18 Health Benefits of Licorice Root

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Health benefits of Licorice Root

Licorice Root Quick Facts
Name: Licorice Root
Scientific Name: Glycyrrhiza glabra
Origin Southwestern Asia, Europe and the Mediterranean region
Colors Brown (Root)
Shapes Wrinkled, fibrous wood, which are long and cylindrical (round) and grow horizontally underground. (Root)
Flesh colors Yellow (Root)
Taste Sweet
Health benefits Beneficial For Stomach Disorders and Prevent Cancer Growth
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), which means sweet root in Greek is actually a legume. It is a member of the legume family and is native to the Mediterranean and parts of the South-West Asia and particularly to the Indian subcontinent, where it is called ‘Mulethi’. Also known as Glycyrrhiza, Chinese Licorice, Gan Cao, Kan-ts’ao, Kuo-lao, Licorice, Licorice Root, Ling-t’ung, Liquorice, Mei-ts’ao, Mi-kan, Mi-ts’ao, Sweet Licorice, Sweet Wood, Yasti Madhu, it contains glycyrrhizin, a compound that is about 50 times sweeter than sugar. The scientific name for licorice root, Glycyrrhiza, comes from “glukos” (sweet) and “riza” (root). Licorice root has been used in both Eastern and Western medicine to treat a variety of illnesses ranging from the common cold to liver disease. Licorice root is often used as a flavoring agent in candies, beverages and toothpaste as it’s naturally sweeter than sugar. But it not just flavoring agent the health benefits of licorice roots are promising and effective to cure chronic diseases.

Plant Description

Licorice is herbaceous perennial legume about 1 m tall. It is found growing in warm subtropical or tropical climate preferably in a sunny position and prefers deep well cultivated fertile moisture-retentive soil for good root production. Prefers a sandy soil with abundant moisture and does not flourish in clay. The plant has extensive branching root system. The roots are straight pieces of wrinkled, fibrous wood, which are long and cylindrical (round) and grow horizontally underground. It has numerous lateral branches and stolons and is 1-5 cm thick. Licorice roots are brown on the outside and yellow on the inside. It has woody, hairy, upright stem that can reach 2 to 3 feet in height.


Licorice plant has pinnate leaves about 7–15 cm (2.8–5.9 in) long, with 9–17 narrow lanceolate leaflets. Leaves are green colored and covered with sticky glands on the surface. Young leaves feel slightly sticky to touch.


Flowers are 0.8–1.2 cm (1⁄3–1⁄2 in) long, light blue or lilac arranged in the loose clusters composed of 10 or more individual flowers. Flowers grow from the axils of leaves. Flowering normally takes place from June to July.


Fruits are red or brown-colored oblong pod, 2–3 cm (3⁄4–1 1⁄6 in) long, containing 2 to 5 dark seed. Seeds are brown kidney shaped and pinhead-sized.

History of licorice root

The word “licorice” refers to the root of a plant called Glycyrrhiza glabra. It’s native to Europe and Asia. The plant is actually classified as a weed in those areas. The early Egyptians loved licorice root. They used it in tea as a cure-all concoction. Licorice was later imported to China where it became an important herb in Chinese medicinal tradition. Nowadays it is found throughout the world due to its amazing taste and wonderful health benefits.

Health benefits of Licorice root

Licorice root consists of good amount of nutrients, vitamin and phytonutrients. At this point, it is apparent that you might be interested in finding detailed information about the health benefits of licorice roots. So, continue to read on in the section below to know about the various home remedies with Licorice roots to treat and prevent different health ailments.

1. ​P​MS/Menopause

Licorice root appears to have an estrogen-like effect in women, lending itself as an option for menstrual- and fertility-related concerns, including as a natural remedy for PMS.  For treatment of menopause, licorice was shown in a Health Care for Women International study to be better than hormone replacement therapy at reducing the duration of hot flashes.(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6)

2. Beneficial For Stomach Disorders

Licorice root is known to have some laxative properties. Constipation can be reduced by consuming licorice tea. Inflammation and irritation caused due to the bacterial infection in the stomach can be reduced with the flavonoids and chalcone content in the roots. These properties help in strengthening the digestive system by soothing off the lining of the inflamed mucus, providing guaranteed relief from gastric-related issues. Take 2 to 3 cups of the tea to obtain its benefits. (7)

3. Fighting Depression

Licorice root is known to be a natural anti-depressant. It stimulates the functioning of the adrenal glands, which controls the process of cortisol synthesis. The main cause of anxiety, nervousness, chronic fatigue and stress is the reduced level of this particular hormone. Regular use of licorice tea helps to maintain its equilibrium. Its regular use also elevates one’s mood and sets depression aside.

