Licorice Root Extract

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Description: Traditional Fluid Extract of Licorice Root, Glycyrrhiza Glabra, in 20% Ethanol and Purified Water.

Traditional Uses: Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans recognized the benefits of licorice in treating coughs, colds, and chills. In the days of Hippocrates, licorice was prescribed for dropsy because of thirst-quenching properties of licorice drugs (Biondi et al. 2005). The use of licorice for stomach and intestinal ulcers goes back at least to the Greek physician Dioscorides in first century AD, although modern clinical use began in about 1930. The ancient Hindus used licorice for improving sexual vigor, and Chinese for strength and endurance and they prepared it most often in tea (Davis and Morris 1991).

In traditional medicine licorice roots have been used against treating chest and lung diseases, pneumonia, bronchitis, arthritis, bronchial asthma, kidney diseases, heart diseases, gastric ulcer, mouth ulcers, coughs, swellings, excessive salivation, fluid retention, low blood pressure, allergies, catarrhs of the upper respiratory tract, liver toxicity, hyperglycemia, Addison’s disease, pancreatic disorders, flatulence, sexual debility, skin diseases, leukorrhea, hoarseness, and certain viral infections (Blumenthal et al. 2000; Anon 2005; Armanini et al. 2002; Sharma et al. 2013). Current pharmacopoeias from France, Germany, and Britain are in general agreement on the medicinal application of licorice. In Indian medicine, licorice is used for treatment of influenza, eye diseases, uterine complaints, biliousness, liver disease, and arthritis (Saxena 2005). In Chinese medicine, licorice is used to treat acne and pimples, nervous disorders such as hysteria, irritability, and epilepsy as well as reduce the toxic or drastic action of other herbs, and to harmonize herbal formulas (Zhu 1998). In earlier studies Kong et al. (1984) showed that root extract of licorice was used to treat diarrhea in mice, whereas Hong et al. (1988) demonstrated strong diuretic activity of licorice in rats. Extract of G. glabra was used to treat emotional irritability in adults (Tsuda et al. 1986) and stress (Shirinyan et al. 1988). Licorice extract was also used to treat eczema (Sheehan and Atherton 1992), and allergic dermatitis (Sokolov and Zamotayev 1985).

It is estimated that more than 400 compounds have been isolated from Glycyrrhiza species, where triterpene saponins and flavonoids are the main constituents which showed broad biological activity. The triterpenoid saponins (glycyrrhizin, glycyrrhizic acid), which are the major characteristic constituents of liquorice, are responsible for the sweet taste. The main phenols include liquiritin, isoliquiritin, and coumarins including liqcoumarin and glabrocoumarone A and B. Pharmacological studies have confirmed that plant extracts and individual biologically active compounds exhibit a broad range of biological activities such as antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-ulcer, antitumor, antioxidant, antiallergic, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, and dermatological activities. The Glycyrrhiza plant can also be used in the management of impaired learning, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Recommended Dose: 1 ml (20 drops) three times a day.

Contraindications: High blood pressure, liver and kidney disease, not recommended during pregnancy

Large doses taken over a long period of time can lead to a number of severe disorders. However, the DGL variety is free of those adverse effects.

For maximal therapeutic results, modern herbalists use blend of herbs with multiple beneficial effects.  Licorice is a common ingredient in herbal blends for adrenal support, for healing of ulcers, for pain and inflammation and more. For more information or for custom made combination, please contact Newton's pharmacy and click here.


Phytochemical Constituents and Pharmacological Effects of Licorice: A Review, Plant and Human Health, Volume 3. 2019 Feb 12 : 1–21

Expanded Commission E Monographs


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