V RaptureChrist Newsletter
June 15, 2003

Possible SARS Cure?

In the war against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) there is a natural ingredient that seems the most promising.

licorice plant

It is found in licorice, a black confection who anybody can get at the grocery store.  Licorice is derived from the roots of Glycyrrhiza glabra, a Mediterranean perennial plant with blue flowers used as a flavoring in candy, liqueurs, and medicines.

Glycyrrhizin, the substance in licorice with antiviral properties, is also what gives licorice its peculiar taste.  This substance has been found  more effective against the SARS virus than drugs such as ribavirin and 6-azauridine.  The recent study was done in Frankfurt, Germany and reported last week in the British weekly journal The Lancet.

Ribavirin, a drug used against Hepatitis C, had disappointing results against the SARS virus, as it did not stop viral replication.

6-azauridine, an anticancer drug, was slightly effective against SARS,  but it was not able to completely halt viral replication.

Glycyrrhizin,  the substance found in licorice, was more than five times more effective than 6-azauridine.  At high concentrations it was able to completely stop viral replication.

Not only is glycyrrhizin effective, but it has very few side-effects even at high doses.   Ribavirin's  toxic effects include anemia and birth defects;  6-azauridine's side effects are severe, as it interferes with the replication of all the cells in your body.

Uses of Licorice

Besides being a candy, licorice has been studied and used  therapeutically in homeopathic medicine for over 50 years to treat conditions such as allergies, autoimmune connective tissue disorders (i.e. lupus, scleroderma), bronchitis, arthritis, gastritis, and as an antibacterial and antiviral agent.


Some varieties of licorice root are 50 times sweeter than sugar, that is why licorice is usually used to make candy and flavoring.  It is also used as a demulcent and as an emulsifier to produce foam in different drinks.

Licorice is a perennial that grows wild in the some areas of Europe and Asia. It has large thick roots from which glycyrrhizin is extracted. Glycyrrhizin consists of glycyrrhizic acid and potassium and calcium salts.  The active components in licorice are estrogenic, with mineralocorticoid activity, which accounts for its side effects.

Medicinal plants are used to treat diseases.

Plants are laboratories that manufacture many organic compounds.  Many of the beneficial ingredients in plants are present in the leaves, or in the roots.  The benefit of using plants compared to manmade drugs, is that the therapeutic ingredients in plants have less deleterious side effects than artificially synthesized drugs.

In the future what will we be using as medicine, synthetic drugs or natural plants? :

Revelation 22:2
On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

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