A Pharmacological Study Of Licorice Biology Essay

Scientifically this works is known by its Grecian name Glycyrrhiza Glabra or the Latin name Liquiritra Officinalis. More normally is it known as Licorice, while sweet wood, sweet root and liquirizia to call but a few are other names associated with this works. Flatly, this works belongs to the Fabaceae household, besides known as the bean household. However the works is unlike its household members, its seed cods are hairless, therefore the workss Grecian name Glycyrrhiza Glabra, intending sweet root with hairless seed cods. From the significance of its Greek name and all of the names associated with this works, it is easy to see what portion of the works is medically used, the root.

The earliest record of this works was in China in 206 BC during the Han dynasty, but remained undocumented until it surfaced once more around 2000 BC on Assyrian clay tablets and Egyptian papyri. The beginnings of the works prevarication to the E in China and Russia but other assortments were subsequently found to be in the Mediterranean. However the works did non acquire its botanical name until around 50 Ad when the Greek doctor Dioscorides named the works in Greek, glukos significance Sweet and riza significance root. In the sixteenth century, the works was brought to Europe where it was cultivated in Spain and Italy, which now harvests the sweetest Licorice workss.

Traditionally, the works was used for many different things depending on the single civilization. In China, traditional medical specialties were split into 3 categories harmonizing to their belongingss and cautiousnesss. In the first category, besides known as the “ superior category ” , have belongingss capable of throw outing unwellness and alimentary life. The strength and map of these herbs is soft and are given over a long period of months and old ages. The nature of the herbs in the 2nd category besides known as the “ in-between ” category are more associated with bring arounding the unwellness and so they are given in speedy, short explosions. Those herbs in the 3rd category or “ inferior category ” are more aggressive and powerful, they are used more to assail an unwellness and so must merely be taken until the disease is gone and so ceased. Licorice was listed with the herbs of the first category as it was attributed for the saving of life. Licorice was besides considered as non toxic, like the remainder of the first category herbs, it was safe to take as much and every bit frequently as necessary without injury. As liquorice was considered non toxic, it was besides considered to hold harmonising qualities. In add-on to its medicative utilizations, liquorice was besides added as a flavorer agent to Sweets and other nutrients as it was besides considered a spice. Traditional Chinese indicants for Licorice include infections, tegument upsets, inflammatory diseases and respiratory jobs, while its actions were listed as being a carminative and expectorator. In Japan, liquorice was listed for the intervention of chronic hepatitis and viruses such as HIV and CMV among others and locally for tegument upsets.

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Once discovered by the Romans, the Roman host used the herb to stem hunger and satiate thirst for long periods. Theophrastus of Lesbos, composing in the 4th century BC wrote that “ it has the belongings of slaking thirst if one holds it in the oral cavity ” . They besides believed the herb to hold stamina edifice belongingss. The herb was once more praised in subsequently old ages when a 9th century herb doctor called Macer Floridus listed it for its actions on the respiratory system stating “ For the brest, for the lurchs. Liquorice sodden in watir til it be nesshe and than pressed good and oft dryed is clethid chylum whan it is dried Pus. This wole helpe pe lurchs and abates the stiffness ‘s and diseases of it. No medecyne helpith swether the instrumentis of the lurchs, of the brest, than doth licorice. These instrumentis helpith licorice wonderly nat in turmentyng, as doth cost, neither in fretyng, as doth aloe, but in softe likynnge. ” What Macer was stating, was that no drug was every bit effectual as liquorice in mending the lungs.

Today, it is still used for a assortment of conditions, though non all its traditional utilizations are supported by scientific grounds. However it is still used for respiratory jobs and as a cortisol pick for tegument jobs. Officially it is recognised by the German Commission E for handling respiratory catarrh and stomachic ulcers and by ESCOP for gastritis and duodenal ulcers. WHO support the usage of liquorice for stomachic and duodenal ulcers after a survey showed betterment when used as a intervention. The BHC supports the usage of the herb for bronchitis, peptic ulcers and chronic gastritis. Research of Licorice and its active ingredients, in recent old ages has besides shown certain support for endocrines in both work forces and adult females.

