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Licorice Roots Extract

Introduction

Function

Anti-inflammatory functions

Licorice as a treatment for canker sores

Anti-viral effects

Advantage

Applications

Food & Human Nutrition

Cosmetic & Personal Care

Pharmaceutical

Animal Nutrition

Specification

Anti-viral effects

We now are aware that licorice’s wide spread usage as a medicine occurred because it not only functions as an anti-inflammatory agent but it also can impact some illnesses caused by viruses. For example, in one study of the efficacy of GX in treating hepatitis, Japanese patients with hepatitis C who received intravenous treatment with glycyrrhizin, cysteine, and glycine for an average of 10 years were significantly less likely to develop liver cancer and cirrhosis (progressive liver failure) than those who received placebo. This study supports the clinical use of Glycyrrhiza extract as an element of the treatment for chronic hepatitis which the Japanese have done for many years.

There have been some very preliminary and suggestive in vitro ( test tube) studies showing GX inhibiting the growth of viruses, including herpes simplex, and Varicella zoster, and of Japanese encephalitis. An interesting study of 3 people with HIV suggested that intravenous glycyrrhizin may prevent replication of HIV, but this study is only suggestive of further research in this area and no larger study has duplicated these findings.

Recent research is beginning to identify the manner in which GX may serve to affect a virus. In an in vitro study of a specific herpes virus cell, Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV), glycyrrhizic acid was shown to have a unique effect. Like other herpes virus, KSHV becomes latent in infected cells which make it difficult to completely eradicate. All current drugs are ineffective against latent infection; however this study showed that latent infection of KSHV can be terminated by glycyrrhizic acid. In B lymphocytes, glycyrrihizic acid down-regulates the expression of latency associated nuclear antigen (LANA) which allows the natural cell death (apopthosis) of the KSHV virus to occur.

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