No one likes feeling sick. Coughs and colds can spread through workplaces and schools and into the family home. Even more sinister is influenza – the flu – a contagious virus that infects 3-5 million people worldwide every year. It can cause fever, chills, aches, runny nose, coughs and stomach upsets. It can affect anyone, no matter how fit, active and healthy they may be.
When those dreaded ills and chills come on we often reach for pharmaceutical medicines such as day and night analgesics, antihistamines or antibiotics but there are natural supplements available that can provide powerful holistic support without any nasty side effects.
Licorice root has been used since ancient times for colds, coughs and sore throats. It provides soothing, healing qualities found helpful in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, laryngitis, respiratory congestion, and a sore throat. It is also particularly beneficial for gastrointestinal problems such as gastritis, peptic ulceration, and excessive stomach acid.
Several ancient cultures used licorice to increase endurance, strength and sexual energy. According to folk medicine in North America, licorice was used as a cough suppressant, expectorant and as a laxative. In China, licorice is known as “The Great Detoxifier,” and has been used primarily for the kidneys, liver, spleen and stomach. Chinese doctors use licorice for treating a variety of ailments including bronchial asthma, dermatitis, diabetes, gastric ulcers, hepatitis, and malaria.
Although licorice might not be your favourite candy, it should be your favourite cold and flu remedy. Licorice root has soothing features that help reduce irritation and inflammation, while also releasing mucus for a more productive cough. This has made licorice popular in supporting asthma, chest infections, and allergies.
Licorice enhances your body’s levels of interferon, a chemical in the immune system essential for fighting off viruses. It also has antioxidants and phytoestrogens, which seem to help reduce the growth of bacteria and viruses.
While taking herbs for acute conditions, remember to follow the label directions, so you achieve optimum results. They are your “natural antibiotic” so often to be taken 3 times per day as you would with prescribed medicines.