Is Licorice A Healthy Food? Find Out
Believe it or not, much of the licorice sold in the United States does not contain the herb licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) at all. Most “licorice” candy sold in the US is flavored with anise, contains wheat, is mostly sugar and does not have the health beneficial properties of this medicinal herb.
The benefits of the licorice herb are many, but be mindful of licorice root, which contains glycyrrizin, a compound that can raise blood pressure while supporting adrenal function, and should only be used with the supervision of a knowledgeable practitioner. The other form of licorice, deglycyrrhizinated licorice extract or DGL, does not contain glycyrrizin and is safe to use. It can treat canker sores and heartburn by stimulating the mucous lining of the esophagus and stomach, can soothe gastroesophageal reflux disease, as well as being helpful in relieving symptoms of gastritis and ulcers.
DGL can be found in wafer form or as chewable tablets at your local health food store or online through supplement retailers. Take it between meals or before meals, until your symptoms are lessened or eliminated.
Today’s Health Topics
Ask Dr. Weil's Q&A