There are many ingredients in Licorice and many of those contribute to its assorted medicative effects. The largest constituent is a H2O soluble active composite, which makes up to 50 % of the herb. This active composite is made of triterpene saponins, Flavonoids, polyoses, pectin ‘s, aminic acids, mineral salts and simple sugars among other substances. Licorice ‘s characteristic xanthous coloring material is due to the Flavonoids of the herb, these include liquiritin and isoliquiritin. More than 30 different Flavonoids have been identified from liquorice, these included phytoestrogens, formononetin and genistein. The sweet gustatory sensation of the herb comes from the constituent glycyrrhizin which is a triterpenoid. The natural saponins, such as glycyrrhizic acid, are another component of the herb and are comprised of potassium-calcium and Mg salts doing between 2-25 % of the entire herb. Surveies have besides revealed up to 25 different fungicide and 20 antibacterial compounds found in the roots. Other ingredients such as asparagines, steroid alcohols, glycosides and vitamin E and B1 to B9 hold besides been found in Licorice. The anti inflammatory constituents of the herb act as natural steroid endocrines in the organic structure.

Glycyrrhetic acid

There are two methods for disposal of liquorice ; these are unwritten and topical application. There are 2 types of unwritten disposal, these are ; tea made from the dried herb and an infusion of the herb. For topical application, the herb is made in the signifier of a pick.

When it comes to dosage, no more than 15g or 600mg of glycyrrhizin a twenty-four hours should be exceeded with continuance of no more than 6 hebdomads without medical advice. For tea, a criterion of one teaspoon per cup of boiling H2O with a upper limit of 3 cups per twenty-four hours and for infusion, a criterion of 15-40mls per hebdomad. The dose set out above is a criterion, with medical advice the dose can be higher or lower depending on certain factors and the status being treated. For illustration ; for an grownup enduring with bronchial catarrh, a dosage of 1.5-5mls of infusion is the recommended intervention. WHO suggest a day-to-day dosage of 200mg-800mg for no more than 6 hebdomads without professional way. Traditionally the Chinese recommend 1 tsp. rhizome with 1 cup H2O and taken one time a twenty-four hours while they besides recommend liquorice, assorted with wild cherry, and flaxseed makes a fantastic cough sirup. For sore pharynx, emotionlessness, gruffness, coughs, and bronchial annoyances, the following Chinese expression was used: 1/2 oz of Kan-ts’ao ( licorice root ) and 1 oz of Chih-ma ( flaxseed ) .

Like coevalss before us, liquorice is at present still indicated for respiratory jobs, as an antiviral and many other indicants. Today liquorice is indicated for ; skin jobs like acne and eczema, Addison ‘s disease, androgen surplus, ovarian cyst, polycystic ovarian syndrome and GI jobs like GI ulcers and gastritis.

Like its list of many indicants, liquorice has many actions a good. These actions include ; adrenal tonic, adaptogen, spasmolytic for the musculuss, respiratory piece of land and womb, oestrogenic and an antiulcerogenic to call but a few. However, like most herbs and drugs, liquorice is contraindicated for usage in gestation and breastfeeding. The herb is besides contraindicated for those enduring from liver disease, hypokalaemia, cardiovascular upsets, and impaired nephritic map. Licorice has besides been known to interact with certain drugs, such as water pills, cardiac, corticoid, Aldactone, amiloride or digitalis drugs. It has besides been discouraged for usage by those having hypoglycemia and hormonal therapy or those taking. Most of the inauspicious effects reported have been due to licorice ‘s primary constituent Glycyrrhiza and disappear one time discontinued.

Licorice has many pharmacodynamics belongingss and has been shown to hold many activities such as expectorator, anti inflammatory, antiviral and antiulcerogenic activity. Its expectorant activity is due to the saponin content which in vitro decreased surface tenseness by cut downing the viscousness of mucous secretion, therefore increasing secretolytic and expectorant activity in the organic structure. In another in vitro experiment antiviral activity was demonstrated when liquorice was added to septic civilizations of human aneuploid Hep2 cells. The 8mM glycyrrhizic acid inhibited the growing of herpes simplex, vesicular stomachitis viruses and vaccina, while at 0.003M a complete disappearing of haemagglutinating activity of grippe A and B in septic biddy eggs. In a HIV in vitro survey, complete suppression of the cytopathic consequence of HIV and HIV specific antigen look in MT4 cells at a concentration of 0.3 and 0.6mM severally, but it had no direct consequence on the rearward RNA polymerase of HIV. In an anti inflammatory in vitro experiment, an aqueous infusion of Chinese liquorice at 1mg/ml, the constituent isoliquiritin had a major function in the suppression of tubing formation in angiogenesis.

