Authored by: Emily Cuthbert

Latin Name: Glycyrrhiza glabra

Standardized Common Name: Licorice 

Other Common Names: Russian/Spanish/Turkish licorice

Family: Fabaceae

Parts Used: Root


  • Taste (Rasa): Bitter
  • Potency/Action (Virya): Cooling
  • Post-digestion effect (Vipaka): Sweet
  • Doshas: VP- K+


  • Triterpenoid saponins
    • Glycyrrhizic acid
    • Glycyrrhetinic acid
    • Responsible for most medicinal effects
  • Mucilage
  • Polysaccharides
    • Demulcent
  • Flavonoids
    • Isoflavones
    • Flavanones
  • Phytosterols
  • Amino acids
  • Minerals
  • Volatile oils

Actions: Glycyrrhiza glabra is a heavy and moistening herb, used in many formulas due to its excellent synergizing effects. Licorice creates a harmony between the herbs, causing them to work at their highest potential with paired with licorice. It also tends to mask or blend the flavors of herbs, usually leaving a sweet taste in the end.

  • Demulcent
  • Expectorant
  • Adaptogen
  • Rejuvenating tonic
  • Nutritive
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Antiviral
  • Adrenal modulating
  • Anti-allergenic
  • Mild laxative

Indications: Coughs, sore throat, lung cleanse, respiratory infections (add ginger) lungs. Throat and stomach irritation, allergies, weakened states, menopause


  • Not for use in cases of high blood pressure, heart failure, kidney or liver damage
  • Avoid during pregnancy
  • Interacts with many drugs: ACE-inhibitors, hormonal birth control, diuretics, etc.

Toxicity: hypertension, vertigo, headache

Preparations and Doses:

  • *Only use for up to 6 weeks before taking a break
  • Powdered Herb: 200-500 mg
  • Tea: 1 oz/ 1 qt of water; drink throughout the day


  • Frawley D, Lad V. The Yoga of Herbs: an Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass; 2016.
  • Marciano M, Vizniak NA. Evidence Informed Botanical Medicine. Canada: Professional Health Systems Inc.; 2015.
  • Skenderi G. Herbal Vade Mecum: 800 Herbs, Spices, Essential Oils, Lipids, Etc., Constituents, Properties, Uses, and Caution. Rutherford, NJ: Herbacy Press; 2004.
  • Tilgner S. Herbal Medicine: from the Heart of the Earth. Creswell, OR: Wise Acres; 2020.