Tied to systemic health issues, leaky gut syndrome can be difficult to tackle. As an anti-inflammatory and demulcent (soothing) herb, licorice root works as a natural remedy for ulcers and can be a beneficial leaky gut supplement.
Liquorice root is a natural antacid that helps to relieve heartburn,dyspepsia, indigestion, gastric and stomach ulcers, acid reflux and symptoms of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). It works by coating the digestive tract with mucous, protecting the stomach lining whilst speeding up its repair and restoring balance.
One of the major components of Liquorice is “glycyrrhizic acid”, a powerful anti-inflammatory that has been found to suppress the growth of the toxic bacteria “H pylori” – a nasty little bug that can lead to a whole host of stomach problems.
Due to its diuretic and mildly laxative effects, this root can also reduce stomach bloating, water retention and constipation.
In spite of living in a relatively simple time in history, our society is plagued by environmental, physical and mental stress disorders. So many of us have sent our adrenal glands in overdrive, like we’re running from wooly mammoths when we’re really just dealing with a budget issue or a decision at work.
In the medical journal Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, licorice was found to help the body more efficiently regulate cortisol — the stress hormone — thus giving your adrenals a break. It turns out it’s one of the main adaptogen herbs to help improve stress response.
Licorice is emerging as a prominent player in the search for treatment and prevention for diseases like hepatitis C, HIV and influenza. The triterpenoid content has been confirmed as an antiviral, making licorice extract a potentially strong partner for the immune system. One study published in Food Chemistry described licorice as having “antioxidant, free-radical scavenging, immunostimulating” properties.
Licorice root benefits a sore throat or cough immensely as an effective expectorant, helping to loosen and expel mucus that the cough is trying to eliminate. Its soothing demulcent, anti-inflammatory properties can bring fast relief for sore throat.
Upper respiratory infections can be persistent and difficult to get over, but licorice root tincture can quickly cut through the phlegm and mucus, soothing inflammation in the throat, and giving the immune system a boost to eliminate the underlying bacteria or pathogen. The antioxidants found in this root are also integral to the body’s defenses against illness.
Liquorice both protects the liver and promotes healing in this vital organ. The herb's anti-inflammatory properties help calm hepatitis-associated liver inflammation. Liquorice also fights the virus commonly responsible for hepatitis and supplies valuable antioxidant compounds that help maintain the overall health of the liver.
Numerous studies have found that the active compound in Liquorice can effectively block liver damage caused by alcohol and over the counter pain killers. The glycyrrhizin found in this root is a potent free radical scavenger, especially in the liver.
Liquorice is known to have 8 different anti-depressant compounds, known as MOA (monoamine oxidase) inhibitors. These inhibitors are capable of potent antidepressant activity and show significant improvement for all types of depression. The compound, "glycyrrhizin" breaks down cortisol, the stress hormone, enabling the body to deal with stress. It also contains "Isoflavan" and "Isoflavene", additional compounds that have been shown to have antidepressant properties.
In terms of skin health, licorice root tincture can help to keep your skin moisturized when used as a topical application, but can also improve the antioxidant levels in your body, helping to minimize signs of aging. Furthermore, licorice tincture can help soothe inflammatory conditions like psoriasis or eczema, and even act as a mild natural sunscreen, helping to block UV rays that damage the skin.
If you suffer from hypotension, also known as low blood pressure, the stimulating nature of licorice root can elevate your blood pressure to normal levels, providing a boost to your energy levels and preventing dizziness and fatigue. However, if you suffer from high blood pressure, this root can be a dangerous choice for your overall health.
Licorice root tincture has been traditionally used to treat the symptoms of dysmenorrhea, also known as menstrual cramps, and also improve other symptoms of PMS, such as mood swings, and hormonal fluctuations. For treatment of menopause, licorice was shown in a Health Care for Women International study to be better than hormone replacement therapy at reducing the duration of hot flashes. However, when consumed in excess, this root can have the opposite effects, so only drink this tea in moderation!
