Licorice, (glycyrrhiza glabra), likewise spelled liquorice, seasonal herb of the pea household (fabaceae), and the flavouring, confection, and folk medicine made from its roots. Licorice resembles anise (pimpinella anisum) in flavour; both plants are rather sweet and a little bitter. The greek name glykyrrhiza, of which the word licorice is a corruption, indicates “sweet root.”

Belonging to southern europe, licorice is primarily cultivated around the mediterranean and in parts of the united states. An efficient mask for the taste of medicines, licorice is an ingredient in cough lozenges, syrups, and elixirs. It is a flavouring representative in sweets and tobacco. The plant is often utilized in folk medicine to treat peptic ulcers and various other disorders. The roots are ground and then boiled to form a juice; the flexible stick kind of licorice sweet, likewise called licorice paste or black sugar, is processed from this thickened juice. [1],

The story of liquorice

For a number of centuries, liquorice has been among the most frequently utilized solutions in alternative medicine. It was for example used as a throat pastille which was how it took its place on the candy racks.

Liquorice comes from the juice of the roots of the plant glycyrrhiza glabra. Today, it grows in a belt from north africa, throughout the middle east and to china. A few of oldest recorded uses of liquorice are likewise found here.

The history of liquorice can be dated to 2300 bc. China’s emperor shennong had the magnificent farmer’s herb-root timeless, pen-ts’ ao, record an entry, where liquorice was a magic plant that rejuvenated aging guys.

The ancient liquorice remedy

Liquorice root was also among the many treasures found in the egyptian pharaoh tutankhamun’s tomb from 1350 bc. Scholars still do not know why.

However, we do know that liquorice was a typical ingredient in a lot of the remedies from ancient greece. One such is cough medicine. It was this role that liquorice was to play in modern-day times, where it became a common ingredient in cough syrup because of its eliminating and anti-inflammatory effects.

From medicine to candy

The history of liquorice continues from cough medicine to candy in italy, france, germany and england. Many examples of the development of liquorice through the 19th century are plentiful that advises us of its existing use.

Ga-jol from 1933 is among the earliest existing liquorice products. It was launched as a throat pastille versus hoarse throat and coughing. In the beginning, tough liquorice pastilles like ga-jol were meant for sour throats and soft liquorice rods were more popular as kids’s candy.

Galle & & jessen was founded in 1872 and høgh’s liquorice factory in 1902. Both started producing boiled sugary foods, however altered their production to include liquorice and jellies.

The extremely first items were liquorice shapes, salt pastilles, eucalyptus pastilles and coloured shapes with fruit flavour.

In the twenties, soft liquorice emerged. After many attempts, høgh’s liquorice factory produced the first canes and tooth brushes from liquorice.

Høgh’s lakrids was renamed pingvin lakrids in 1962, when toms bought the business. [2]

The very best licorice advantages

Here are six ways licorice can benefit your health.

The skinny on licorice for your dermis

There’s evidence that licorice has antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory homes. All of this can assist you keep a fresh face.

In some research studies, topical items including licorice compounds enhanced eczema. And in a 2018 research study of rats, daily application of licorice assisted wounds heal much faster.

( don’t) feel the burn

Heartburn and indigestion can be an overall disappointment, but licorice might assist tame the fire.

According to a research study of 50 people, 30 days of treatment with a licorice extract enhanced indigestion signs. In another study, treatment that consisted of glycyrrhetinic acid (derived from licorice root) minimized symptoms of heartburn, chest discomfort, and stomach swelling.

Soothe stomach ulcers

A 2016 research study revealed that the addition of licorice to antibiotic treatment for helicobacter pylori (the bacteria that triggers most stand ulcers) was more efficient than antibiotics alone. Another study on mice discovered licorice extract was effective versus ulcers.

Tbh, more research study on human beings is required to show licorice’s benefits on ulcers 10/10.

An anti-cancer sweet too?

