Licorice root has a strong distinct flavor and is considered a “peacemaker” in Chinese medicine as it helps herbs work together and even ups their potency. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is used to treat a variety of health problems including stomach ulcers, diabetes, hormonal imbalances, coughs, and sore throats, asthma, flu, eczema, and hepatitis. Being chock full of tummy taming properties on its own and used as a natural laxative, licorice root can work against constipation and as an aid for digestive problems (1,2).
Fresh licorice roots are loaded with valuable antioxidants and phytochemicals as well as B vitamins to supercharge our metabolism, and nutrients like calcium, iron, selenium, magnesium, and beta-carotene. These components help make licorice a natural antacid that can help relieve heartburn, indigestion, gastric and stomach ulcers, mild acid reflux, and symptoms of GERD (1).
This herbal remedy protects the stomach and duodenum by increasing the production of mucin, a substance that protects the lining of these organs against stomach acid and other harmful substances (3).
In a study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers found that individuals who took a licorice extract pill twice daily each day had significant improvements in symptoms linked to heartburn and indigestion (4).
Experts have also found that licorice root extract has antibacterial effects that may help to protect d from our digestive system from harmful pathogens. It can help eliminate H. pylori bacteria which is known to cause sores and peptic ulcers. The results of this study were published in the Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases (5).
Moreover, a study in 58 adults with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) noted that the daily use of licorice root was more effective at reducing symptoms over a 2-year period than commonly used antacids (6).
Licorice Root Tea
One way to obtain licorice root’s health benefits is by consuming licorice root tea. Here’s how to make it:
Things You’ll Need:
- Dried licorice root
Boil 4 to 8 ounces of water in a saucepan, depending on how much tea you want to make.
Add 1 teaspoon of dried licorice root to the saucepan for every 4 ounces of water.
Remove the water from the heat and let the licorice root steep in the saucepan for 5 minutes.
Pour the tea through a fine-mesh kitchen strainer set over a teapot or a teacup. Discard the dried licorice root.
Other Tips to Boost Digestive Health
- Consume more fiber-rich foods
- Shrink your plate. Eat smaller meals more often.
- Limit salt consumption
- Stay hydrated to get rid of waste and stay regular.
- Be physically active
- Make it a priority to be active, get enough sleep, meditate, and relax.
- Quit smoking and limit alcohol