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licorice root a stress reliever?

Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Medicine. Anything human!

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licorice root a stress reliever?

Postby wildfunguy » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:09 pm

Maybe somebody familiar with endocrinology could help me understand.

Popular media sources say licorice root reduces stress by promoting adrenal gland function. That's not why I got licorice root capsules, but I think the recomended dosage, 900mg daily, has an opposite effect. I think it causes me to be preoccupied with insignificant problems, e.g. guilt over highly unlikely consequences of my actions, or anxiety over imagined or exaggerated negative appraisals. It also effects my heart rate and libido, but that's off-topic.

I don't know where the stress-reducing idea came from. Licorice root increases cortisol levels by inhibiting 11β–hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, which converts cortisol to cortisone.

Licorice-Induced Hypermineralocorticoidism (Farese et al.)
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NE ... 0243251706
Stewart et al.4 proposed that licorice acts by inhibiting renal 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase activity, thereby diminishing the conversion of cortisol to cortisone and resulting in high renal levels of cortisol [...]

[D]ecreased urinary ratios of cortisone to cortisol metabolites [...] confirm that licorice impairs normal cortisol metabolism.


Loneliness and Cortisol: Momentary, Day-to-day, and Trait Associations (Daone & Adam)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2841363/
This was contrary to previous work which has shown that high levels of anger, tension, nervousness and stress were related to momentary increases in cortisol levels (van Eck et al., 1996; Peeters et al., 2003; Pressman et al., 2005; Adam, 2006) in both adolescent and adult populations.
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Postby leftbehind » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:37 pm

If you are trying to treat something, I suggest that you see a doctor rather than handle it yourself. I can give you some layman insight into what it might be doing to you biologically and how this may be related to the psychological symptoms.

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplemen ... e=LICORICE
See the "uses" section.

It lowers testosterone, the principal hormone in sex drive. Testosterone might influence serotonin production through its conversion (aromatization) into estrogen. Low serotonin is linked to depression, and SSRIs are used as anti-depressants. Aromatizable testosterone increases serotonin production in animal models. Recent research shows that MtF transexuals given drugs to increase estrogen and lower testosterone exhibit an initial increase in SERT binding followed by a drop.

It looks as though licorice root raises serum cortisol by allowing it to persist longer. Cortisol is the hormone secreted by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) in response to stress. Corticosteroid drugs sometimes induces "steroid psychosis", but these case studies often exhibit mania rather than depression. Elevated cortisol is also related to suicidal behavior. The HPA regulates the circadian rhythm and sleep, and insomnia is linked with paranoia.

I hope that was helpful! :)
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