Africa, Asia, and the Mediterranean are all home to the licorice plant. The pea family includes the licorice plant. The plant's roots are used to create medicine.Licorice is used to treat a variety of digestive system issues, such as stomach ulcers, heartburn, colic, and persistent stomach lining inflammation (chronic gastritis). It is also used to treat issues with the respiratory system like sore throat, bronchitis, and cough. Diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, lupus, eczema, and hepatitis are other conditions for which it is used.

What is licorice?

Licorice is sometimes applied topically to treat rashes and other skin issues.

Licorice flavoring is made from the root of the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant and is used in foods and drinks. Some foods use licorice extract as a sweetener.

Licorice is a flavoring agent used in the production of tobacco, candy, baked goods, ice cream, and desserts made with gelatin. Some cosmetics and medicines also contain it.

Special Precautions & Warnings

If you're pregnant or nursing, avoid eating licorice unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Applying licorice to the skin while pregnant is not advised. Licorice is best avoided when nursing a baby.

Licorice: Licorice can exacerbate heart disease. Use of licorice is not advised if you have heart disease.

Licorice can cause blood pressure to increase. Avoid licorice if you have high blood pressure.

Licorice can exacerbate kidney issues and may lead to fluid retention and potassium loss. Avoid using licorice if you have kidney issues.

Licorice: Licorice can exacerbate liver issues. If you have liver issues, avoid licorice.

Mechanism of Action

Licorice's primary active component is glycyrrhizin. In the body, glycyrrhizin can be changed into glycyrrhetinic acid. These substances have anti-inflammatory, immune-stimulating, and antioxidant properties. They also appear to increase mucus production, which may help to explain why licorice is used to treat issues with the respiratory system.


The right amount of licorice to take depends on a number of variables, including the user's age, health, and other conditions. A suitable dose range for licorice cannot currently be determined due to a lack of scientific data. Keep in mind that dosages can be crucial and that natural products aren't always safe. Prior to using, make sure to read and follow all applicable instructions on product labels and speak with your pharmacist, doctor, or other healthcare professional.

Side Effects

headache, high blood pressure, potassium loss, cramps in the stomach, water retention, and electrolyte changes. To prevent negative effects, licorice use should be gradually discontinued.

When properly applied to the skin, licorice is LIKELY SAFE. However, it can have some adverse effects, including swelling and skin irritability. Small oral doses of licorice root appear to be safe to consume while pregnant. However, avoid consuming large doses or applying licorice to the skin while pregnant. Licorice is best avoided if you are breast-feeding.


The liver modifies and breaks down some medications. Licorice can slow down the rate at which some drugs are broken down by the liver. Licorice consumption can potentially enhance the effects and side effects of some medications that are broken down by the liver. If you are taking any medications that are altered by the liver, consult your doctor before consuming licorice.

Amitriptyline (Elavil), clozapine (Clozaril), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), fluvoxamine (Luvox), haloperidol (Haldol), mexiletine (Mexitil), imipramine (Tofranil), olanzapine (Zyprexa), propranolol (Inderal), tacrine (Cognex), theophylline,

Other Names

Glycyrrhiza glabra, Gan Zao, Liquorice Root, Radix Glycyrrhizae, and Sweet Root are all types of glycyrrhiza.


After being consumed orally, licorice quickly enters the bloodstream. Licorice's glycyrrhizin is converted to glycyrrhetinic acid, which is then eliminated in the urine.