- What is licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the side effects of licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)?
- What is the dosage for licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)?
- Is licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)-oral safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)?
What is licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
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.
What brand names are available for licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)?
Glycyrrhiza glabra, Alcacuz, Sweet Root, Gan Zao, and many others
Is licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)?
What is the dosage for licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)?
- Upset stomach: A combination product containing licorice is used as 1 ml by mouth three times daily.
- Ulcer: Take 760-1520 mg by mouth with meals for 8 to 16 weeks.
- Cough: Take 0.5 to 1 gram of powdered root one to three times a day.
- Root: Take 1 to 4 gram by mouth three times a day.
- Tea: Prepare tea with 1 to 4 gram of root per 150 ml water; drink 1 cup up to three times a day.
Which drugs or supplements interact with licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)?
Licorice should be used with caution with digoxin (Lanoxin) because licorice can lower potassium levels in the body and low potassium can lead to increased digoxin side effects like dizziness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, irregular heart rate and rhythm, and visual disturbances.
Licorice should be used with caution in women taking birth controls pills or other hormonal medications. Licorice may change hormone levels in the body and decrease effectiveness of estrogen containing medications like conjugated estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, and estradiol (Estrace).
Licorice should be used with caution with blood pressure medications because large amounts of licorice can increase blood pressure and decrease the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.
Is licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)-oral safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
What else should I know about licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)?
What preparations of licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) are available?
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.
How should I keep licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) stored?
Due to multiple manufacturers making different forms of licorice, storage requirements may vary based on individual manufacturer practices.
Latest Digestion News
Daily Health News
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra, Alcacuz, Sweet Root, Gan Zao, and many others) is a root available in a variety of forms. There is no conclusive proof that licorice has medicinal purposes, licorice root may be used for heartburn. There is insufficient evidence licorice has medicinal benefits for any other condition. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, storage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to using any herbal supplement. Discuss any OTC or herbal products you are taking with your health care professional.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Heartburn: Foods to Eat, Foods to Avoid
Learn the symptoms of heartburn and which foods cause heartburn or GERD. Discover home remedies and which foods may provide...
GERD Quiz: Test Your Digestive Diseases IQ
Who is at risk for developing GERD? Are you? Take this quiz to learn what GERD is, if you're at risk, and what you can do about...
Picture of Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD)
The stomach contents regurgitate and back up (reflux) into the esophagus The food in the stomach is partially digested by...
Related Disease Conditions
Cough: 19 Tips on How to Stop a Cough
Coughing is a reflex that helps a person clear their airways of irritants. There are many causes of an excessive or severe cough including irritants like cigarette and secondhand smoke, pollution, air fresheners, medications like beta blockers and ACE inhibitors, the common cold, GERD, lung cancer, and heart disease.Natural and home remedies to help cure and soothe a cough include stay hydrated, gargle saltwater, use cough drops or lozenges, use herbs and supplements like ginger, mint, licorice, and slippery elm, and don't smoke. Over-the-counter products (OTC)to cure and soothe a cough include cough suppressants and expectorants, and anti-reflux drugs. Prescription drugs that help cure a cough include narcotic medications, antibiotics, inhaled steroids, and anti-reflux drugs like proton pump inhibitors or PPIs, for example, omeprazole (Prilosec), rabeprazole (Aciphex), and pantoprazole (Protonix).
Upper Respiratory Infection (URTI)
An upper respiratory infection is a contagious infection of the structures of the upper respiratory tract, which includes the sinuses, nasal passages, pharynx, and larynx. Common causes of an upper respiratory infection include bacteria and viruses such as rhinoviruses, group A streptococci, influenza, respiratory syncytial, whooping cough, diphtheria, and Epstein-Barr. Examples of symptoms of upper respiratory infection include sneezing, sore throat, cough, fever, and nasal congestion. Treatment of upper respiratory infections are based upon the cause. Generally, viral infections are treated symptomatically with over-the-counter (OTC) medication and home remedies.
