Licorice Selection

The Ancient Asian Cancer Remedy

In All Health Watch, Anti-Aging, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Featured Article, General Health

There are over 400 healing compounds in licorice. Natural healers in China, India, and the Middle East have used it for centuries to fight disease.

The root is used to relieve stomach disorders, respiratory ailments, pre-menstrual syndrome, peptic ulcers, and menopausal symptoms. It even helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels and promotes detoxification.1

Now, an exhaustive review of university studies finds that if you could eat only one food to prevent cancer…it might be licorice.

The analysis shows that licorice root is an immune-boosting, cancer-fighting powerhouse. It’s particularly potent in preventing hormone-sensitive forms of cancers…like breast, prostate, ovarian, and uterine.2

That’s because licorice contains compounds called immunomodulators.

They control the immune system and help regulate hormone production. Uneven hormone production can cause cancer by accelerating cell reproduction, say researchers.3 4

Immunomodulators also reduce inflammation, a strong driver of cancer. Among the immunomodulators found in licorice are:

Arctigenin, a type of lignan. Lignans are phytonutrients that are strong antioxidants. They support the immune system and are excellent for balancing hormones.5

Beta-carotene, an antioxidant. Your body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is crucial for a strong immune system.

Glabridin, an isoflavone that protects DNA. When DNA is damaged, it can lead to cancer-causing cell mutations.

The review was done by researchers from the School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia. It was recently published in the Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin of The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan.

Studies Confirm Licorice Fights Cancer

The analysis included:

  • Research out of Rutgers University. It found that a polyphenol molecule known as beta-hydroxy-DHP (BHP) in licorice kills breast and prostate cancer cells while leaving healthy cells untouched.6
  • A study out of China’s Nanjing Medical University. It found that dimethyl sulfoxide, another compound in licorice, is protective against estrogen-positive breast cancers. It helps keep estrogen levels in check, blocking breast cancer cells from growing.
  • Research showing licorice helps balance testosterone metabolism and reduce cortisol levels—both of which help fight breast cancer.
  • Numerous studies showing that two licorice compounds— isoliquiritigenin and naringenin—promote T-cell growth while boosting immunity. This prevents tumors from forming and stops existing cancers from growing.

The Best Licorice for Cancer Prevention

Black licorice sold as candy has some of the healing compounds from licorice root. But the added sugars and coloring can nullify the cancer-preventive benefits.7

Instead, buy natural licorice root. It comes in many forms. You can find it as a powder, capsule, tea, or dried roots. They all contain licorice’s full array of anti-cancer compounds. But you should look for organic products and follow the dosage directions on the label.

More is not better… Licorice contains glycyrrhizin. It fights inflammation, but too much can cause potassium levels in the body to fall.8

People with heart problems such as arrhythmias, or those on blood thinners, should check with their doctors before taking it. Licorice can also increase the effects of antidepressant drugs known as MAO inhibitors.9

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