As an antispasmodic, licorice can have an effect on cramps both abdominally and potentially in the muscles, as well. Topically, licorice can alleviate eczema discomfort and other dermal conditions as it acts as a hydrocortisone. Anti-inflammatory benefits may also help relieve pain, including acting as a natural remedy for joint pain.
Licorice has become synonymous with a strong candy flavor, but the herb itself — Glycyrrhiza glabra — has very different strengths. An adaptogen herb, licorice root can be found growing in Europe, the Mediterranean and Asia, and it’s been used for thousands of years and dozens of purposes, including as a leaky gut remedy.
Licorice is a member of the legume family, and while there are species that grow in the U.S., Glycyrrhiza glabra is primarily native to Europe and Asia.
Glycyrrhiza’s name reflects its most popularly known claim to fame: “sweet root.” With an extract that can be 30 to 50 times sweeter than sugar, we can see why our ancestors were inspired to turn it into candy!
In Chinese medicine, anti-inflammatory licorice root has been used for centuries for many of the same uses that science has confirmed now — coughs and colds, gastrointestional issues, and female reproductive issues.
One interesting note about the way licorice has been used in Chinese medicine is that it was used as a “guide drug.” Licorice root was used in tandem with other herbs and remedies to enhance their effects and essentially guide the other herbs to where they would be most beneficial. In 2013, this use was observed and reviewed by the Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. This ancient purpose, along with other licorice root benefits, no doubt contributed to licorice root being the most used herb in Chinese medicine!
Europeans didn’t ignore the benefits of licorice as supplement, either. Licorice root has documented uses from antiquity, from ancient Greece and Rome to the Middle Ages and beyond. Liquorice Root boasts a medicinal history going back thousands of years, with reports of it being consumed for its health benefits by the likes of Caesar, Alexander the Great and the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt.
During the Middle Ages, Liquorice was often taken to alleviate the bad effects of highly spiced and overcooked food, fat and often-contaminated meats. As refrigeration was impossible, most meats were preserved by salting and by packing with aromatic herbs and spices.
To the Egyptians Liquorice was a “cure-all”, although it was used throughout the ancient world for a variety of maladies. The herbal physician Dioscorides who travelled with the army of Alexander the Great gave it to the troops to give them stamina and endurance.
By the 20th century, manufacturing allowed the root to be stripped for pharmaceutical uses and then extracted for candy sweetener.
Now, that familiarly strong licorice flavor is usually replicated by the similarly flavored anise seed (a common biblical herb), but you can still get genuine licorice candy — usually “black licorice” to distinguish it from the red imitation candy.
The medicinal strength and benefits of licorice root are prominent enough that the FDA issued a notice for consumers to be aware that black licorice is more than just a sweet treat.
Common Names: Spanish licorice , Russian licorice , gan Cao (Chinese), shao-yao-gan-cao-tang , bois doux (French), kanzo (Japanese), lakrids (Danish), lakritzenwurzel (German), licochalcone-A , Glycyrrhizae radix , Glycyrrhizae extractum crudum , Liquiriti radix , Succens liquiritiae.
Dosage: 20-30 drops, 3 times a day.
Precaution: Do not use a larger dose than recommended. It is safe for use with children. Liquorice should not be taken by people on digoxin-based drugs. It should also be avoided during pregnancy and in cirrhosis of the liver. It may interfere with the calcium and potassium absorption. Do not use if you are suffering from osteoporosis, hypertension (increases water around heart). Some evidence suggests taking licorice in supplement form may have estrogen-like effects on female hormone sensitive conditions (breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, uterine fibroids) and should not be taken by people with such diseases. It may also worsen hypertonia (a muscle condition caused by nerve disease), potassium deficiency (hypokalemia) or erectile dysfunction.
Also, stop taking licorice root two weeks before surgery, as it may interfere with blood pressure control during surgical procedures.
FDA Disclaimer: These statements and products have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health concern or condition, consult a physician. Always consult a medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any new product, drug, supplement, or doing any new exercises.
All Herbs Are Hand Picked