Advantage of Licorice (liquorice)
Common Cold and Sore Throat
For getting better you just drink 5 to 8 ounces of tea, four to six times per day, for two to seven day.
Throat Coat tea was effective in providing rapid, temporary relief of sore throat pain in people with acute pharyngitis.
In a double-blind study, a proprietary product containing marshmallow root, licorice root, and elm bark (Throat Coat) was effective in providing rapid, temporary relief of sore throat pain in people with acute pharyngitis. Throat Coat was taken as a tea in the amount of 5 to 8 ounces, 4 to 6 times per day, for two to seven days.
Epilepsy (Asian Ginseng, Bupleurum, Cassia Bark, Chinese Scullcap)
The Chinese herb bupleurum is included in two herbal formulas, sho-saiko-to and saiko-keishi-to. Both have been shown to be helpful for epilepsy.
The Chinese herb bupleurum is included in two similar Chinese herbal formulae known as sho-saiko-to and saiko-keishi-to; these combinations contain the same herbs but in different proportions. The other ingredients are peony root, pinellia root, cassia bark, ginger root, jujube fruit, Asian ginseng root, Asian scullcap root, and licorice root. Both formulas have been shown in preliminary trials to be helpful for people with epilepsy. No negative interactions with a variety of anticonvulsant drugs were noted in these trials. The usual amount taken of these formulas is 2.5 grams three times per day as capsules or tea. People with epilepsy should not use either formula without first consulting with a healthcare professional.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (Stomach Reflux)
Chew 250 to 500 mg DGL daily before meals and bedtime. Chewing deglycyrrhizinated licorice may help mucous membranes heal.
Licorice, particularly as chewable deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), has been shown to be an effective treatment for the healing of stomach and duodenal ulcers; in an uncontrolled trial, licorice was effective as a treatment for aphthous ulcers (canker sores). A synthetic drug similar to an ingredient of licorice has been used as part of an effective therapy for GERD in both uncontrolled and double-blind trials. In a comparison trial, this combination proved to be as effective as cimetidine (Tagamet), a common drug used to treat GERD. However, licorice itself remains unexamined as a treatment for GERD.
One of the active constituents in licorice, glycyrrhizin, has been used to some benefit in Japan as an injected therapy for hepatitis B and C.
One of the active constituents in licorice, glycyrrhizin, is sometimes used in Japan as an injected therapy for hepatitis B and C. Glycyrrhizin also blocks hepatitis A virus from replicating in test tubes. One preliminary trial found that use of 2.5 grams licorice three times per day providing 750 mg glycyrrhizin was superior to the drug inosine polyIC in helping people with acute and chronic viral hepatitis. Because glycyrrhizin can cause high blood pressure and other problems, it should only be taken on the advice of a healthcare practitioner.
HIV and AIDS Support
Licorice inhibits HIV reproduction in test tubes, supplementing with it may be safe and effective for long-term treatment of HIV infection.
Licorice has shown the ability to inhibit reproduction of HIV in test tubes. Clinical trials have shown that injections of glycyrrhizin (isolated from licorice) may have a beneficial effect on AIDS. There is preliminary evidence that orally administered licorice also may be safe and effective for long-term treatment of HIV infection. Amounts of licorice or glycyrrhizin used for treating HIV-positive people warrant monitoring by a physician, because long-term use of these substances can cause high blood pressure, potassium depletion, or other problems. Approximately 2 grams of licorice root should be taken per day in capsules or as tea. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) will not inhibit HIV.
The Chinese herb bupleurum is a component of the formula sho-saiko-to, which was shown in one preliminary trial to liver cancer risk in people with liver cirrhosis.
The Chinese herb bupleurum is an important component of the formula known as sho-saiko-to. Sho-saiko-to was shown in one preliminary trial to reduce the risk of liver cancer in people with liver cirrhosis. The amount of this formula used was 2.5 grams three times daily.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
A case report described a man with CFS whose symptoms improved after taking 2.5 grams of licorice root daily.
One case report described a man with CFS whose symptoms improved after taking 2.5 grams of licorice root daily. While there have been no controlled trials to test licorice in patients with CFS, it may be worth a trial of six to eight weeks using 2 to 3 grams of licorice root daily.
Licorice has a long history of use for relieving coughs.
The mucilage of slippery elm gives it a soothing effect for coughs. Usnea also contains mucilage, which may be helpful in easing irritating coughs. There is a long tradition of using wild cherry syrups to treat coughs. Other traditional remedies to relieve coughs include bloodroot, catnip, comfrey (the above-ground parts, not the root), horehound, elecampane, mullein, lobelia, hyssop, licorice, mallow, (Malvia sylvestris), red clover, ivy leaf, pennyroyal (Hedeoma pulegioides, Mentha pulegium), onion, (Allium cepa), and plantain (Plantago lanceolata, P. major). None of these has been investigated in human trials, so their true efficacy for relieving coughs is unknown.
Licorice in the form of a cream or gel may be applied directly to cold sores in order to speed healing and reduce pain.
Licorice in the form of a cream or gel may be applied directly to herpes sores three to four times per day. Licorice extracts containing glycyrrhizin or glycyrrhetinic acid should be used, as these are the constituents in licorice most likely to provide activity against the herpes simplex virus. There are no controlled trials demonstrating the effectiveness of this treatment, but a cream containing a synthetic version of glycyrrhetinic acid (carbenoxolone) was reported to speed healing time and reduce pain in people with herpes simplex.
Licorice may help eczema through its anti-inflammatory effects and its ability to affect the immune system.
Zemaphyte, a traditional Chinese herbal preparation that includes licorice as well as nine other herbs, has been successful in treating childhood and adult eczema in double-blind trials. One or two packets of the combination is mixed in hot water and taken once per day. Because one study included the same amount of licorice in both the placebo and the active medicine, it is unlikely that licorice is the main active component of Zemaphyte.
Several Chinese herbal creams for eczema have been found to be adulterated with steroids. The authors of one study found that 8 of 11 Chinese herbal creams purchased without prescription in England contained a powerful steroid drug used to treat inflammatory skin conditions.