Licorice Shown To Kill SARS And Other Lethal Viruses

March 28, 2012

Could This Plant Save The World From The Next Pandemic Infection?

Licorice has a rich and ancient history of use as a medicine, being rooted in Indian, Chinese, Greek and Egyptian traditions, alike. Technically a legume, related to beans and peas, its sweetness results from the presence of glycyrrhizin, a compound 30-50 times sweeter than sugar. This compound is what gave licorice its name, which derives from the Greek word γλυκύρριζα (glukurrhiza), meaning “sweet” (gluku)  “root” (rrhiza). But glycyrrhizin’s properties don’t end with its sweetness; it is also one of the most powerful antiviral compounds ever studied.

A study on glycyrrhizin’s inhibitory activity against SARS-associated coronovirus published in Lancet in June of 2003, received little mainstream media coverage, despite its profound importance to human health.  Mind you, only a few months before this the World Health Organization issued a press release (April 16, 2003) stating the recent outbreak of lethal Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Asia was caused by the same coronoviruses used in this study. With the world still reeling from global SARS hysteria and “preparedness,” i.e. stockpiling pharmaceuticals like Ribavirin despite their well-known lack of effectiveness, you would think more attention would have been paid to promising research of this kind…

In the groundbreaking Lancet study, titled “Glycyrrhizin, an active component of liquorice roots, and replication of SARS-associated coronavirus,” German researchers summarized their intention in the following manner:
“The [recent] outbreak of SARS warrants the search for antiviral compounds to treat the disease.  At present time, no specific treatment has been identified for SARS-associated coronavirus infection.“ (Read Full Article)

 

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