change in the masculinizing/feminizing hormone ratios. The feedback from this suppression of normal hormone balance can induce increases in stimulatory signals for e.g. testosterone synthesis. So, brief periods of testosterone suppression can actually lead to testosterone increase, if the suppression is time-limited.
Licorice root is for short-term use. I would never exceed one month of intake. Beyond that, the likelihood of inducing a major hormone disturbance syndrome known as pseudoaldosteronism is just too great.
There is a deglycyrrhizinated form, called DGL. It is used to soothe stomach disturbances, such as with a peptic ulcer, for example. I believe the risk of pseudoaldosteronism is eliminated, with this product.