Latin Name: Glycyrrhiza Glabra
Liquorice is a strong mucosal anti-inflammatory that can be used for gastric, esophageal, urinary, and respiratory inflammation. It can ease dry coughs and sore throats when used as a tea or syrup. Liquorice/Licorice root helps to stablilize blood sugar levels and is useful in treating both hypoglycemia and diabetes. It is used in many traditional Chinese medicine formulations as a small part of the formula.
Warnings: Although licorice/liquorice is a safe herb, some cautions are necessary when taking large doses for long periods of time. Liquorice/Licorice should be avoided in cases of high blood pressure or when taking digitalis. It causes retention of water and sodium and excretion of potassium, which can cause edema (water retention), high blood pressure, heart palpitations, or a slowing of the heartbeat. Vertigo (dizziness) and headaches are early symptoms of overuse of liquorice/licorice. Taking a potassium supplement with liquorice/licorice can help counteract some of these effects. These side effects are much more likely to occur when using liquorice/licorice extracts or liquorie/licorice-derived drugs than when taking whole liquorice/licorice root. Deglycyrrhizinated liquorice/licorice (DGL) is free of adverse effects. Use in pregnancy only under the supervision of a qualified herbalist of practitioner. Small quantities as part of a formula are okay during pregnancy.