Licorice’s name is from the Greek word meaning, ‘sweet’. It’s tart sweetness is long lasting. It can be up to 50 times sweeter than sugar without affecting insulin!
Licorice root is the most used herbs in Chinese medicine! (4) It has documented uses back to ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. (5)
It’s been used in Chinese medicine as a “guide herb” to enhance their effects and essentially guide the other herbs to where they would be most beneficial. In 2013, this use was observed and reviewed by the Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. (3)
It’s been used for medicinal purposes including indigestion and stomach inflammation , cough suppression, ulcer treatment, and use as a laxative. In an Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research study, the leaves tested well against bacteria and thus may work as a staph and candida cure. (8)
It also helps: as an antiviral, antimicrobial, blood pressure, leaky gut, autoimmune issues like hepatitis, hyperlipidemia (high blood fat), inflammation-induced skin hyper pigmentation, and might help prevent neurodegenerative disorders and dental caries, anti-ulcer, anti-diabetic & anti-tumor.
There are at least four main types of compounds found in licorice root: flavonoids, coumarins, triterpenoids and stilbenoids. (9)
Flavonoids: rich antioxidants & anti-inflammatory
An example is the Flavonoid glabradin which is anti-inflammatory, has effects metabolism and functions as a phytoestrogen — which creates a positive effect on women’s health. (11)
It can be rubbed on gums to help stop tooth bacteria and canker sores
3) LIVER | HEART | CHOLESTEROL
It increases bile flow and lowers cholesterol levels.
Bile acids account for the elimination of excessive cholesterol.
Licorice root’s antioxidant action may enhance capillary health & hinder arterial plaque.
4) ADRENAL FATIGUE
It helps us regulate cortisol (the stress hormone) more efficiently so the adrenal glands don’t wear out.
It even helps by stoping the growth of bacteria & viruses like Hepatitis C, HIV and flu. The triterpenoid content has been confirmed as an anti-viral. It even raises interferon, a key to fighting off viruses. It’s anti-allergenic effect is useful for hay fever, allergies and asthma.
It can help herpes and shingles if ingested or applied to the skin. Several studies show the antiviral action may suppress the return and progression of cold sores due to the herpes virus.
6) COUGH | THROAT | RESPIRATION
It helps loosen and expel mucus and bring relief to a sore throat. It also helps relax bronchial spasms while helping to fight off the viruses that cause respiratory illnesses and infections.
7) PMS / MENOPAUSE
It has an estrogen-like effect (phyto-estrogen) in women which helps with PMS, fertility & hot flashes.
8) PAIN RELIEF | SKIN
It has aspirin-like action and helps relieve fevers & soothes pain. It helps abdominal and other muscle cramping and soothes eczema and other skin pain.
It helps people with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia pain because it lowers cortisol stress levels.
Applied to the skin in a poultice, it helps rashes and pain due to its anti-inflammatory nature.
Licorice root contains many anti-depressant compounds. It might be one of the most over-looked of all herbal wonders.
It encourages adrenal gland function.
It has Asparagine amino acid that is needed to preserve equilibrium in the body’s nervous system.
Buckthorn bark is peeled off plants and dried for 1-2 years before being used as a mild (but highly effective) laxative. The longer the bark is dried, the milder its actions. Buckthorn Bark was listed in both the United States Pharmacopoeia & British Pharmacopoeia. Some great components in Buckthorn Bark include
crystalline glucoside (frangulin),
anthraquinones like: emodin, Aloe-emodin, rhamnicoside, frangula-emodin, alaterin, chrysophanol, & rein
Buckthorn Bark contains rhamnus frangula which increases the colon’s ability to spontaneously contract to push the fecal matter through your colon instead of remaining stationary and becoming impacted. As your colon contracts more regularly, more frequent movements are produced. 3
Buckthorn Bark makes stools softer and gives them more volume to pass easily. 5
Buckthorn Bark affects the intestinal nerves to relieve constipation and ease evacuation of the bowels. It helps to relieve pain and pressure, especially for people who have hemorrhoids, anal fissures or have had rectal-anal surgery. 2
The tannins in Buckthorn Bark allows hemorrhoids and anal fissures to heal more quickly because the softer stools pass more easily, without irritation.
Buckthorn bark is used to cleanse the colon in prep for gastrointestinal procedures. 3
Buckthorn Bark is effective in cases of chronic constipation and atonic constipation, which is caused by inadequate intake of fluids, poor diet or overuse of purgatives that result in loss of natural reflexes. 4
Buckthorn Bark is also used to ease abdominal bloating.
