Information on Licorice

Latin NameGlycyrrhiza glabra
Other NamesLiquorice
Part UsedRoot
Herb FormsTincture, capsule, standardized extract in tablets, bulk herb, powder, candy.
AffectsEndocrine system, Digestive system, Immune system
CautionsAvoid prolonged use and high dosages (over 4 grams/day). Contraindicated in diabetes, hypertension, liver disorders, and kidney insufficiency and during pregnancy and lactation. Note that deglycyrrhizinised licorice (DGL) does not have these cautions.
Botanical InfoA small shrubby perennial herb from the Pea family with sweet yellow roots.
DescriptionLicorice root has been used for thousands of years for upper respiratory, digestive, and urinary tract infections or irritation. It has anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, immune-activating, demulcent, and expectorant properties and is used for ulcers, bronchitis, gastritis, irritable bowel and bowel inflammation, and adrenal insufficiency. Licorice tea is also given for digestive weakness, especially when accompanied by fatigue and shortness of breath. In Chinese medicine licorice, Glycyrriza uralensis, is said to replenish vital energy, moisten the lungs, strengthen the digestion, and modulate the effect of other herbs. Licorice tea is often recommended to heal gastric ulcers.
Licorice has proven antiviral powers and is useful in formulas for viral infections like HIV or hepatitis.

Licorice has a taste of SWEET and a temperature of NEUTRAL.

Dosages

TypeDosage
Decoction1 cup 2-3 x daily
Tincture1-2 droppersful 2-3 x daily
ExtractFollow label directions

Ailments Treated by Licorice

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Acidity, high stomach acidsoothing demulcenttea, capsules, or tablets
Adrenals, weaktonifies weak adrenalscapsules or tablets (safe kind is called DGL)
Bladder, irritatedsoothing demulcenttea, tincture, capsule, tablet
Diverticulitisanti-inflammatorytea, capsule, tablet
Duodenum, inflammation ofintestinal anti-inflammatorytea, tincture, tablet
Heartburnsoothing to the stomachtea, tincture, capsule, tablet
Lupus, mildanti-inflammatorytea, tincture, tablet, capsule
Irritable bowel syndromeanti-inflammatoryDGL special extract in capsules or tablets
Laryngitisanti-inflammatorytea, tincture, chewed root
Mouth soresanti-inflammatory, heat clearingtea, tincture
Throat, sore--acutesoothing demulcenttea, whole root chewed
Viral infectionantiviralcapsule, decoction, tincture
Cough, acuteexpectorant, antiviral, antiinflammatorytea, pills, capsules, tincture
Hoarsenessdemulcent, antiinflammatorytea, lozenge, tincture

References

Blumenthal, Mark et al. 1998. The Complete Commission E Monographs. Austin: American Botanical Council.
Leung, A. and S. Foster. 1996. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients. New York: J. Wiley & Sons.
McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Weiss, R. 1988. Herbal Medicine. Beaconsfield, England: Beaconsfield Publishers.
Wren, R.C. 1988. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs. Essex: C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd.
Bradley, P.R., ed. 1992. British Herbal Compendium. Dorset: British Herbal Medicine Association.
Fox, W. 1932. Family Botanic Guide. Sheffield: William Fox and Sons, Ltd.
Sherman, J. 1979. The Complete Botanical Prescriber. Corvallis: Corvallis Naturopathic Clinic.