Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    Have you tried DGL licorice?
    aflowerpetal posted:
    I am trying a completely holistic approach to dealing with my GERD and I have been using DGL licorice for the past 2 months. I find that if I do start getting the sensation of acid reflux, I chew two DGL licorice tablets (which taste horrible) and it works like a charm. Yes, I realize Tums and Rolaids tastes better than DGL licorice but DGL licorice is a natural substance and has no side effects like the other two medicines do.

    I am also experimenting with taking Betain HCI with Pepsin on the theory that my acid reflux is not truly due to "too much" stomach acid, but more a case of "not enough" stomach acid. So far, I have to say that my GERD seems very well under control considering I am taking no true medications to treat it and only using the natural methods.

    I will say that the Betain HCI with Pepsin tends to give me that "famished" feeling in my tummy but if I eat a little something it calms right down.

    Just curious if anyone else uses the DGL licorice and what sort of results you have with it.

    Also, if anyone else is trying the Betain HCI with Pepsin, I'd be curious as to what sort of results you are having with it as well.
    VegasEvan responded:
    Ive used DGL, works ok. Also use probiotic at breakfast and a vegetarian digestive enzyme with dinner, Seem to work fine, but had some breakthrough GERD (Mexican food?) and had to ge back to tagamet. The H2 blocker also worked for a week, then got abdominal pain, gassy with that. So Im not on 2 gaviscon at night before bed, which works well.
    jrp111 responded:

    I've been taking DGL for several months and unfortunately it hasn't helped my reflux. It may be helping heal the lining of my stomach which an EGD showed as "atrophic gastritis". I've continued taking it because, like you, I've been trying a holistic approach for various reasons. I"m also taking the HCl but probably not enough of them at a time. I've been taking one with each meal for a couple months. I recently had a blood test for food allergies after seeing a Naturopath and he said he'd never seen someone sensitive to so many foods without having leaky gut syndrome. He recommends a 10 day antibiotic course with a 20 day anti fungal due to the severity of my symptoms. I don't have H Pylori and my stool test showed no other bacteria or parasites. I was having a gnawing pain on my upper left side of my stomach after eating certain foods and that seems to have passed. I'm also trying accupuncture but so far I'm refluxing and having burning in my throat and sometimes asthma type symptoms. I read "Why Stomach Acid is Good for You" by Jonathan Wright which suggests the HCl/DGL/zinc/vit A/L Glutamine. I'm restricting dairy but finding it hard to avoid all the foods I need to according to my allergy test.
    h20guy responded:
    you can buy the licirice capsules from gnc for 10.00 that donot require chewing. i had heartburn ,gerd,hiatel hernia,gastritis for 2 years and had to take 2 prevacid a day plus zantac,mylanta and pepto daily-got fed up with the docs and started on the licorice at first 6 to 8 a day with 2 mastic gum capsules aday for a few months . have completely stopped taking anything for heartburn-absolutly heart burn free for a year not even need the mastic or licorice. the mastic you can find online or health food store. also would suggest correcting your bodies ph balance by drinking more water and green vegtables.hope this helps
    Prosper3 replied to h20guy's response:
    I was just reading IBS for Dummies and learned about DGL licorice so of course, I googled it to learn some more. Thanks for your posts; I like the one about how you can get capsules at GNC so that you don't have to taste it. I have never really liked the taste of black licorice. At any rate, I wanted to add my two cents. I am a pediatric, pulmonary nurse, and studying to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. I learned on my former unit how closely the gut system and respiratory system were related. Often times, because an infant or young child had bad reflux or GERD, they would develop pneumonia. So, in patient teaching, I would stress to the parents to get their child's reflux under control with the prescribed medications and simple things like keeping the child upright during feeding, burping an infant frequently and keeping their head of be elevated about 30 degrees and keeping the child upright in that position for at least 30 minutes after a feeding to keep the food in the stomach due to gravity. There were more interventions like thickening the formula, but the point that I want to make is that as adults we too can elevate our head of bed by 4 to 6 inches to allow gravity to keep food contents down in the stomach and not to reflux back up the esophagus. At Bed, Bath & Beyond, I purchased solid wooden bed lifts that lift the head of the bed nicely. When you are in bed, it is only slightly noticeable that it is elevated, but it helps with controlling reflux. Additionally, remember not to eat about three hours before going to bed to keep contents in the stomach at a lower level than a full stomach. I also learned this past semester that eating after dinner mints or mints in general relax the esophageal sphincter and thus promotes reflux--so pass on the mints!
    I will give the DGL licorice a try and stop the daily Zantac and see if it works. I can only hope.
    An_246113 responded:
    DGL is the next thing on my list to help with adrenal support.. As far as heatburn, avoiding PPI medicines and having possible low stomach acid, have you read Adrenal Fatigue by Wilson? It suggests too little sodium in the body causes difficulty in producing enough acid, and says people with adrenal fatigue often need more salt. As soon as I began drinking hot water with Himalayan salt and a dash of lemon for taste, the horrific heartburn stopped, as did the nausea. I believe, in my case, it helps to balance electrolytes.
    An_246113 replied to An_246113's response: add to my previous comment: Even without adrenal fatigue, I'd suggest trying salt water to see if it stops your heartburn. My doctors were amazed (even though one of them had recommended Wilsons book) when I quit both Zantac and Prilosec and the heartburn never returned. If I feel nauseated, which often comes before my heartburn, saltwater stops that and does not proceed to HB. I have low blood pressure and have always avoided salt because I dont like it. This new temporary habit of adding saltwater 4x a day to my diet allows me to sleep at night and eating is becoming more pleasant. I still have the head of my bed elevated and eat slowly, but I was doing that with the medicine too...and the medicine wasnt helping. I question how nutrition can be absorbed if we're coating our stomachs with drugs. Trying salt water is simple and cheap. Wilson has lots of info online too, if you want to know more about his ideas.
    shawniemar responded:
    I hope you've had some luck finding something. I think the DGL tastes great, but I use Enymatic brand and I get the German Chocolate ones, which taste great! Even their straight licorice flavor tastes good to me. I cured my GERD using DGL Licorice. For the first time in years, my endoscopy showed no sign of erosion. Yay!
    shawniemar replied to h20guy's response:
    You should never take straight licorice for a long period of time, or on a regular basis. It can cause toxicity and it can cause a lot of problems, like hypertension. DGL licorice has that component removed, which is why it can be used regularly. Please don't embark on a straight licorice regime without reading about the negative side effects.
    adamanlbs responded:
    I do use DGL and taste good with germen chocolate and helping me
    adamanlbs replied to shawniemar's response:
    yes it taste good I`m using it after all Doc. I have seen have no answer.DGL was recomanded to me by the owner of Love Health Food store in Fl and He is right.Helping.
    Had hiatal hernia surgery 7 month ago and I feel worst than ever.Pain 24/7 and no help.Trying to get appointment at Mayo.
    missnorthstar4U replied to adamanlbs's response:
    I am planning on buying DGL,,,mostly for Acid Reflex, /Barrettes
    esophagus, you say try the german chocolate,,,I'm not allowed chocolate, is there chocolate flavoring or what in this? Just wondered...thanks
    susanskinnygut replied to jrp111's response:
    I think you have a similar problem to me. I'm sensitive to almost all fruits and vegetables, most grains, all processed foods, all types of sugars, most cheeses [sugar>, and to more than a tiny amount of milk. To be precise, I'm intolerant to soluble fibre and sugar. They give me gas and constipation.
    So please don't make the same mistake I did. Don't take antibiotics - they made my situation much worse, and after that I got an autoimmune disease, as well. Antibiotics kill the good flora [bacteria> in your gut.
    You need to find out exactly what is causing your sensitivity. You say you already know it's not a pathogen [bacterial>, and it's not parasites. I assume you also know it's not gluten, lactose, or fructose the three most common intolerances. Now it's time to test for yeast and gut dysbiosis [not enough good flora in your gut>. The test for this is a "comprehensive digestive stool analysis" — it costs $376, but it's worth it. Your naturopath can order this test if your doctor refuses, as mine did.
    That's how I finally found out what I had wasn't a yeast, and that in fact I had hardly any good flora. Now I'm trying to put back the good bacteria - and that is not easy especially when your diet is very limited. The reason I can't eat soluble fibre is because I don't have the 500 or so bacteria needed to digest it. The undigested food goes up against my immune system which lies right beside the gut wall, and soon it spat the dummy — that's how I got an autoimmune disease as well.

