licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra, Alcacuz, Sweet Root, Gan Zao, and many others)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

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GENERIC NAME: licorice

BRAND NAME: Glycyrrhiza glabra, Alcacuz, Sweet Root, Gan Zao, and many others

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Licorice is a plant used for flavoring food, beverages, and tobacco. The root issued as a natural, herbal supplement for medicinal purposes. Chemicals in licorice may reduce inflammation, thin mucus secretions, decrease cough, and increase the body's ability to heal ulcers. Check with your health care professional before using herbs or herbal supplements.

PRESCRIPTION: No

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Licorice roots are available as tablets, powder, and liquid formulations. Concentration of licorice may vary from product-to-product due to multiple manufacturers producing various products. Check the licorice product for the actual amount of licorice contained in the product. Often these products are supplemented with anise oil which has a similar smell and taste.

STORAGE: Due to multiple manufacturers making different forms of licorice, storage requirements may vary based on individual manufacturer practices.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Although no studies are available to support it's effectiveness for any condition; some patients may use licorice to treat heartburn, muscle cramps, stomach ulcers, weight loss, hepatitis, eczema, osteoarthritis , systemic lupus, and tuberculosis. Check with a doctor before using herbs or herbal supplements.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/15/2014

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