Licorice Candy
Licorice Plant
Licorice stem and Flower
Illustration Glycyrrhiza glabra0.jpg


The medicinal herb Licorice Root as an alternative herbal remedy - Most licorice is grown in Greece, Turkey, and Asia. Licorice contains a compound called glycyrrhizin (or glycyrrhizic acid).Common Names--licorice root, licorice, liquorice, sweet root, gan zao (Chinese licorice)

Latin Name--Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Chinese licorice)

Active Ingredients in Lavender

  • Between 6 and 14 percent of the root is the glycoside glycyrrhizin. This calcium or potassium salt of glycyrrhizinic acid is fifty times sweeter than table sugar.
  • Licorice contains a number of other triterpenoid saponins, along with plant sterols including sitosterol and stigmasterol.
  • The root also contains several other sugars, including glucose, mannose, and sucrose.
  • More than thirty flavonoids and isoflavonoids have been identified, including liquiritin and its derivatives.
  • Some coumarins and an immunosuppressant called LX have also been isolated.

What Licorice Root Is Used

  • For Licorice root has been used as a dietary supplement and as an herbal remedy for stomach ulcers, bronchitis, and sore throat, as well as infections caused by viruses, such as hepatitis.

How Licorice Root Is Used

  • Peeled licorice root is available in dried and powdered forms.
  • Licorice root is available as capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts.
  • Licorice can be found with glycyrrhizin removed; the product is called DGL (for "deglycyrrhizinated licorice").

What the Science Says about Licorice Root

  • A review of several clinical trials found that glycyrrhizin might reduce complications from hepatitis C in some patients. However, there is not enough evidence to confirm that glycyrrhizin has this effect.
  • There are not enough reliable data to determine whether licorice is effective for stomach ulcers.

Side Effects and Cautions of Licorice Root

  • In large amounts, licorice containing glycyrrhizin can cause high blood pressure, salt and water retention, and low potassium levels, which could lead to heart problems. DGL products are thought to cause fewer side effects.
  • The safety of using licorice as a supplement for more than 4 to 6 weeks has not been thoroughly studied.
  • Taking licorice together with diuretics (water pills) or other medicines that reduce the body's potassium levels could cause dangerously low potassium levels.
  • People with heart disease or high blood pressure should be cautious about using licorice.
  • When taken in large amounts, licorice can affect the body's levels of a hormone called cortisol and related steroid drugs, such as prednisone. *Pregnant women should avoid using licorice as a supplement or consuming large amounts of licorice as food, as some research suggests it could increase the risk of preterm labor.
  • Tell your health care providers about any herb or dietary supplement you are using, including licorice root. This helps to ensure safe and coordinated care.