4. Immunity

Licorice plays a major role in the treatment and prevention of diseases like hepatitis C, HIV and influenza. The triterpenoid content has been confirmed as an antiviral, making licorice extract a potentially strong partner for the immune system. Research published in Food Chemistry described licorice as having “antioxidant, free-radical scavenging, immune stimulating” properties.(8), (9)

5. For Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the growing problems around the world and finding a way to stall its progress has become something of a priority. Some scientific research suggests licorice root to be effective against diabetes but research have been conducted on animals only. Research published in 2011 to examine the effects of licorice roots on rats found that licorice root reversed the disease in the animals. The researchers concluded that licorice root may be a potential natural candidate to treat diabetes in the future.

6. Skin Brightening Effect

Regular use of licorice makes skin look fairer by brightening its color. You can prepare a face mask by combining turmeric powder and fuller’s earth with licorice tea. Apply the pack on your skin and allow it to dry. Rinse off the face pack with normal water. To keep the skin hydrated, you can add a few drops of coconut oil, olive oil or almond oil to it.

7. Cleanses your respiratory system

Licorice is quite beneficial for to treating respiratory problems. Taking licorice as an oral supplement can help the body produce healthy mucus. Increasing phlegm production may seem counterintuitive to a healthy bronchial system. The production of clean, healthy phlegm keeps the respiratory system functioning without old, sticky mucus clogging it.

8. Help Prevent Cancer Growth

Several components of licorice are effective against several hallmarks of cancer, including cell proliferation, inflammation, cell death resistance, and making its own blood vessels. Most studies that evaluate anti-cancer activities of licorice are cell-based studies. Additional clinical studies are needed to confirm its safety and effectiveness as a cancer treatment.

In an oral cancer cell line, a polysaccharide from licorice encourages apoptosis and prevents cancer cells from growing. In a human cancer cell line, licorice is especially toxic to human cancer cells, but not healthy cells.(10), (11), (12), (13)

9. Combat hepatitis

Licorice both protects the liver and promotes healing in this vital organ. The herb’s anti-inflammatory properties help calm hepatitis-associated liver inflammation. Licorice also fights the virus commonly responsible for hepatitis and supplies valuable antioxidant compounds that help maintain the overall health of the liver.

10, Pain relief

As an antispasmodic, licorice is beneficial for cramps both abdominally and potentially in the muscles, as well.  Topically, licorice can ease eczema discomfort and other dermal conditions as it acts as a hydrocortisone. Anti-inflammatory benefits may also help relieve pain, including acting as a natural remedy for joint pain.(14), (15)

11. Beneficial In Weight Loss

Consume licorice tea regularly if you want to lower the body mass to a considerable extent. Include two cups of this tea a day along with a healthy workout regime and balanced diet. You will realize the desired changes in your weight.(16), (17)

12. Prevent heart disease

Recent research  have found that by limiting the damage from LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, licorice may discourage artery-clogging plaque formation and contribute to the healthy functioning of the heart. Research indicates that modest doses of licorice (100 mg a day) have this effect.(18), (19), (20)

13. Helps To Treat Tuberculosis

Research has shown the effectiveness of licorice in combating pulmonary tuberculosis and the reduction of the length of the healing process. Antimicrobial and antimycobacterial properties present in licorice root extract work well to treat infections. These properties make it a powerful anti-tubercular agent.

14. Dental Health Benefits

Licorice offers effective treatment for dental conditions, such as gingivitis. The antimicrobial property of licorice prevents the production of dental plaques. Due to such qualities, licorice is used in the manufacturing of oral hygiene products, such as mouthwashes and toothpastes.

15. Hair Loss Prevention and Dandruff Treatment

Tablets and capsules containing licorice root are consumed to improve the growth of the hair and reduce hair loss. Cleaning the hair with licorice root helps in treating dandruff. The amazing demulcent properties of licorice help in soothing the scalp by reducing various scalp conditions like scabs and dandruff. Egyptians have been using licorice root since the 3rd century B.C for calming the irritated and dry skin. Licorice is added in scalp medicines because of its great demulcent property.

