Glycyrrhiza glabra

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Mharr. (2008). PlantFiles: Picture #7 of Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra). Retrieved from: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/186125/

Botanical Name: Glycyrrhiza glabra
Common name: Licorice, licorice root, yashimadhu (Sanskrit), ganco (Chinese), Kanzo (Japanese) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
Family: Leguminosae (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 650)
Parts used: Root and stolen (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 650)

History/Folklore: Use of licorice root dates back to 2500BC, found referenced on Assyrian clay and Egyptian papyri. The herb is also used extensively in both Auyrvedia and Traditional Chinese Medicine (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 650).

Constituents: Triterpenoid saponins (notably: glycyrrhizin); Glycyrrhetic acid; flavonoids (incl. liquiritigenin glycosides); chalchones (incl. isoliquiritin); isoflavonoids (incl. glabridin, glabrone and formononetin); sterols; coumrains; fatty acids; phenolics; and arabinogalactans (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 721)

 

Actions

  • Anti-inflammatory (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 651; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Anti-allergic (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 651)
  • Anti-ulcer (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 651)
  • Anti-viral (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 652; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Antibacterial (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 652)
  • Expectorant (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 652; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Anti-tussive (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 652; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Antioxidant (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 652)
  • Anticancer (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 652; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Neuroprotective (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 653)
  • Antidepressant (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 653)
  • Hepatoprotective (Braun & Cohen, 2010, pp. 653-654; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Anti-platelet (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 654)
  • Immunomodulatory (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 654)
  • Adrenal tonic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Demulcent (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Mild laxative (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Spasmolytic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)

 

Indications

  • Peptic ulcer (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 654; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Gastritis (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Dyspepsia (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 654)
  • Dermatitis (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 654)
  • Allergies (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655)
  • Viral Infections (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655)
  • Respiratory tract infection (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Chronic stress (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655)
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655)
  • Polycystic ovary disease (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 730)
  • Complications of diabeties (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655)
  • Menopause (Braun & Cohen, 2010, pp. 655-656)
  • Weight loss (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 656)
  • Addison’s disease (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 656; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 730)
  • Hypercholesterolaemia (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 656)
  • Depression (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 656)
  • Urinary tract inflammation (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Adrenal insufficiency (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Viral Hepatitis (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 731)
  • HIV/AIDS (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 731)

 

Dosage & Preparation:

  • Decoction: 3-12g/day
  • Liquid extract (1:1): 2-6mL/day

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)

 

Cautions

  • Adverse reactions have been recorded at doses > 100-400mg/day (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 656)
  • High doses over a long period of time may lead to increased blood pressure, therefore caution should be taken in individuals with hypertension (Braun & Cohen, 2010, pp. 656-658)
  • Caution to be taken in men with a history of impotence, infertility or decreased libido due to potential ability to reduce testosterone (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 658)

 

Contraindications

  • Pregnancy (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 567; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 733)
  • Cholestatic liver disease and cirrhosis (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 733)
  • Hypokalaemia (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 733)
  • Severe kidney insufficiency (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 733)

 

Interactions:

  • Anti-hypertensives (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 657)
  • Digoxin (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 657)
  • May potentate effects of diuretics and laxatives (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 734)
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