Peptic Ulcer (Stomach Ulcer)
Peptic or stomach ulcers are ulcers are an ulcer in the lining of the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus. Ulcer formation is related to H. pylori bacteria in the stomach, use of anti-inflammatory medications, and cigarette smoking. Symptoms of peptic or stomach ulcers include abdominal burning or hunger pain, indigestion, and abdominal discomfort after meals. Treatment for stomach ulcers depends upon the cause.
Sore Throat Home Remedies
Natural and home remedies for sore throat symptoms and pain relief include essential oils, licorice gargles, slippery elm leaves, raw garlic, Throat Coat tea, sage, and acupuncture. Typical symptoms of a sore throat include throat pain, coughing, sneezing, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. Sore throats are caused by viral (common cold, flu, mumps), bacterial (tonsillitis, some STDs), toxins, allergens, trauma or injury, or "mechanical causes" (breathing through the mouth).
Heartburn is a burning sensation experienced from acid reflux (GERD). Symptoms of heartburn include chest pain, burning in the throat, difficulty swallowing, the feeling of food sticking in the throat, and a burning feeling in the chest. Causes of heartburn include dietary habits, lifestyle habits, and medical causes. Treatments for heartburn include lifestyle changes, OTC medication,prescription medication, and surgery.
GERD (Acid Reflux, Heartburn)
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a condition in which the acidified liquid contents of the stomach backs up into the esophagus. The symptoms of uncomplicated GERD are: heartburn, regurgitation, and nausea. Effective treatment is available for most patients with GERD.
Eczema is a general term for many types dermatitis (skin inflammation). Atopic dermatitis is the most common of the many types of eczema. Other types of eczema include: contact eczema, allergic contact eczema, seborrheic eczema, nummular eczema, stasis dermatitis, and dyshidrotic eczema.
Muscle cramps are involuntarily and forcibly contracted muscles that do not relax. Extremely common, any muscles that have voluntary control, including some organs, are subject to cramp. Since there is such variety in the types of muscle cramps that can occur, many causes and preventative medications are known. Stretching is the most common way to stop or prevent most muscle cramps.
Eczema refers to skin inflammation. There are many different types of eczema that produce symptoms and signs that range from oozing blisters to crusty plaques of skin. Treatment varies depending upon the type of eczema the person has.
The common cold (viral upper respiratory tract infection) is a contagious illness that may be caused by various viruses. Symptoms include a stuffy nose, headache, cough, sore throat, and maybe a fever. Antibiotics have no effect upon the common cold, and there is no evidence that zinc and vitamin C are effective treatments.
Hepatitis (Viral Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, G)
Hepatitis is most often viral, due to infection with one of the hepatitis viruses (A, B, C, D, E, F (not confirmed), and G) or another virus (such as those that cause infectious mononucleosis, cytomegalovirus disease). The main nonviral causes of hepatitis are alcohol and drugs. Many patients infected with hepatitis A, B, and C have few or no symptoms of illness. For those who do develop symptoms of viral hepatitis, the most common are flu-like symptoms including: loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fever, weakness, tiredness, and aching in the abdomen. Treatment of viral hepatitis is dependent on the type of hepatitis.
Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE)
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a condition characterized by chronic inflammation of body tissues caused by autoimmune disease. Lupus can cause disease of the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, joints, and nervous system. When only the skin is involved, the condition is called discoid lupus. When internal organs are involved, the condition is called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Hepatitis C (HCV, Hep C)
Hepatitis C is an inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is usually spread by blood transfusion, hemodialysis, and needle sticks, especially with intravenous drug abuse. Symptoms of chronic hepatitis include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and fever. Chronic hepatitis C may be cured in most individuals with drugs that target specific genomes of hepatitis C.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS or SEID)
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that lasts 6 months or longer, is not improved by bed rest, and may be worsened by physical or mental activity.
Hepatitis B (HBV, Hep B)
The hepatitis B virus (HBV, hep B) is a unique, coated DNA virus belonging to the Hepadnaviridae family of viruses. The course of the virus is determined primarily by the age at which the infection is acquired and the interaction between the virus and the body's immune system. Successful treatment is associated with a reduction in liver injury and fibrosis (scarring), a decreased likelihood of developing cirrhosis and its complications, including liver cancer, and a prolonged survival.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Prevention & Wellness
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Licorice Root.