Licorice root benefits adrenal fatigue & leaky gut
Licorice root contains many anti-depressant compounds and is an excellent alternative to St. John’s Wort. As a herbal medicine it has an impressive list of well documented uses and is probably one of the most over-looked of all herbal wonders. Licorice is useful for many ailments including:
Hundreds of potentially healing substances have been identified in licorice as well, including compounds called flavonoids and various plant estrogens (phytoestrogens).
The herb’s key therapeutic compound, glycyrrhizin (which is 50 times sweeter than sugar) exerts numerous beneficial effects on the body, making licorice a valuable herb for treating a host of ailments. It seems to prevent the breakdown of adrenal hormones such as cortisol (the body’s primary stress-fighting adrenal hormone), making these hormones more available to the body.
It has a well-documented reputation for healing ulcers. It can lower stomach acid levels, relieve heartburn and indigestion and acts as a mild laxative. It can also be used for irritation, inflammation and spasm in the digestive tract. Through its beneficial action on the liver, it increases bile flow and lowers cholesterol levels.
Boosts immune system
Licorice also appears to enhance immunity by boosting levels of interferon, a key immune system chemical that fights off attacking viruses. It also contains powerful antioxidants as well as certain phytoestrogens that can perform some of the functions of the body’s natural estrogens; very helpful during the menopause.
Glycyrrhizinic acid also seems to stop the growth of many bacteria and of viruses such as influenza A.
Relieves pain and stress
It has an aspirin-like action and is helpful in relieving fevers and soothing pain such as headaches. Its anti-allergenic effect is very useful for hay fever, allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis and bronchial asthma. Possibly by its action on the adrenal glands, licorice has the ability to improve resistance to stress. It should be thought of during times of both physical and emotional stress, after surgery or during convalescence, or when feeling tired and run down.
Heartburn and acid reflux
Published in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, an extract of Glycyrrhiza glabra was found to be effective against functional dyspepsia, which includes not only heartburn but also a natural remedy for nausea, indigestion and stomach pain.
The type used for the study was DGL licorice, which left participants without any negative side effects associated with glycyrrhizin. DGL can be purchased as chewable tablets that can be taken before meals.
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.
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 lower cortisol.