Effects of Glycyrrhiza Glabra in the Treatment of Gastritis


In Gastritis, there is a considerable amount of pre-ulcerative inflammation or erosion present in the lining of the gastric mucosa of the stomach. This condition is cured by the regeneration of the gastric mucosa. The medicinal herb Glycyrrhiza glabra is a demulcent (mucoprotector), which is useful in the regeneration process, as it directly promotes epithelial regeneration. The active constituent Glycyrrhizin  is a saponin glycoside which facilitates the healing of intestinal permeability and inflammation (Aly, A. M., et al. 2005). Glycyrrhiza glabra also has properties that support  the gluco and mineralocorticoids which make them anti-inflammatory. These substances coat the gastric mucosa enabling healing and protection. However, it does not cause high blood pressure when used in the form of Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL).

 

 


Gastritis is a gastrointestinal system disease, which is characterized by pre-ulcerative inflammation of the lining of the stomach called the gastric mucosa. It is often accompanied by atrophy (mayoclinic.org). This condition is quite common in adults and the elderly and requires immediate attention to prevent the transition of the disease to ulcers or cancer. Symptoms associated with Gastritis are abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea, flatulence, and indigestion, among others. The causes of gastritis are Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS), aspirin, excess fluoride, excess alcohol and coffee, dietary fats, stress, helicobacter pylori infection, nutritional deficiencies, recreational drugs, and low/high stomach acid.

The conventional treatments for Gastritis are Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) and Histamine H2 Receptor Antagonists, which act by inhibiting the release of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Some (PPIs) are Esomeprazole, Omeprazole, Pantoprazole, Lansoprazole, Rabeprazole and Dexlansoprasole, whereas Nizatidine, Cimetidine and Famotidine are Histamine H2 receptor Antagonists drugs. Not all cases of Gastritis come from the excess production of hydrochloric acid, therefore investigations of the cause will lead to the most appropriate treatment.

The Naturopathic treatment protocol requires a thorough history of the patient along with suitable screening to determine the cause of Gastritis and Stomach acid levels. Gastritis may be caused by both high and low stomach acids, which determine the treatment plan. Diet and nutritional changes are necessary in both cases of Gastritis. In Hyperchlorhydria (excess stomach acid), the protocol
requires the reduction of stomach acids by use of the appropriate medicine, food, supplements, herbs and lifestyle changes to reduce stress. In the event of Hypochlorhydria, low stomach acid is addressed where the common recommendation is Betaine hydrochloric acid and Digestive enzymes, along with the respective diet and nutritional changes, stress reduction, lifestyle changes and strict adherence to the prescribed natural medicine protocol. In both Hyperchlorhydria and Hypochlorhydria, Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) is useful for the restoration of the stomach mucosa and is an important natural medicine in the elimination of Gastritis (Kao TC, Wu CH, Yen GC. 2014, Marjan Nassiri, and Hossein Hosseinzadeh, 2008).

Glycyrrhiza glabra (without being deglycyrrhizinated ), although effective may cause high blood pressure in some patients. Although the deglycyrrhizinated form of licorice will not cause high blood pressure when used in large doses, it is best to be under the supervision of a qualified practitioner who can best diagnose and prescribe with respect to individual needs.

Science and Research

Special Licorice Extracts (s-lico), which lower the active substance glycyrrhizin, while increasing the licochalcone-A content, were isolated. Glycyrrhizin is responsible for high blood pressure when taken in large dosages. The findings of the new formulation proved effective in its anti-inflammatory, cytoprotective and antioxidative actions. Special Licorice extracts (s-lico) significantly reduced gastritis and helicobacter pylori-induced gastric damages (Park JM, et.al,2014).

A study was conducted on glycyrrhetinic acid which is an active component of Glycyrrhiza glabra, for its effects on gastritis produced by helicobacter pylori. The inhibitory effects produced in helicobacter pylori infected gastritis led to glycyrrhetinic acid being proposed as a bioactive inhibitor of gastric inflammation. This may possibly become a drug for inflammation and  chemoprotection for gastric ulcers (Donghui Cao, et al, 2016).

References
1. Aly, A. M., et al, “Licorice: a possible anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer drug.” AAPS
PharmSciTech. 6(1):E74-E82, 2005.
2. Mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gastritis/basics/definition/con-20021032, Cited 26.05.2016.
3. Marjan Nassiri, and Hossein Hosseinzadeh. "Review of pharmacological effects of Glycyrrhiza
and its bioactive compounds." 22.6 (2008): 709-724.
4. Kao TC, Wu CH, Yen GC. “Bioactivity and potential health benefits of licorice.” J Agric Food
Chem. 2014;62(3):542-53.
5. Park JM, et.al, “Special licorice extracts contacting lowered glycyrrhizin and enhanced
licochalcone,” 2014.
6. Donghui Cao, et al, “The Protective Effects of 18β-Glycyrrhetinic Acid on Helicobacter pylori-
Infected Gastric Mucosa in Mongolian Gerbils,” (2016), 4943793.
.
Author
Sabetree Nohar-Luin, B.Sc (H.M.), S.A.C. (M.H.)

 

 

 

 

 

;