    Here is what I can eat — all fresh [not cured> meat and fish, 40 grams of wholewheat cereal [with no added sugar> or 40 grams of wholewheat bread - per meal. I can eat all nut and seed oils and butter. In theory I can eat nuts but they give me gas even if I soak them to remove the phytic acid. I can't eat most cheeses [sugar>. I can eat homemade unflavoured yogurt but not in the same meal with wheat. I can eat certain berries but not in the same meal with other food, except yogurt. Tomato, mushrooms and cucumber are low in soluble fibre but I can't eat them because they each contain certain food chemicals. Also I can't eat any fruit or vegetable, that contains mannitol [a type of sugar>,even if it's low in soluble fibre.
    The University of Michigan puts out a list of foods that are major, moderate or normal gas producers. This is very helpful as this list is based on soluble fibre and sugar content. It does not say pumpkin but I found by trial and error pumpkin is OK for me but not with milk or anything with a small amount of sugar. Before I try any 'new' food I look up the internet to see if it is a major/moderate gas producer - even if it's on the Michigan 'normal gas'list.
    I keep a food diary.
    Good luck!!
    holistichealth responded:
    Hi Can you share the link for the normal gas list
    dena320 replied to susanskinnygut's response:
    Not sure this will help you but worth knowing about. I am taking VSL#3 DS (Double Strength). It is a probiotic - Double Strength, VSL#3 DS packets: Maltose, 8 strains of live freeze dried bacteria [900 billion CFU>, and silicon dioxide. FYI - It is by perscription and I haven't gone to battle yet but my insurance won't pay for it.

    I have ulcerative colitis and am lactose intolerant. VSL is meant to put the good bacteria in your system. I am taking it in the powder form and I add it to natural apple sauce no high fructose syrup, but it can be added to water, just haven't tried that myself. (Not good at drinking things but they say it doesn't have a taste).

    My ENT said I have silent reflux which he says goes with UC and prescribed several meds that have made my UC much worse. My gastro Dr. recommended the DGL licorice so I am going to give that a try. Good luck.

    Helpful Tips

    Drinking waer everyday keeps my digesive going. More
    Was this Helpful?
    1 of 1 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the American Gastroenterological Association website