In an experiment into liquorice ‘s antiulcerogenic activity, liquorice infusion or deglycyrrhized liquorice significantly reduced the size and figure of mucosal hosts and ulcers in the rat stomachic mucous membrane. This is due to the fact that liquorice stimulates the organic structure ‘s defense mechanism mechanism to forestall the happening of ulcers by increasing mucous secretion releasing cells in the digestive piece of land. Licorice besides stimulates the production of 2 steroids, Cortone Acetate and aldosterone in the organic structure.

Surveies into the anti tumor activity of liquorice have besides been carried out, though non plenty have been conducted to officially back this claim up yet. Studies into the herb ‘s triterpenoid content for the capableness to suppress the growing of malignant neoplastic disease cells are presently being accessed. One survey conducted on the tegument of rats where tumors were present, showed important suppression of 50 % by topical pre-treatment with 18 Bs glycyrrhetic acid over a 16 hebdomad period.

In a pharmacokinetic survey, carried out in vitro under anaerobiotic conditions, glycyrrhizic acid was hydrolysed to aglycone by human enteric bacteriums and was so isomerised through 3-hydro-glycyrrhertic Criminal Investigation Command to 3 epi-lycyrrhetic acid and frailty versa. In general, in a human survey into glabridin, the constituent was absorbed and reached a maximal concentration after 4 hours. Following the peak concentration, it was eliminated from the organic structure easy in a individual stage with a T12 of 10 hours. Plasma glabridin degrees steadied within 2 hebdomads with a individual day-to-day dosage of 300mg. In relation to soaking up, when delivered intravenously, glycyrrhizin resulted in 54-67ml/kg volume of distribution and when reviewed it was considered to hold a half life of 5 hours. Metabolically, glycyrrhizin is broken down by enteric vegetations which hydrolyses the compound to aglycone and is so isomerised to 3 epi-18 b-glycyrrhetic acid. Once broken down, it is theorized that it is excreted hepatically into the gall. Surveies in relation to riddance of glycyrrhizin have shown that the compound is to the full eliminated at 3.5 hours in worlds.

Many clinical surveies have been conducted in relation to licorice. One unfastened survey of 15 patients with peptic ulcers, were treated with 3 g of powdery root three times a twenty-four hours for three months showed the good effects in alleviating epigastric combustion and hurting in the epigastrium. In another clinical survey, liquorice infusion combined with alkalizers demonstrated an effectiveness equivalent to carbenoxolone, Tagamet and Zantac with betterment in oral cavity ulcers after one twenty-four hours of intervention. An consequence on PCOS was besides demonstrated when liquorice combined with white paeony, lowered the LH/FSH ratio and decreased ovarian testosterone production, therefore bring oning regular ovulation.

In a survey reported in 2002, Supplementation of liquorice root infusion to patients for 1 month was followed by an extra 1 month of placebo ingestion. Licorice ingestion reduced patients ‘ plasma susceptibleness to oxidization, reduced plasma cholesterin degrees, which was due to a 9 % decrease in plasma LDL cholesterin degrees ; and reduced plasma triacylglycerol degrees. The survey concluded that dietetic ingestion of licorice-root infusion by patients with high cholesterin acted as a moderate cholesterol-lowering agent, and as a potent antioxidant agent.

In a reappraisal of liquorice and its effects reported in 2001, it was suggested that liquorice may possess anti-cancer belongingss by a few different agencies. An in vitro survey reported in 2002, certain compounds in licorice root inhibited some enzymes responsible for the formation of certain malignant neoplastic diseases in worlds. This suggested that licorice root may possess cancer-inhibiting belongingss.

Many studies of toxicity from liquorice have been reported and gratefully all symptoms have disappeared after the ingestion of the herb stopped. Therefore disposal of the herb is by and large given under professional supervising. There are 3 types of toxicity in relation to licorice, these are acute toxicity, sub ague toxicity and bomber chronic toxicity.

Acute toxicity was observed in rats when a dry root infusion was administered incorporating 58 % glycyrrhizic acid. The unwritten LD50 of glycyrrhizic acid was determined as 560mg/kg in mice.

Sub acute toxicity with symptoms of reduced weight addition, blood cell count and atrophic cerebral mantle formation of the Thymus secretory organ were observed when 2.5g/kg/day of the dry root infusion for a period of 90 yearss was administered to rats. However when 0.63g/kg/day of the infusion was administered for the same period of clip, no toxicity symptoms was observed.

Finally, when a day-to-day diet of 2.6g/kg of glycyrrhizic acid was given to rats for a period of 6 months, sub chronic toxicity was observed with symptoms of increased blood force per unit area, weight of the kidneys and bosom.