16. Cough/sore throat

Licorice root benefits a sore throat or cough hugely as an effective expectorant, helping to loosen and expel mucus that the cough is trying to eliminate. Its soothing demulcent, anti-inflammatory properties can bring fast relief for sore throat. Demulcents need to make contact with the part of the body that needs to be soothed, so extracts in cough drops and syrups, as well as tea, are most effective.(21)

17. Helps With Herpes and Shingles

Licorice Root extracts has been used in treating shingles, sores and herpes. Studies have shown that the antiviral properties of the root slow down the progression and return of cold sores caused due to the herpes virus. Regular consumption of the capsule (made from the licorice root extract) 2 times a day, and the application of the salve made from the same root extract, 4 to 5 times a day on the affected region for the treatment of shingles and herpes.

18. HIV

Licorice is beneficial for treating HIV-related ailments. Research has shown that the glycyrrhizin contained in licorice roots works well for suppressing the proliferation of the infecting virus simply by encouraging the creation of beta-chemokines. It may also help in avoiding the damage of white blood cells by the HIV virus and strengthens the immune mechanism of the body.

Ayurvedic Health benefits of Licorice Root

  • Aphthous Ulcers: Prepare the infusion of Licorice. Swish with it 2-3 times a day.
  • Ascites: Prepare a decoction of the Licorice root. Drink once a day.
  • Athlete’s foot: Prepare a decoction of dried Licorice root. Apply it on the affected area twice a day.
  • Gastroparesis: Take Licorice root. Grind it. Boil half tsp in one cup water. Drink just before every meal thrice a day. OR Prepare a decoction of 5 gram Licorice root with one cup water and take it twice a day. OR Chew a small piece 4-5 times a day.
  • Cough: Put one tsp of the root in a cup of water. Boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Drink three times a day. OR Take 3 ml of the tincture three times a day. Dilute with water.
  • Dysphasia: Make a root decoction of Licorice. Take it two times a day.
  • Smoking Addiction: Chew a root of Licorice.
  • Peptic Ulcers: Grind the Licorice root and take this powder in measures of half a tsp thrice a day.
  • Myopia: Add quarter tsp of Licorice root powder in ½ tsp of honey. Take this with a cup of milk 2 times a day on an empty stomach. Repeat this process until it cures completely. OR Take 1 tsp Licorice powder. Divide it in two halves. Add honey in one part and Ghee in other. Take these mixtures with warm milk two times a day.
  • Corns: Grind Licorice. Take one tsp powder and add mustard oil to make a paste. Rub the paste on affected parts at bed times.
  • Gastric Catarah: Make a decoction of Licorice roots. Take it three times a day.
  • Addison’s disease: Prepare a decoction of Licorice Root. Drink one cup two times a day.
  • Cataract: Make a paste by adding quarter tsp Ghee and honey in half tsp Licorice powder. Take half tsp of the mixture early in the morning on an empty stomach.
  • Oligospermia: Mix equal amount of honey, Licorice root powder and purified butter. Take half tsp of the paste with lukewarm milk twice a day.
  • Hypoglycemia: Crush dried Licorice root to make a powder. Take 4 g of it twice a day.
  • Liver Disease: Grind Licorice to make a powder. Boil half tsp powder in one cup of water and drink it twice a day.
  • Sinusitis: Powder Licorice. Boil 5 pinches in a cup of water. Drink it thrice a day.
  • Small Breast: Have a decoction of Licorice roots. Take one cup once a day.
  • Joint Pain: Take one cup of tea made from Licorice twice a day.
  • Immunity Booster: Chew Licorice root.
  • Altitude Sickness: Prepare a decoction of Licorice roots. Have a glass once a day. OR Chew Licorice roots.
  • Hoarseness: Take small piece of Licorice. Chew it slowly. Do it twice to thrice a day.
  • Baldness: Add a small amount of Licorice extract to your favorite shampoo.
  • Chest Congestion: Take one tbsp dries Licorice root. Boil it in a cup of water. Strain. Drink as a tea twice a day.
  • Anxiety: Boil half tsp powdered Licorice in a glass of water until it remains half. Strain. Drink it twice a day.
  • Alzheimer: Grind Licorice. Boil ¼ th tsp in a cup of water. Have it every morning. It enhances memory power.
  • Herpes: Grind Licorice. Add water in a tbsp of powder. Place it over affected area. Let it dry. Wash. Do this thrice a day.
  • Detoxicant: Powder Licorice root. Boil ¼ tsp powder in a cup of water. Have it for a week.
  • Measles: Grind Licorice root. Put a tsp of Licorice in a glass of lukewarm water. Add honey. Have it once a day.
  • Schizophrenia: Powder Licorice. Put a tsp of powdered Licorice in a cup of hot water. Cover and steep it for 10 minutes. Strain. Drink it 2 to 3 times a day.
  • Asthma: Put a small piece of Licorice in a cup of boiling water. Steep for 10-15 minutes. Sieve and drink 2 cups a day. It lubricates the respiratory tract.
