Cortisol , a glucocorticoid, binds the glucocorticoid receptor. However, because of its molecular similarity to aldosterone it is also capable of binding the mineralcorticoid receptor. Both aldosterone and cortisol have a similar affinity for the mineralocorticoid receptor; however, there is vastly more cortisol in circulation than aldosterone. To prevent over-stimulation of the mineralocorticoid receptor by cortisol, 11β-HSD converts the biologically active cortisol to the inactive cortisone, which can no longer bind to the mineralocorticoid receptor. 11β-HSD co-localizes with intracellular adrenal steroid receptors. Licorice , which contains glycyrrhetinic acid , or enoxolone , can inhibit 11β-HSD and lead to a mineralocorticoid excess syndrome .
Salicylate downregulates 11β-HSD1 expression in adipose tissue in obese mice and hence may explain why aspirin improves glycemic control in type 2 diabetes.  Epigallocatechin gallate from green tea can also potently inhibit this enzyme,  green tea is a complex mixture of various phenolics with contents varying with production and processing, some of the phenolics are known HDAC inhibitors that alter genetic expression. EGCG as usually consumed in green tea is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream, more research is needed to reach firm conclusions.