2) blood purification
Buckthorn Bark has been used as a ‘blood purifier’ and diuretic.
3) liver | gallstones
Buckthorn Bark stimulates the production of bile secretions, which promote healthy gallbladder and liver functions, helping with problems like cirrhosis, jaundice, hepatitis and gallstones.
Things that Make a Difference in How Well Rhubarb Root Works…
Rhubarb’s name is from the Greek verb, ‘to flow’.
Europeans have used Rhubarb Root medicinally since the 1200s.
By the end of the 1800s, it was clear that the medicinal characteristics of rhubarb are affected by the soil composition and climate, so it’s really important to purchase Rhubarb Root from a company which ensures proper soil composition & climate.
When constipated, the colon is not spontaneously contracting, therefore fecal matter sits and builds in the colon causing the constipation. It’s the purgative actions of Rhubarb Root that will not only move the fecal matter but will also tone the colon so it contracts on its own more regularly.
The colon does not become dependent on the Rhubarb Root to contract, so once cleansed, constipation should not return.
It’s difficult for the contractions to completely clean the long and winding colon, therefore pockets of debris might be left behind. This is when the astringent, tannin acid, comes after the purgative action and does a thorough wash of the colon. It removes any left over pockets of fecal matter or infectious bacteria.
It gives us smoother bowel movements! The A-factors (or anthraquinones) in Rhubarb Root act as a time released healthy laxative which is smoother than other laxatives.
Emodin (found in Rhubarb Root) is metabolized by the large intestine’s gut flora to help absorption, secretion, motility & peristalsis without affecting the stomach or duodenum. 1
It’s helped GI bleeds by eliminating blood, bacteria and toxins. 2 , 6, 7
2) Rhubarb Root aids in weight loss!
It aids weight loss by dramatically increasing the rate the human burns fat
It optimizes metabolism by improving circulation. The copper and iron in rhubarb stimulate the production of new red blood cells, which boosts metabolism.
3) Rhubarb Root is Antimicrobial!
Rhubarb’s anthraquinone has been used as antifungal 16 , 17 and molluscicidal 18 agents.
Rhein, from anthraquinone, has in vitro antimicrobial activity against a wide variety of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. 3, 17, 19
Rheum emodi extract was found to inhibit ‘in vivio’ all strains of Heliocobacter pylori (both sensitive and resistant) at a concentration of 10 mg/mL. The H-Pylori didn’t develop any resistance to the Rhubarb Root after 10 times even though they usually acquire resistance to Amoxicillin and Clarithromycin after 10 passages. (25)
5) Rhubarb Root Helps the Kidneys!
Clinical studies have evaluated rhubarb extracts in patients with CRF and report reduced uremic symptoms and reduced blood urea nitrogen. 13 , 14
A number of animal studies have observed the effects of rhubarb in rats with Chronic Renal Failure. Rhubarb Root tannins produced an increase in glomerular filtration rate, decreased levels of uremic toxins, and increased blood flow to the kidneys. 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12
6) Rhubarb Root Helps us Avoid Alzheimer’s!
Traditional Chinese medicine suggests rhubarb improves the memory in senile patients. 15 This is because it has vitamin K which plays a significant role in brain and neuronal health. It can prevent the oxidation of brain cells & stimulate cognitive activity to help delay or prevent the onset of this disease.
In in vitro experiments, rhapontigenin exerted a dose-dependent protective effect on mitochondrial functioning against amyloid beta (1-42) neurotoxicity. 1
7) Rhubarb Root Helps Menopause!
Rhubarb Root’s lindleyin significantly reduced the frequency and severity of hot flashes in perimenopausal women. (25, reference 76)
Lindleyin has potential beneficial applications as selective ER modulators ‘in vitro’ (25, reference 77)
8) Rhubarb Root Helps Cancer Patients!
Apoptosis, as well as anti tumor action, has been demonstrated, and rhubarb extract has been suggested as an adjunct to chemotherapy. 2 , 3 , 4
Rhubarb is anti inflammatory. Rhubarb extract 20 mg/kg daily administered for 6 weeks to patients undergoing radiation therapy for cancer resulted in a reduction in radiation-induced lung toxicity in a randomized clinical trial. Evaluation of anti-inflammatory markers suggests that an anti-inflammatory action of rhubarb is responsible. 5
9) Rhubarb Root helps Bones!
The vitamin K in Rhubarb Root stimulates bone growth & repair.
