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Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a flavorful herb that has been used in food and medicinal remedies for thousands of years. It is also known as "sweet root".


Why should I be aware of this?

Licorice has been used as a health remedy for many centuries and the benefits of licorice and its healing properties have been recognized since ancient times.

  • Licorice has strong anti-cancer powers, possibly because of a high concentration of glycyrrhizin. Mice drinking glycyrrhizin dissolved in water have fewer skin cancers.
  • It is also known to kill bacteria, fight ulcers and diarrhea.
  • It may act as a diuretic.
  • Too much licorice can raise blood pressure.
  • Licorice consumption is not advised for pregnant women.
  • Licorice candy usually does not have real licorice. Real licorice says "licorice mass." Imitation licorice is labeled "artificial licorice" or "anise."

Licorice and health

  • Peptic Ulcers: Licorice is used in Europe as medicinal support for people suffering from ulcers.
  • HIV infection: Research has shown that the benefits of licorice can also be used in HIV related diseases. Licorice helps to slow the progression of HIV to AIDS.
  • Skin Problems: The health benefits of licorice also extend to internal and external skin diseases. Licorice has similar effects to hydrocortisone when applied topically and can be used to help fight dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. Licorice can also be used to help speed up the healing process of cold sores and has also been known to reduce the pain associated with cold sores.
  • Hepatitis: Research indicates that the use of Licorice can be effective in treating both chronic and acute hepatitis.
  • Respiratory System: It has always been common practice to use licorice in the treatment of severe respiratory problems such as coughing, asthma, sore throats, and bronchitis and modern research confirms these health benefits of licorice.
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Licorice supports the adrenal glands and its compound glycyrrhizic helps to block the breakdown of cortisol which in turn raises cortisol levels helping the body to fight against stress and chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Cholesterol: A study on 20 students showed that licorice makes LDL cholesterol more resistant to oxidation.

Side effects

When looking at licorice side effects it is important to ask the question; how much licorice should I take? Licorice can raise blood pressure, cause sodium and water retention, and loss of potassium. Many experts recommend that licorice should not be used for the long term and 50 grams of real licorice is what is the daily recommended dosage according to the German Health Ministry.

Licorice consumption during pregnancy is not advised and has been associated with premature birth. Women should be extra cautious if taking licorice during pregnancy.

=Licorice root health benefits

Licorice root has an impressive list of well documented uses and is probably one of the most over-looked of all herbal remedies. It is used for many ailments including asthma, athlete's foot, baldness, body odour, bursitis, canker sores, chronic fatigue, depression, colds and flu, coughs, dandruff, emphysema, gingivitis and tooth decay, gout, heartburn, HIV, viral infections, fungal infections, ulcers, liver problems, Lyme disease, menopause, psoriasis, shingles, sore throat, tendinitis, tuberculosis, ulcers, yeast infections, prostate enlargement and arthritis.

Licorice root contains many anti-depressant compounds and is an excellent alternative to St. John's Wort.


Only real licorice has these powers. Licorice "candy" sold in the United States is made with anise instead of real licorice. Real licorice says "licorice mass." Imitation licorice is labeled "artificial licorice" or "anise."


  • The Many Benefits of Licorice and How They Can Help With Your Health]
  • Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)