  • Bronchitis: Heat half tbsp Licorice powder in a cup of water for 10-15 minutes. Strain and drink twice a week.
  • Constipation: Take ½ cup of water. Add ½ tsp of chopped Licorice root. Simmer it for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Steep for 15 minutes. Strain. Soak 3 stewed prunes in the tea for a few hours then eat.
  • Alopecia areata: Take Licorice root. Grind it with water to make a paste. The consistency of paste should not be so watery and not so thick. Apply it over the patches from where the hair has gone. Let it dry. Wash with normal water. Repeat it thrice a week.
  • Wounds: Take half tsp of Licorice root powder. Add 1 tsp clarified butter. Make a paste. Apply it on the wounds.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Take a cup of boiled water. Add one tsp of dried Licorice root in it. Let it steep for 10-12 minutes. Strain and drink tea 2-3 times a day for 3 weeks.
  • Oral Herpes: Add 1 tsp of Licorice root powder in 1 tsp of water. Mix well to form a paste. Use a cotton Swab to apply this paste on the affected area. Leave it for 2-3 hrs. Wash off. Do this daily for a week.
  • Nootropic: Prepare a fine powder if the Licorice roots. Consume it with milk.
  • Depression: Drink Licorice tea twice a day. It is a helpful remedy for depression.
  • Low Blood pressure: Put a tsp of Licorice fried roots into a cup of water. Boil it till it reduces to half. Strain it off. Drink this mixture twice daily to treat low blood pressure.
  • Hot Flushes: Boil a tsp of Licorice dried root powder in a pan with 200 ml of water for 10 minutes. Strain it off. Drink it lukewarm once a day to get rid of Hot flushes.
  • Anhidrosis: Take dried Licorice root and make a tea. Drink this tea 2 times in winter and once in summers. It will improve the sweating process in the body and enhances the functions of respiratory tract.
  • Bell’s palsy: Put 1 tsp of Licorice powdered root in one cup of water. Boil it. Simmer for 10 minutes. Drink thrice a day.
  • Epigastric Hernia: Take 1 tbsp of dried Licorice root powder. Boil it in a cup of water for 15 minutes. Drink it sip by sip.
  • Femoral Hernia: Take 1 tsp of dried Licorice root powder. Boil it in a cup of water for 15 minutes. Drink it sip by sip.
  • Gilbert’s Syndrome: Take 1 tsp of dried Licorice root powder. Boil it. Simmer for 15 minutes. Drink thrice a day.
  • Arthritis: Boil Licorice crushed roots in 150 ml of water. Strain it off. Drink this decoction once a day. It reduces the inflammation and pain in Arthritis.
  • Non Hodgkin Lymphoma: Prepare a decoction made of one tsp of powdered Licorice root and one cup of water. Drink it twice a day.
  • Pituitary tumors: Steep 1 tsp of Licorice root in a cup of hot water for 15 minutes. Strain and drink it thrice a daily.
  • Psychosis: Mix 2 tsp Licorice powder in 200 ml of water. Boil it till the water reduces to half. Strain and drink it lukewarm in the morning. (Do not eat anything for at least 1 hour)
  • Infertility: Dink Licorice tea once a day.
  • Lower back pain: Take 5 gm. of Licorice powder and equal amount of Ashwagandha powder in it. Mix them well. Take 1 tsp every day. It helps to reduce lower back pain.
  • Aphrodisiac: Prepare the decoction made of Licorice root and one cup of water. Strain and drink it.
  • Throat Irritation: Take one small stick of Licorice and boil it in one glass of water for 10 minutes. Strain and drink it sip by sip.
  • Skin Rashes: Take 3 glasses of water in a pan and boil it. Add 2 tsp of crushed Licorice root in it. Let it simmer for 40 minutes. Let it cool and then apply on the affected area.
  • Sore throat: Suck one small stick of Licorice. It gives a soothing effect.
  • Cold: Add one tbsp of ginger paste, one tsp Licorice and Cinnamon in one cup of water. Boil it. Remove from the heat and add one tsp of honey in it. Stain and drink two times a day.
  • Dysuria: Roast 5 tbsp each of Licorice, Terminalia Chebula and Cardamom. Grind this mixture. Mix quarter tsp of this mixture in one cup of water along with one tsp of honey. Drink 2 times a day.
  • Callus: Take half tsp of olive oil and three small Licorice sticks. Grind them to make a paste. Apply the paste on the affected areas.
  • Viral Infection General: Take Licorice tea every day. It is good for cold, cough and other viral attacks.
  • Sexual Debility: Mix 2 tbsp each of cucumber seeds, watermelon seeds, Licorice, seeds of grapes, almond, coriander seeds and bottle gourd seeds with one cup pulp of ripe Azadirachta Indica fruit. Add two cups each of Ghee and sugar. Heat till the moisture is eliminated. Cool and store. Take one tbsp twice a day. It is good for sexual debility.
  • Ulcer: Add ¼ cup of Horse gram, a pinch of Asafoetida and 2 pinches each of dried ginger and Licorice. Boil. Take daily with one tbsp honey for 30 days.
  • Bronchitis: Chop 3 leaves of Adhatoda Vasica. Heat it with little honey in a mud vessel till it chars; add half tsp of Licorice, quarter tsp of long pepper and 3 cups of water. Again boil until it gets half. Take 2 tsp twice a day.
