Originally published July 28 2009
Licorice Treats Peptic Ulcers and Helicobacter Pylori Infection
by Melanie Grimes
(NaturalNews) Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) is a natural treatment for ulcers and has been used with great success to treat gastric and duodenal ulcers. Licorice treats the cause of the ulcers and promotes healing of the digestive tissues. Peptic ulcers are created by sores in the lining of the stomach or intestines, which need the enzyme pepsin in order to form. One in every ten American has ulcers, mostly in the small intestines. Ulcer symptoms can alternate every few days, and occur a few hours after eating. They are often relieved by food.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria are know to cause most peptic ulcers. Twenty percent of adults over the ages of 40 and half of those over 60 are thought to be infected with these bacteria. A simple blood test can detect presence of these H. pylori. A breath test, called a urea breath test, can be used after treatment to ascertain results.
Traditional treatment of peptic ulcers is with antibiotics, along with acid-suppressing drugs and stomach-lining protectors. The major concern in treatment is to prevent a perforation of the stomach lining, which would cause bleeding and infection. For this reason, proper diagnosis of this condition is advised.
As far back as 1982, researchers reported that licorice was as effective in curing gastric ulcers as cimetidine, marketed under the trade name Tagament. Zantac, Prolosec, Prevacid, and Pepcid are often prescribed as well. Another study published in the journal Lancet reported similar findings on the value of licorice in treating ulcers.
Licorice root extract's mode of action is to stimulate the release of a substance that protects stomach's mucus lining. This substance, called secretin, is released by the body and appears to be stimulated by DGL. The advantage of licorice therapy is that is does not have the side effects associated with other treatments. DGL does not neutralize stomach acids; therefore, it does not interfere with digestion. Licorice acts by stimulating the body's normal response of secreting secretins, to improve gastric mucosa.
Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice is processed in a manner that prevents the side effects that can be caused by natural licorice. Suggested usage is 750-1,500 mg taken twenty minutes before eating. Best results are seen when the licorice is chewed and swallowed on an empty stomach. Usage for eight to sixteen weeks has shown the best results in reducing ulcers and inflammation. DGL can be taken along with antibiotics and can improve the results of antibiotic therapy. DGL can also prevent a relapse of ulcers, as it treats the cause and not just the symptoms.
About the authorMelanie Grimes is a writer, award-winning screenwriter, medical journal editor, and adjunct faculty member at Bastyr University. She also teaches homeopathy at the Seattle School of Homeopathy and the American Homeopathic Medical College.
A trained homeopath, she is the editor of the homeopathic journal, Simillimum, and has edited alternative and integrative medical journals for 15 years. She has taught creative writing, founded the first Birkenstock store in the USA and authored medical textbooks.
Her ebook on Natural Remedies for the Flu is available at:
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