Glycyrrhiza glabra Common name: Licorice, Liquorice
Part used: Dried root & rhizome
Constituents: Triterpene saponins (glycyrrhizin, glycyrrhizic & glycyrrhetinic acid), flavonoids, iso-flavonoids, phytosterols, polysaccharides (glucans), coumarins, volatile oils, amino acids, gum, lignans, starch, sugars
Actions: General tonic, anti-depressant, adrenal restorative, adrenal tonic, anti-tumor, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-tussive, mucoprotector, expectorant, detoxifier, demulcent, hepatoprotector, anti-ulcer, mild laxative, aldosterone-like action, anti-spasmodic
Medical uses: Is specific for the treatment of peptic ulcers and Addison’s disease. Also used for adrenal insufficiency, corticosteroid withdrawal, hypoglycemia and protection against cataracts in diabetes. Inflammatory conditions also benefit from it’s use such as allergies and autoimmune disease, lyme disease, and protects against carcinogens. It will soothe gastrointestinal inflammation and irritations such as GERD, gastritis, IBD, and ulcers. For rheumatism, muscle spasm & cramps, and joint inflammation it can be used both internally and topically.
Pharmacy: Powdered root: 1-4g TID. Decoction: 1 tsp/cup, simmer 15 min, TID. Tincture: (1:1, 20%) 2-6ml QD.
Contraindications: Use with caution in anemia, hypertension, cardiovascular disorders, edema associated with heart failure, liver problems, kidney insufficiency, hypokalemia, hypothyroidism, fibrocystic breasts, male infertility or erectile dysfunction.
Toxicity: Minimal adverse effects if intake is less than 10mg/day. Long term use may reduce thyroid function and basal metabolic rate. High doses of long term use may cause hypokalemia, symptoms of hyperaldosteronism and amenorrhea.
Interactions: With diuretics, cardiac glycosides, corticosteroids, MAOIs, blood pressure medications, spironolactone, hormonal therapies, laxatives and K+ depleting medications.