(Health Secrets) Licorice root (Glycyrrhizae) has a long been used for its ability to heal the gastrointestinal tract, including stomach problems and ulcers. Licorice root has several actions that regulate gastrointestinal functioning. It safeguards the gastrointestinal tract against bacterial invasion and toxic substances. But there is more to licorice root. It works against allergies, inflammation and swelling, hypertension, skin conditions, viral infections, and tumor formation and cancer.
Licorice root has stood the test of time
Licorice root has been used since ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman times to heal the gastrointestinal tract. In traditional Chinese medicine, licorice is one of the most frequently used compound to treat gastrointestinal disorderss. In Japan, the oldest specimen of licorice root introduced from China in the middle of the 8th century holds a special place in the Imperial Storehouse for its power to relieve disorders of the gastrointestinal tract..
Licorice root is highly valued for its ability to soothe and coat inflamed membranes including those of the gastrointestinal trace. It also acts as an expectorant, getting rid of phlegm and mucus from the respiratory tract and relieving respiratory ailments such as bronchitis, colds, and sore throats. Licorice root is also used as treatment for acid reflux, heartburn, stress and diseases of the liver.
Licorice root stands guard over the gastro intestinal tract
Polysaccharides from licorice root inhibit adhesion of Helicobacter pylori to human gastrointestinal mucosa, according to scientists in Germany.
Scientists in China have determined that a flavonoid from licorice root plays a dual role in regulating spontaneous motility in the gastrointestinal tract by displaying both spasm inducing and spasm relieving activity.
A compound from licorice root protects epithelial cells in the gastrointestinal tract from induced hydrogen peroxide damage that would otherwise cause cell death, according to researchers in Korea. They demonstrated that the compound is a novel antioxidant that is effective for treating gastrointestinal diseases related to oxidative stress-induced mucosal damage.
Licorice root is one of the most frequently used herbal medicines for treatment of middle and late-stage gastric cancer, and prevention and treatment of recurrence and metastasis after surgery.
Scientists in China investigated the ulcer-preventive effect and mechanism of licorice root against gastric ulcers. They found that licorice was able to reduce gastric juice volume, acidity and pepsin activity, as well as the score on a gastric ulcer index. Licorice was shown to increase the content of nitric oxide in serum and the content of a prostaglandin in gastric tissue, an indication of inflammation inhibition.
Licorice root reduces body fat
In a human study, licorice has been found to reduce body fat. Fifteen normal-weight subjects consumed licorice for 2 months (3.5g per day). Body fat mass was measured before and after treatment. Licorice was able to reduce body fat mass and to suppress the levels of aldosterone, the hormone responsible for retention of salt and water. Another study found that a topical preparation of licorice was able to reduce the thickness of fat on the thigh in human subjects.
Licorice is a potent anti-inflammatory
More recent studies have provided additional evidence of licorice’s anti-inflammatory properties. The journal Shock reported that researchers found licorice reduced inflammation, swelling, tissue damage and cell death in mice with induced spinal cord injury. In a separate study, these researchers found that licorice extract treatment significantly enhanced the recovery of limb function following spinal injury.
A study reported in Pharmacological Research supports these conclusions. Researchers evaluated the anti-inflammatory activities of licorice extract in a mice model of acute inflammation caused by induced lung injury resulting in pleurisy characterized by fluid accumulation. Again, potent anti-inflammatory effects were seen and measured parameters of the injury were significantly reduced.
The Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, reported that licorice, is effective for use in treatment of rosacea, atopic dermatitis, sensitive and irritated skin, drug-induced skin eruptions, and psoriasis.
Licorice relieves pain from stomach ulcers
Studies in humans have shown preparations containing licorice may be as effective as leading anti-ulcer medications in relieving pain associated with stomach ulcers and ulcer recurrence. In one study, licorice root fluid extract was used to treat 100 patients with stomach ulcers for 6 weeks. Ninety percent of the patients improved, with ulcers completely disappearing in 22 of the patients.
Licorice protects the liver
Licorice has a long history of promoting liver health and has been successfully used to prevent hepatitis.
Licorice normalizes cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure
Licorice is showing well in studies of its use in heart treatment. People with high cholesterol experienced significant reductions in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels after taking licorice root for one month. Systolic blood pressure was reduced by 10%. In earlier studies with mice, licorice root extract reduced the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Licorice as a supplement
Licorice products are made from the dried root of the plant. In addition to the compound glycyrrhizin, the roots contain coumarins, flavonoids, volatile oils, and plant sterols. Licorice is available as tea, tablets, capsules, and liquid extracts. Most licorice candy contains no real licorice and is not effective as a therapeutic agent.
Some licorice root extracts have had glycyrrhizin removed, and are known as deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL). This form retains many of licorice’s healing properties and is the better choice for long term use. Excessive consumption of glycyrrhizin can cause a condition in which an individual becomes overly sensitive to aldosterone, a homone produced by the adrenal cortex. Fatigue, headaches and high blood pressure may result. DGL is the better choice for treatment of stomach disorders or ulcers. Studies have shown that DGL reduces inflammation and is as effective as prescription drugs for gastric ulcers, without the side effects.
Gastro Guard is an excellent choice for anyone with gastro intestinal needs or who is wanting most of the other benefits of licorice. Gastro Guard combines DGL licorice with the amino acid L-glutamine, essential for the maintenance of a healthy digestive tract. In addition to treating intestinal disorders and peptic ulcers, L-glutamine is powerful brain fuel.
This potent combination is made even better by being in the form of a chewable wafer rather than a tablet or capsule. In wafer form Gastro Guard is able to go to work immediately upon reaching the stomach and can be easily dispersed throughout the digestive tract to initiate healing.
For more information:
Published with permission from Alignlife. Original article link is here.