Adrenals needing information on Licorice and supplements

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by app5775, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. app5775

    app5775 New Member

    My doctor is testing my adrenals by my request. I've read alot of you take some form of licorice. Where do you get buy it, what form and is there a "safe" experimental level to take it thats not going to make matters worse? In other words if you don't have Addisons or Cushings but just want to experiment safely to treat adrenal fatigue to see if it helps. Sometimes blood tests don't show adrenal problems unless they are severe. I'd just like to experiment safely and try. If the blood tests come out normal I want to see if taking something herbal or whatever might help regardless of the results.
  2. app5775

    app5775 New Member

  3. 545

    545 New Member

    Hi app,

    I've been taking licorice for about 3 or 4 months now. I've bought them from online places (i-herb.com usually a good bet) and they're not expensive - usually $10 for a month's supply.

    The basics, at least as I understand, are that there are two types, one type has a substance called "glycyrrhiza", the other type extracts the glycyrrhiza, the type w/o it is usually called DGL for short; if you're taking licorice root for adrenals, you don't want the DGL (i.e. you want the Glycyrrhiza), and in fact I'm not sure what the DGL stuff is good for. But you won't find the type with the glycyrrhiza in stores because glycyrrhiza is potentially dangereous as far as most herbals go because it raises your blood pressure.

    From my own experience, I started taking licorice root when I thought that I might have an adrenal problem; at the time I was seeing an endocrinologist, and about three weeks later after his own series of tests he conclucded that my cortisol levels were pretty elevated (and this wasn't because of the licorice, as I'd told him about it). But in the mean time, I've found the licorice to significantly help with other symptoms of dehyradration, digestion, frequent urination, dried skin, & lightheadedness; it's certainly been one of most valuable & consistent remedies I've found.

    For me, I think it's main effect has been increasing blood pressure & water retention; again, to get this effect or to stimulate adrenals, make sure it's *not* DGL.

    With regard to specifics: Most brands sell pills in doses of 450 mg, and I've been advised not to take more than 900 mg in a day. I began taking actually two or three pills per day (until I was advised to just take two), and it took maybe 2 or 3 weeks to take effect - this stuff seems so slow sometimes - and after that I generally take one per day. I also make sure that mine are yeast / gluten / all-that-other-stuff-free. I know it's really helped me - I even remember that when the doctors had prescribed me other stimulants, I was so delearious but happy that I forgot about the licorice, and for next two weeks I was jittery but beginning to feel dehyrated and lightheaded again, until I remembered I wasn't taking the licorice.

    Also *make sure that you tell you doctor you're taking it*!- this is particularly important if you're currently being tested for adrenal stuff because the licorice will mask most basic blood tests of this sort.

    Best of luck!
    [This Message was Edited on 03/25/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 03/25/2007]
  4. app5775

    app5775 New Member

    Thanks, what time of the day is it best to take it? Is there any precautions for a trial period other than not taking too much I wonder, like does it have any undesireable side effects if you take it and the adrenals are not diagnosed as fatigued? I wish there was a food type to take, I love licerice. What were your symptons that prompted your doctor to have your adrenals evaluated?
  5. 545

    545 New Member

    I've always suspected that it's a stimulant because it increases cortisol, but I've never felt any sort of rush after taking it; nonetheless, I wouldn't take it after 3 or 4 pm.

    I suppose me & my internist thought that I might have low cortisol because of the symptoms surrounding dehyradration, digestion, frequent urination, dried skin, & lightheadedness; and it was really these symptoms that the licorice helped with, despite the fact that my cortisol wasn't low. My cortisol was actually abnormally high before I began taking it, so I would hope that it's ok to take licorice root & not have adrenal insufficiency, because I would guess that my cortisol is really high now.

    Also, I read on your bio that you suffer from severe pain - I've never experienced this, and I'm not up to date on the literature about blood pressure, cortisol, & pain. My only advice would be to consider whether, similar to me, the symptoms that you & your doctor think might be due to adrenal insufficiency are also connected to blood-pressure. When I began taking it, I figured that higher cortisol and/or higher blood pressure couldn't make me worse; but you might want to dig into the research to see whether these factors make pain worse, and of course it might work by affecting something completely different from cortisol or blood pressure.

    And you can eat licorice, but from what I've read most candy companies make a licorice substitute, and it'd probably take a lot of candy if you found the right type; there are also teas, but I rarely have the patience to boil water.