A number of smaller sized studies indicate licorice may have favorable impacts for fighting cancer. According to a test tube research study, licorice can slow the growth of melanoma cells.

In a 2020 study, researchers utilized an antioxidant substance in licorice to prevent the growth of breast cancer cells in the laboratory. And in another study, the exact same licorice-derived substance inhibited the development of colon cancer in mice.

Licorice may likewise help reduce the effects of cancer treatments. Folks who receive radiation or chemotherapy often develop mouth sores called oral mucositis. Research study recommends that a certain form of oral licorice treatments can help.

Licorice may help you breathe much easier

Natural teas marketed for coughs and colds frequently have licorice. According to 2019 research study, licorice natural tea inhibits the growth of the bacteria that triggers strep throat (streptococcus pyogenes). Another study on mice revealed licorice may decrease throat swelling due to asthma.

Make your mouth sparkle

There’s evidence that licorice compounds might support oral health. Research study on mice reveals that some customized forms of licorice might have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial homes that can help with:.

  • Cavities
  • Gum illness
  • Mouth ulcers

Fyi: it is very important to keep in mind that more research study on people is required to validate these benefits.

A research study of preschool kids showed that licorice lollipops lowered cavity-causing germs.

Wait, there’s more!

Here are some other health benefits of licorice.

  • Manage hormonal agents. Licorice can reduce testosterone production, making it a potential treatment for polycystic ovary syndrome (pcos).
  • Minimize menopause symptoms. Licorice root might help with hot flashes.
  • Lower weight. A 2017 review showed that licorice can reduce body weight, but it likewise causes high blood pressure.
  • Support liver health. Glycyrrhizic acid, a substance discovered in licorice, has prospective to help individuals with liver illness like liver disease. [3]

How to take licorice root

Licorice root is most commonly suggested to help alleviate gastrointestinal pain, and to improve energy in some clients. Tea that contains licorice root can likewise help relieve your throat and decrease the intensity of other cold symptoms. Licorice root is likewise commonly used as a sweetener in food such as candy and must be taken with care, as it might engage with medications and, in high dosages, can trigger serious health issue.

Taking licorice root supplements

  • Distinguish between the two types of licorice root supplements. Licorice root naturally consists of an exceptionally sweet component called glycyrrhizin. While glycyrrhizin is entirely safe in little, irregular quantities, it can cause health complications if consumed long-lasting. As such, if you are thinking about taking licorice root supplements constantly, ensure to pick a deglycyrrhizinated (dgl) supplement.
    • The bottle should report the quantities of glycyrrhizin the dgl supplements include. It should be no more than 2% of the supplement for safe long-term use.
  • Minimize gastrointestinal pain with dgl supplements. Conditions such as heartburn, ulcers, and gastritis can result in significant pain connected with food digestion. Dgl supplements can diminish this discomfort significantly.
    • Take anywhere from 380– 1200 milligrams of dgl about thirty minutes prior to you consume.
    • Because tablets are normally 380– 400 mg, begin with one tablet and see if your signs are reduced.
  • Increase your energy with licorice supplements. Licorice root that still includes glycyrrhizin, sometimes called “entire” licorice, can momentarily help you battle tiredness. Your adrenal gland can end up being overworked when continuously producing cortisol, which occurs when you experience tension. Whole licorice root supplements, however, can postpone the body’s destruction of cortisol and minimize the adrenal gland’s need to produce more.
    • Note that licorice root that has not had the glycyrrhizin removed must not be taken frequently.
    • To help keep cortisol levels regular, take the supplement with breakfast and lunch, but not with dinner.
  • Decrease your use of “entire” licorice root supplements as your energy levels go back to typical.
    1. Speak with your medical professional about taking licorice root for other reasons. There are several other health advantages certified to licorice root that have yet to be completely validated by extensive scientific study. For example, licorice root may help in reducing blood sugar and insulin resistance, and can possibly help those at risk for diabetes.
    2. Additionally, licorice root might help secure you versus cavities.
    3. Finally, licorice root has actually been revealed to have anti-inflammatory results, and it is utilized in some nations to deal with conditions ranging from allergies to infection
  • Take your high blood pressure daily while utilizing licorice supplements. This is particularly important if you’re using “whole” licorice root supplements. Even with the glycyrrhizin removed, an everyday dgl supplement might impact your high blood pressure. As such, check your high blood pressure daily for the few weeks of supplementation. If your high blood pressure shifts outside of your regular variety, alert your medical professional and do not take any more licorice root supplements.
    • If your blood pressure stays stable for the very first couple of weeks of treatment, you can begin examining it less typically, such as one or two times a week.