  • Strangury: Make an infusion by using Talcum powder and Licorice root powder Take it twice a day.
  • Aphthous Ulcers: Take dried leaves of Berberis Aristata, Jasmine, Licorice, Chebulic Mybobalan. Grind them to make powder. Again sieve the powder to get the fine powder. Take 1 tsp of the powder and add same amount of honey. Mix well to make a paste and apply it over mouth ulcers.
  • Nausea: Take few seeds of cardamom, a small piece of Ginger, Licorice, orange peel, Coriander seeds and a pinch of black pepper. Simmer in half cup of water covered for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and then add black tea. Steep for 2-3 minutes. Strain and drink. You can also add milk and honey to add taste.
  • Liver disease: Add one tbsp each of flax seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, burdock root and half tbsp Licorice in 4 cups of water. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add peppermint. Let it cool. Strain and bottle.
  • Acid flux: Take fennel, Licorice root, basil and Coriander seeds in equal quantity. Powder them together. Have half tsp with half tsp of sugar before meal.
  • Tonsillitis: Take equal amount of Licorice, sweet Flag and Galangal. Grind them together. Have a tsp with honey once a day.
  • Gastric catarrh: Take equal amount of fennel, Licorice root, basil leaves and coriander seeds. Powder them together. Take half tsp with little sugar before every meal
  • Asthenospermia: Take 100 gram of black gram, 100 gram of velvet bean, 10 gram of Asparagus Racemosus, 10 gram of Withania Somnifera and 10 gram Licorice. Powder them together, Boil in 10 glasses of water till it remains ¼ parts. Add half cup of Ghee, half cup of Kudzu, half cup of Sugarcane juice and 2 glass milk (Cow). Heat on low flame till ghee floats, Remove from heat. Now add 4 tbsp honey and 4 pinches long pepper powder. Stir. Have one tsp once a day.
  • Night Sweat: Take equal amount of Licorice, Chinese date, Turmeric, Seneca snakeroot, Japanese Rush, and Wheat. Grind them together. Have a half tsp twice a day.
  • Heat Stroke: Take dried lotus leaves and Licorice in equal amount. Powder. Have one teaspoon.
  • Galactagogue: Mix equal amount of Licorice juice with leaf juice of Launaea Pinnatifida. Drink 40 ml of it once a day.
  • Abdominal disease: Add 50 g root of sweet flag in 30 g Licorice powder. Make its decoction. Drink 10 ml thrice a day.
  • Hay fever: Take Licorice root powder, black pepper powder and grated ginger in 2:1:4 ratio. Make its decoction. Add basil leaves and sugar before drinking. Have 100 ml of it twice a day.
  • Eczema: Add 1 tsp Licorice root powder in same quantity of Sesame oil. Heat it. Apply it over affected area. Bandage the area for 3 hours.
  • Croup: Take Slippery Elm, Boneset, Licorice, and Flax in equal amount. Use it as a fomentation.
  • Grey hair: Take ½ liter Clarified butter, 125 g Licorice powder, 1\2 liter Gooseberry. Mix all the ingredients. Heat until water evaporates. Strain and store in a glass container. Use it twice or thrice a week.
  • Menstrual bleeding:  Take 2 tbsp each of dried Licorice root and wild yam root. One tbsp of powdered burdock root and comfrey root and One tbsp of Dandelion. Put these herbs in 4-5 cups of cold water and simmer for 15 minutes in a covered pot. Drink thrice daily for 3- 4 months.
  • Fatigue: Take small stick of Licorice and 2-3 slices of ginger. Add one tbsp of chopped Reishi mushroom and half tbsp powdered cloves, Cardamom and cinnamon. Put all the ingredients in 6-7 cups of water and bring to a boil. Take once early in a day for 2-3 weeks.
  • Depression: Infuse one tbsp each of chamomile, lemon balm and Lavender flower in a cup of hot water for 5 minutes. Add Ginger and Licorice for taste. Drink before retiring for a sound sleep.
  • Weak Eyesight: Add half tbsp of Licorice powder and clarified butter in a cup of warm milk. Mix some honey and drink at bedtime. Repeat regularly for 2-3 months.
  • Dandruff: Boil Licorice into a cup of water. Heat it for 10 minutes. Strain off this decoction. Add few drops of coconut oil into the decoction. Gently massage your scalp with this mixture. Wash it off after an hour. Repeat this process two times a week to get best results.
  • Avian Flu: Take 1 tsp each of Ephedra, Cinnamon, Ginger, Chinese Wild ginger, Schisandra, White peony, Pinellia, Licorice. Grind them all and consume it with one glass of water.
  • Insanity: Take 1-2 gram of Licorice, ginger dried powder, Sweet flag, withania Somnifera and Albizi Lebbeck. Grind them to make a powder. Consume 1 tsp of it with a glass of water. Repeat it daily for two times a day.
  • Epilepsy: Take 1-2 gram of Licorice, ginger dried powder, Sweet flag, withania Somnifera and Albizi Lebbeck. Grind them to make a powder. Consume it with a glass of lukewarm water. Do this treatment twice a day to get best results.
  • Body ache: Take 1 tsp of Licorice powder and add it to a glass of warm milk. Drink it before going to bed. It helps to reduce the body pain.

