Between 60 and 70 million individuals suffer from digestive disorders
, making GI complaints the most common disorder in medicine today. Gastric disorders result in more than 20 million hospitalizations and over 250 000 deaths annually. Taking care of the digestive system should be a top priority for everyone.
Some traditional remedies have been used for thousands of years to help reduce or relieve the symptoms most commonly associated with gastrointestinal complaints. Although natural remedies cannot take the place of most medication, they can offer a natural approach to support gastrointestinal health.
That being said, natural remedies should not be seen as safe merely because they are natural. Many of the active ingredients found in foods, herbs, and spices can have medicinal qualities, especially when taken as a supplement. These medicinal properties can interfere with medications and symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms, it is always best to see your medical practitioner before you add supplements or natural ingredients to your daily consumption.
One of the most important traditional remedies that have been shown to have medicinal properties in terms of GI health is licorice.
The History of Licorice as Medicine
is one of the most widely used natural remedies for digestion, with recorded uses in Egypt, India, China, Babylonia, and ancient Greece. Licorice was found in King Tut’s tomb, and the Egyptians believed licorice root was a cure-all. It was carried by the troops of Alexander the Great for stamina and endurance, and the Brahmans of India often prescribed licorice for sexual vigor.
The root of the licorice
plant is the part most often used for its health benefits. The root is a fibrous material that is yellow-brown in color. Licorice is used to create teas, extracts, and powders, and can be chewed for its medicinal benefits.
The Nutritional Value of Licorice
Licorice contains a variety of B vitamins, along with calcium, iron, selenium, beta-carotene, and magnesium. With such a large variety of nutrients, it’s no wonder that licorice offers numerous health benefits. Licorice also contains various active ingredients, including a substance called glycyrrhizin, which also account for the health benefits associated with this delicious root.
The combination of these vitamins and minerals, along with the other active ingredients found in licorice, mean that the root is often used as an antacid and as a remedy for the symptoms associated with GERD or acid reflux.
Anti-Inflammatory Benefits of Licorice
Studies show that licorice has anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is one of the leading underlying causes of digestive disorders. Inflammation is responsible for the pain and discomfort experienced in most GI complaints, and reducing inflammation can be extremely helpful in reducing some of the symptoms associated with digestive disorders.
Licorice was also often used for coughs, colds, and respiratory infections, and many of these uses can be traced back to the anti-inflammatory qualities of licorice.
Anti-Microbial Properties of Licorice
Studies also indicate that licorice is a natural antimicrobial, and that it is particularly effective against a type of bacteria called H. Pylori. It offers natural protection to the digestive tract and helps to eliminate pathogens that can harm the digestive tract.
In a study
done on patients suffering from peptic ulcers, licorice was compared with various other medications ordinarily used to treat this condition. The study found that a supplement composed of licorice helped to reduce the symptoms of gastric disorders and the H. Pylori infection. The scientists concluded that licorice offered an alternative therapy for treating peptic ulcers.
Licorice Protects the Digestive Tract
As mentioned above, one of the active ingredients found in licorice is called glycyrrhizin, and this ingredient may be pivotal in protecting the digestive tract. A layer of mucous protects your stomach and intestines. When that layer is too thin, stomach acids and other compounds can damage the intestinal lining, and this damage can cause low grade inflammation, which then results in some of the symptoms we associate with GI disorders, like pain and discomfort.
Licorice supplements and contributes toward the lining of the digestive tract, thereby providing additional protection for the intestines.
Other Benefits of Licorice
Although a short article cannot do justice to the health benefits of licorice, other common conditions that can benefit from the consumption of licorice include asthma, baldness, bursitis, body odor, canker sores, chronic fatigue, colds and flu, coughs, depression, dandruff, gout, emphysema, heartburn, fungal infections, viral infections, liver support, support for menopause, psoriasis, sore throat, shingles, tendinitis, tuberculosis, yeast infections, and arthritis.
A top quality licorice supplement like the GastroCare Chewable tablets by Karuna Health
provides you with licorice and other beneficial ingredients to help support and promote optimal gastrointestinal health.