10) Rhubarb Root helps the Heart!
It protects against cardiovascular conditions due to the high antioxidant content.
11) Rhubarb Root Helps the Liver!
In rats with induced cholestatic hepatitis, emodin caused a decrease in total bilirubin, improvement in the liver enzyme profile & liver regeneration. 20
2Other great things rhubarb does include anti platelet properties, 21 anti hypertensive effects, 22 anti inflammatory action, 23 and glucose homeostasis. 24
Misiti F, Sampaolese B, Mezzogori D, et al. Protective effect of rhubarb derivatives on amyloid beta (1-42) peptide-induced apoptosis in IMR-32 cells: a case of nutrigenomic. Brain Res Bull . 2006;71(1-3):29-36.
Srinivas G, Babykutty S, Sathiadevan PP, Srinivas P. Molecular mechanism of emodin action: transition from laxative ingredient to an antitumor agent. Med Res Rev . 2007;27(5):591-608.
Huang Q, Lu G, Shen HM, Chung MC, Ong CN. Anti-cancer properties of anthraquinones from rhubarb. Med Res Rev . 2007;27(5):609-630.
Lin S, Fujii M, Hou DX. Rhein induces apoptosis in HL-60 cells via reactive oxygen species-independent mitochondrial death pathway. Arch Biochem Biophys . 2003;418(2):99-107.
Yu HM, Liu YF, Cheng YF, Hu LK, Hou M. Effects of rhubarb extract on radiation induced lung toxicity via decreasing transforming growth factor-beta-1 and interleukin-6 in lung cancer patients treated with radiotherapy. Lung Cancer . 2008;59(2):219-226.
Jiao DH, Ma YH, Chen SJ, Liu CT, Shu HN, Chu CM. Résumé of 400 cases of acute upper digestive tract bleeding treated by rhubarb alone. Pharmacology . 1980;20(suppl 1):128-130.
Fang XL, Fang Q, Luo JJ, Zheng X. Effects of crude rhubarb on intestinal permeability in septic patients. Am J Chin Med . 2007;35(6):929-936.
Yarnell E. Botanical medicines for the urinary tract. World J Urol . 2002;20(5):285-293.
Zhang G, el Nahas AM. The effect of rhubarb extract on experimental renal fibrosis. Nephrol Dial Transplant . 1996;11(1):186-190. Erratum in: Nephrol Dial Transplant 1996;11(4):753.
Yokozawa T, Suzuki N, Okuda I, Oura H, Nishioka I. Changes in the urinary constituents in rats with chronic renal failure during oral administration of rhubarb extract. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) . 1985;33(10):4508-4514.
Yokozawa T, Fujioka K, Oura H, Nonaka G, Nishioka I. Effects of rhubarb tannins on renal function in rats with renal failure. Nippon Jinzo Gakkai Shi . 1993;35(1):13-18.
Peng A, Gu Y, Lin SY. Herbal treatment for renal diseases. Ann Acad Med Singapore . 2005;34(1):44-51.
Kang Z, Bi Z, Ji W, Zhao C, Xie Y. Observation of therapeutic effect in 50 cases of chronic renal failure treated with rhubarb and adjuvant drugs. J Tradit Chin Med . 1993;13(4):249-252.
Bi ZQ, Zheng FL, Kang ZQ. Treatment of chronic renal failure by retention-enema with rhizoma rhei compound decoction. J Tradit Chin Med . 1982;2(3):211-214.
Tian J, Du H, Yang H, Liu X, Li Z. A clinical study on compound da huang (radix et Rhizoma rhei) preparations for improvement of senile persons’ memory ability. J Tradit Chin Med . 1997;17(3):168-173.
Agarwal SK, Singh SS, Verma S, Kumar S. Antifungal activity of anthraquinone derivatives from Rheum emodi . J Ethnopharmacol . 2000;72(1-2):43-46.
Tegos G, Stermitz FR, Lomovskaya O, Lewis K. Multidrug pump inhibitors uncover remarkable activity of plant antimicrobials. Antimicrob Agents Chemother . 2002;46(10):3133-3141.
Liu SY, Sporer F, Wink M, et al. Anthraquinones in Rheum palmatum and Rumex dentatus ( Polygonaceae ), and phorbol esters in Jatropha curcas ( Euphorbiaceae ) with molluscicidal activity against the schistosome vector snails Oncomelania, Biomphalaria and Bulinus. Trop Med Int Health . 1997;2(2):179-188.