    With regard to trials, talk to your doctor, but really try to assess his logic on what he tries to say; from my experience, most doctors, even the good ones, have been nonplussed by the fact that licorice has helped me so much and this has really upset me; I've tried enough other supplements that didn't work and did so much research into all of them, that the least the doctors could say might be: "great that you've found something so helpful" or "way to go detective!" or "you must have gotten that from your friends at prohealth" or most preferable: "since this has seemed to help you more than anything I've done, your next visit is on the house, completely free"; but all I get are crinkly eyebrows and skeptical "okaay's. But I could see how you might be less experimental with severe pain..
    [This Message was Edited on 03/25/2007]
  6. app5775

    app5775 New Member

    Ok thanks for the information. I think doctors just don't want to admit that there are alternative medicines that do work. They were trained in the old school of mainstream medicine. I have a good doctor and he is pretty open to many thoughts and has helped me alot. Actually since I wrote my bio my pain level has decressed significantly. I owe that alot to watching my yeast issues and allergy shots also help me alot. But the fatigue and heavy feelings still linger and mornings are my worst. I'll be meeting with my doctor over the cortisol results soon. I did go to a seminar put on by a compounding pharmicist and he has alot of luck treating fibro and CFIDS patients with adrenal medicines. I may also go to him for more information. I thought in the meantime I'd give licorice a try. take care
  7. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Try doing a content search for

    cut licorice

    and then seeing if any posts from dncnfngrs come up. She's written about this a few times, mostly back in late January/early February.

    I've only taken regular capsules, which appear not to have as strong of an effect as the cut stuff.

    Best, Lisa
  8. grace4u

    grace4u New Member

    I just talked with nurse fron FFC Dallas. The I.V. therapy they plan on giving me is Glcyrrhizin acid (licorice) once a week for 8 weeks. States it is an antiviral. Google search says it is showing promising results for Hep-C and AIDS. I don't have either that I know of.

    Sandra
  9. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member


    I take adrenal supplements and they've been the biggest Godsend besides my Prohealth anti-inflammatory enzymes and of course probiotics (which I think are as essential as food forr us).

    I take an affordable supp by New Roots herbal ($15/90) or sometimes Dr. Wilson's Adrenal Rebuilder ($54/150. Both can be ordered online. These do alot more for your glands than just licorice, they strengthen and heal the glands overall. The New Roots brand also contains naturally occuring hormones that your own glands use and are probably depleted of if they are weak. The Wilson's brand contains no hormones, but contains 5 different glands incl. adrenal and synergistically supports other glands like thyroid and gonad too.

    Blood and urine tests only show what your glands are producing at the moment you take the test and are lack in fine tuning and picking up if your glands are ebbing and surging. Mail orrder saliva tests are more fine tuned and will tell how your glands are working at 4 times in the day, so they are better, but not covered by ins. and not trusted by many doctors because they are cutting edge and not the standard (outdated) modus operandi.

    Symptoms of weak adrenals are chills, temperature fluctuation, low body temp, insomnia, energy surges at night when you need to sleep w/ low energy in the day and esp. morning/afternoon, circadian rhythm alteration (sleep disorder), adrenaline rushes (cause heart arrythmia, blood rushing in ears, anxiety, jumpiness), short fuse and multiple allergies. And those are all the improvements I've seen after a year and a half on glandulars.

    Another safe and invaluable supplement for the adrenals is pantothenic acid (vit. B5). It takes away the bitchy/clumsies for me becasue it is the fuel to make acetycholine which fuels the adrenals, but is also a key neurotransmitter so you get mood/memory/muscle function enhancement. Acetylcholine is the chemical that conducts neurons to your muscles, so you may get some pain relief from aching limbs like I do, but it takes away that pesky ataxia (clumsiness) we usually suffer from too.

    I'd go for these before licorice, because licorice can raise blood pressure in some people even if they had normal bp to begin w/.


    Jeanne
  10. meditationlotus

    meditationlotus New Member

    I take Astragulus Root, which seems to give me a boost. I also need a lot of salt, which I have to balance with more intake of potassium. I have neurally mediated hypotension and the salt helps to build blood volume.

    Usually, with low adrenal function, people need salt and have difficulty with standing. I don't know if low adrenal function causes neurally mediated hypotension.

    I also want to try some glandulars. I have heard that they help also. Jeanne gave some good recommendations.

    I get my licorice root and astraulus root from Herbalcom.com. I buy the powdered herbs in bulk at a very affordable price.