Fighting signs of upper-respiratory infection

  • Drink a tea with licorice root to soothe a sore throat. Store-bought natural teas, particularly those mixed to assist soothe cold symptoms, frequently consist of licorice root. While other active ingredients, such as echinacea and goldenseal also assist disinfect and recover an aching or inflamed throat, licorice root and slippery elm are a few of the very best herbs for this particular function.
  • Decrease other cold signs with licorice root tea. Aside from soothing your throat, tea with licorice root can help deal with other symptoms of a cold or upper breathing infection as well. Licorice functions as an expectorant, and can assist your body expel the extra phlegm it produces when you have a cold.
    • Licorice root may likewise help reduce swelling in your bronchial tubes, assisting you breathe more clearly.
  • Make your own licorice root tea. You can make your own tea using just licorice root for a more potent cold treatment, or to supply impacts similar to that of taking a “entire” licorice root supplement for adrenal assistance. Usage half an ounce of dried licorice root for every cup of water. Bring the mix to a bowl and after that simmer for 10 minutes.
    1. Permit the tea to rest in the pan for five minutes with the heat off.
    2. Pieces of dried root and sliced root are readily available at herb stores and online. The very best method to measure dried or sliced root is by weight.
    3. Consist of a cinnamon stick and couple of slices of ginger if you’re making tea to treat an aching throat or a cough.
    4. Kids under 50 pounds (23 kg) ought to not be provided licorice root tea.
    5. For children over 50 pounds (23 kg), supply 1/3 cup approximately 3 times a day.
    6. As an adult, limitation yourself to two cups per day.

Thinking about possible threats

  • Do not presume licorice root will cure you. While licorice is commonly required to help reduce particular signs, it should not be taken in lieu of expert medical treatment. Simply put, there is insufficient scientific proof to support the use of licorice root for any particular health condition.
  • The medical claims of lots of herbalists, though widely repeated and accepted by other herbalists, are not backed by clinical research studies.
  • Notify your medical professional when taking herbal supplements. Whenever you are using or considering a complementary, integrative, or alternative health practice, inform your physician. Your physician requires a complete image of your health and what you do to handle it in order to assist you. Moreover, particular combinations of medications and herbs can be unsafe.
  • Among other issues, the regular use of herbs might affect the health or performance of a few of your organs. Your doctor may buy blood work if you take herbs such as licorice root routinely.
  • Do not take licorice root while pregnant. There is some risk of unfavorable results on your kid if you take in licorice root in any kind, even candy, while pregnant. If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or nursing, avoid licorice, licorice supplements, and licorice tea.
  • Do not provide licorice root in any type to children that weigh under 50 pounds (23 kg). [4]

Grow your own licorice for much healthier treats

Growing licorice

When you realize for how long it requires to accomplish a harvest of licorice, the factor it is not more popular becomes clearer. Commercially, licorice plants are not harvested till they are 4 or five years of ages. However, in the home garden it is possible to take a little harvest after three years– about the length of time it takes for your first harvest of asparagus.

However it you have the patience the rewards deserve it. Growing from seed isn’t especially hard however germination can be irregular, so it deserves sowing additional in case of failures. Plant seeds on the surface of potting garden compost in mid to late spring or early fall. Do not cover them. Keep them warm– about 20 ° c( 68 ° f)– and with any luck, 2 or 3 weeks later on your licorice seedlings should have popped up.

