Here is scientific evidence backing what Chinese herbalists already knew about licorice root:
Chinese herbalism notes five herbal actions for licorice root (also know as gan cao). The one responsible for licorice root’s effect on ulcers is likely “clearing heat”.
WESTERN MEDICAL TRANSLATION
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), “heat” means the metabolic activity of a body. In a healthy individual, this metabolic activity is in balance.
“Excessive heat” is TCM’s way of saying the body’s metabolic activity is higher than normal. Or, in other words, metabolic activity is out of balance. A practical example of this we have all experienced is when one’s body responds to an infection. “Clearing heat” is the process of treating that excessive activity.
POSSIBLE REASON IT WORKS
Licorice root’s active chemical compound is glycyrrhizic acid. This acid is like cortisone, a compound the body uses to make the steroid cortisol. Two effects of cortisol are to reduce inflammation and to stimulate the repair of tissue.
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