tonic, demulcent, antitussive, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective
endocrine, stomach, lungs
Licorice is associated with candy, and has been used as a sweetener, however, the fennel/anise flavor of black licorice candy does not come from this herb. Indeed the main constituent, glycyrrhizic acid, is 50 times sweeter than sugar. Medicinal use of licorice has been documented as far back as 2100 BC, and its preparations have been used by the traditional medical systems of India, China, Russia, Europe, and beyond. The Chinese include it in most formulas and call it an “ambassador herb” for its ability to harmonize the actions of the other herbs. Roman soldiers would chew on the roots for endurance when food and water were scarce. Licorice is a pleasant demulcent that will soothe the mucosa of the lungs and digestive tract. It is commonly used to treat coughs, sore throat, hoarseness, and especially ulcers. A lesser known, but impressive, action of this herb is in restoring the adrenocortical sufficiency from burnout, exhaustion, and is specific to Addison’s disease. The hormone supporting effects have been used successfully to treat hot flashes during menopause.
Hypertension, hypokalemia, kidney failure.