Alternatively, you may be able to source one- or two-year-old plants. Licorice will send up brand-new shoots from spreading out underground stems, called roots, from its 2nd year. These can also be cut off and used to grow new plants.

Licorice is relatively hardy as soon as developed, so in most areas it can be planted out when the last spring frost has actually safely passed. In actually cold regions it might be best to plant in a container and bring it into a greenhouse or other protected location for winter, however make it a deep pot since licorice has very long roots!

Licorice growing conditions

While licorice is sluggish to start, it has the possible to end up being quite large after 4 or five years– up to two meters (six feet) high, with a spread of about a meter (three feet). If you’re planting in a flowerbed make sure to leave lots of area around the plants for digging up the root. With its violet or pale blue flowers and ferny foliage licorice makes an appealing plant for the back of the border, so this isn’t as crazy as it may sound! You might always plant shallow-rooting summertime annuals like marigolds around it.

A riverbank plant by nature, licorice likes plenty of water and sunshine. Prevent windy areas and frost pockets. Sandy soil is a must. If your soil is very heavy, prepare it prior to planting. Dig a pit at least 2 spits large and deep (a spit is the length of a spade blade). Get rid of any stones, mix the soil with great deals of garden compost and fill it back in.

Licorice is a legume, and like other legumes it repairs nitrogen at its roots so rarely requires additional fertilizer. It will, nevertheless, appreciate periodic mulching to help keep weeds down and retain wetness while at the same time offering additional nutrients. Never ever let the soil dry out.

Slugs, caterpillars and spider mites can be a problem, and the plants can suffer from powdery mildew. Secure them from rabbits too. Otherwise licorice is quite hassle-free.

Collecting licorice

When it’s lastly time to enjoy your simply benefits, dig up your licorice root plant. The roots are brownish-yellow, long and versatile, with a yellow, juicy interior. Collect the thickest horizontal roots however leave the deep tap root and thinner horizontal roots to grow on. Replant or bring it under cover for winter in extremely cold locations.

Chewed fresh, the root tastes sweet and a little salty. The sweetness magnifies the more you chew and release the sap. Licorice can be utilized for seasoning a large array of dishes and drinks. The roots can likewise be dried for later usage in teas and baking. Try keeping a root in a container of sugar to taste cakes with.

Ensure to gather it each year, because if left unharvested licorice roots can reach stunning lengths. Four meters (13 feet) prevails, and eight meters (26 feet) is not unprecedented. Attempt untangling that from your flowerbed! [5]

Dosage and kinds of licorice root

As a supplement, licorice root extract is available in a number of types, including capsules, powders, casts, topical gels, and teas. The root itself can likewise be purchased either fresh or dried.

There’s currently no basic dose suggestion. However, the world health organization (who) and european scientific committee of food (scf) both recommend restricting glycyrrhizin intake to no greater than 100 mg daily.

Significantly, those who eat big amounts of licorice products may be getting more than this amount.

Furthermore, as items do not always suggest the amount of glycyrrhizin, it can be hard to recognize a safe amount. As a result, it is very important to talk about a safe and effective dose with your doctor.

Another choice is to try to find deglycyrrhizinated licorice (dgl) powders or pills.

These supplements are without glycyrrhizin, which is responsible for most of licorice’s negative effects. Still, as this substance also contributes many benefits, it’s uncertain whether dgl items have the exact same favorable health effects.


You can consume licorice root as a tea, cast, powder, or supplement. It can also be applied topically as a gel. While there’s no standard dosage for licorice root, you ought to restrict your total glycyrrhizin intake to no greater than 100 mg per day. [6]

Negative effects, toxicity, and interactions

Licorice can trigger severe side effects if you take excessive of it or utilize it for too long. It has a result similar to aldosterone. Aldosterone is a hormonal agent that triggers your body to retain salt (salt) and lose potassium.

Taking excessive licorice can trigger hypertension. This can be extreme. It can trigger the following symptoms:.

