The Herbalist - - Dipaunka Macrides

Licorice / Glycyrrhiza glabra

Licorice: Details, Properties, Effects

Leguminosae /Fabaceae





Folk / Common Names:

Lacris (Welsh), Lycorys, Reglisse (Welsh), Sweet Root.


Adrenal tonic, Alterative, alexipharmic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, Diuretic, depurative, demulcent, emollient, expectorant,mild laxative, pectoral, tonic

Part(s) Used:

Dried roots


Glycosides (glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhizinic acid), glycyrrhetinic acid, saponins, flavonoids, isoflavonoids, bitter, volatile oil, coumarins, asparagine, oestrogenic substances, chalcones, sterols, starch (30%), sugars (up to 14%), amino acids, gums, wax, amines (asparagine, betaine, choline), resin, fat, calcium, and potassium salts, liquiritoside, isoliquiritoside, Quercetin, apigenin, genistein, Kaempferol .


Licorice has a very marked anti-inflammatory effect similar to cortisone so it is very good for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. The glycyrrhizin yields glycrhetinic acid which has a similar structure to the hormones of the adrenal cortex so it is very useful for anyone suffering adrenal failure or exhaustion. It is also very useful for coughs, bronchitis and sore throats because of its anti-inflammatory properties and in colds, flu or catarrhal situations, as an expectorant. It is good as a laxative as it is mild (not cathartic) and it lowers stomach acid levels so it is useful for heartburn. It is also useful for peptic ulcers, gastritis and spasms of the large intestine. It has been used in herbal medicine to disguise and sweeten the taste of other herbal remedies which may be too disgusting to take. The oestrogenic compounds make it useful for hormonal treatments like menopause.

Majikal Uses:

For lust and fidelity . Used in the ritual cup in the handfasting ceremony . Used in Love sachets and carried to attract love.


Contra : Large doses may cause sodium retention and potassium loss leading to water retention, hypertension headaches and shortness of breath. So it is always good to back it up with a herb to balance this e.g. Dandelion leaf. NB. contains compounds which are MAO - A / MAO - B inhibitors therefore should not be used by anyone taking SSRI's or antidepressants.

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