Major therapeutic interest

  • Relieving dyspepsia: Indigestion, bloating, flatulence, abdominal pain (colic), acid reflux, nausea, and vomiting in association with angelica, chamomile, caraway, celandine, clown’s mustard plant, milk thistle, peppermint, and lemon balm.
  • Relieving inflammation of the digestive tract: Peptic ulcers, heartburn, gastritis.

Other therapeutic interest / Traditional Use

  • Treating productive cough and bronchitis;
  • Relieving rheumatism and arthritis;
  • Easing the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome;
  • Treating hepatitis B and C intravenously;
  • Applied externally to treat ocular inflammation, skin inflammation, and other skin pathologies (eczema, psoriasis, herpes);
  • Used as a mouthwash to treat oral herpes, sores, and mouth ulcers;
  • Used as a sweetener in foods and pharmaceutical compounding.


  • High blood pressure;
  • Hypokalemia (kaliopenia);
  • Muscle weakness;
  • Hypertonia;
  • Cardiovascular disorders;
  • Liver cirrhosis;
  • Kidney failure;
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding;
  • Diabetes: Use carefully, with closely monitored blood glucose levels;
  • Breast or ovarian cancer, or close relatives have been diagnosed with hormone-dependent cancer as the estrogen content in licorice may directly stimulate the growth of estrogen-dependent tumors;
  • Male sexual dysfunction (reduced testosterone levels);
  • Prolonged use, over four to six weeks.

Important Notice

  • At high doses over a prolonged period, licorice may cause symptoms including headaches, dizziness, lethargy, swelling, hypokalemia, high blood pressure, or heart failure. In cases of symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, water retention may cause bloating. To eliminate the undesirable effects associated with glycyrrhizin - especially water retention - deglycyrrhizinated licorice (or DGL) may be used.

Drug Interactions

Known human interactions

  • Heightens toxicity of Lanoxin;
  • Counteracts effects of antihypertensive diuretics (Aldactone, Aldactazide, Moduret);
  • Reduces gastric bleeding when used simultaneously with aspirin;
  • Increases absorption of Nitrofurantoin.

Suspected interactions

  • May reduce the effects of various categories of antihypertensive medications (Hydrochlorothiazide, Inderal, Lopresor, Adalat, Cardizem [Dilitazem], Norvasc, Accupril, Altace, Capoten, Monopril, Vasotec, Cozaar, etc.);
  • May create a sodium/potassium imbalance when taken with certain medications that have an influence on potassium concentrations (Lanoxin), or with diuretics (Aldactazide, Hydrochlorothiazide, Indapamide, Lasix, Aldactone, etc.), and corticosteroids (Prednisone);
  • May prolong the effect of corticosteroids and topical corticosteroids (Hydrocortisone);
  • May alter the effects of hormone replacement therapies (Premarine, Evista, etc.), tamoxifen (Tamofen), and oral contraceptives (Alesse, Diane-35, Marvelon, Min-Ovral, Ortho 0.5/35, Triphasil, etc.);
  • May modify the effect of oral hypoglycemic drugs (Actos, Diabeta, Diamicron, Avandia, Glucophage [Metformine], etc.) and insulin;
  • May alter the metabolism of drugs in many different categories: certain antihypertensive and antiarrhythmic medications (Cardizem, Cozaar, Isoptin); antilipemic drugs (Mevacor, Zocor); hypnotics (Diazepam, Halcion); antibiotics (Erythromycin, Biaxin); immunosuppressors (Sandimmune, Neoral); and many other medications.

Parts used

Fresh or dried root

Main constituents

  • Carbohydrates: Glucose, sucrose, starch, cellulose, triterpenes (glycyrrhizin, glycyrrhizic acid), flavonoids (liquiritin, rhamnoliquiritin, isoliquiritin), and isoflavonoids, bitters. 

Other names

Liquritia officinalis, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Softwood, Sweetwood, Softroot, Licorice root