  • Swelling since your body is maintaining water (edema)
  • Headache
  • Lack of energy (lethargy)
  • Heart failure or heart attack

You can even become poisoned from eating excessive candy which contains genuine licorice or utilizing licorice-containing tobacco.

You shouldn’t take licorice if you have particular health issues. These include:.

  • Low potassium levels (hypokalemia)
  • Persistent hepatitis
  • Cholestatic liver disease
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Heart rhythm concerns and other heart diseases
  • High blood pressure
  • Severe kidney problems
  • A tumor in your adrenal glands (pheochromocytoma)
  • Aldosteronism
  • Untreated hypothyroidism

You also shouldn’t take it if you consume a great deal of alcohol. Females who are pregnant or breastfeeding likewise should not use this herb.

Do not take licorice while fasting. Doing so can cause a severe electrolyte imbalance.

Licorice can likewise connect with some medications. Thiazide water pills (diuretics) might increase the quantity of potassium you lose when used with licorice. Licorice may likewise increase the effects of digitalis. This is because digitalis level of sensitivity is increased by low potassium levels.

Licorice might interfere with the results of aldactone. This is a medication used to treat hypertension. Talk with your healthcare provider before you take licorice.

You also shouldn’t take licorice if you take warfarin. It may increase your metabolic process and decrease the effectiveness of warfarin. [7]

Potential drug interactions

Medications that communicate with licorice consist of:.

  • Drugs that lower potassium
  • High blood pressure medications
  • Diuretics, also called water tablets
  • Heart rhythm medications
  • Blood slimmers, such as warfarin (coumadin)
  • Estrogen, hormonal agent therapy, and birth control pills
  • Corticosteroids

Some people might have the ability to take dgl supplements to prevent these interactions, but they need to consult with a physician initially. [8]

Unique safety measures and warnings

Pregnancy: it is risky to take licorice when pregnant. It might cause a miscarriage or early delivery. Consuming about 250 grams of licorice per week appears to increase the danger of early shipment.

Breast-feeding: there isn’t adequate trusted information offered about the safety of taking licorice when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Heart conditions: licorice can trigger the body to shop water, and this can make cardiac arrest worse. Licorice can also increase the danger of irregular heartbeat. Do not consume licorice if you have a heart condition.

Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: licorice may imitate estrogen in the body. If you have any condition that might be intensified by direct exposure to estrogen, don’t utilize licorice.

Hypertension: licorice can raise blood pressure. Don’t consume big amounts of licorice if you have hypertension.

A muscle condition caused by nerve problems (hypertonia): licorice can decrease potassium levels in the blood. This can make hypertonia worse. Prevent licorice if you have hypertonia.

Low potassium levels in the blood (hypokalemia): licorice can decrease potassium levels in the blood. If your potassium is currently low, licorice may make it too low. Don’t use licorice if you have this condition.

Kidney illness: consuming large quantities of licorice could make kidney illness worse.

Sexual problems: taking in large quantities of licorice can lower interest in sex. It can also aggravate impotence (ed) by decreasing levels of testosterone.

Surgical treatment: licorice may interfere with blood pressure control during and after surgical treatment. Stop taking licorice at least 2 weeks prior to a set up surgery. [9]


Traditional chinese medicine has long used licorice root to deal with a variety of health conditions. It’s utilized in the contemporary period too, with some research study assistance for its benefits. Much remains unknown about its effects, but it is believed to be safe to utilize in appropriate amounts.

Individuals use licorice root to ease signs of menopause, in addition to deal with a variety of digestion conditions. It can be hazardous if you take too much and there can be negative effects, specifically among those with a history of liver or kidney issues. It also can communicate with a few of the medications you might already take. It’s a good concept to talk with your doctor about licorice root prior to taking it.

Licorice root comes in a range of kinds. The quantity of active ingredient also can differ from one product to the next. Make certain that you have good information about the product prior to taking it so that you understand it is both safe and effective. [10]


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