Traditional uses and benefits of Licorice

  • It is a very sweet, moist, soothing herb that detoxifies and protects the liver.
  • Root has also been shown to have a hormonal effect similar to the ovarian hormone.
  • Liquorice root is much used in cough medicines and also in the treatment of catarrhal infections of the urinary tract.
  • It is taken internally in the treatment of Addison’s disease, asthma, bronchitis, coughs, peptic ulcer, arthritis, allergic complaints and following steroidal therapy.
  • It should be used in moderation and should not be recommended for pregnant women or people with high blood pressure, kidney disease or taking digoxin-based medication.
  • Externally, the root is used in the treatment of herpes, eczema and shingles.
  • Medicinal research indicates that licorice may be beneficial in treatment of certain types of cancer.
  • Creams made of licorice can be used for the removal of the freckles and other discolorations on the skin.

Dosage and forms

Liquid extract

Licorice extract is the most commonly found form of licorice. It’s used as a commercial sweetener in candies and beverages.

Licorice extract consumption by an individual should not exceed 30 mg/mL of glycyrrhizic acid. Ingesting more could cause unwanted side effects.


Health food stores and online specialty retailers sell licorice powder. Combined with a gel base, it can become a topical ointment that clears the skin.

In its powder form, licorice is especially helpful in treating eczema and acne. You can also pour the powder into vegetable capsules and ingest them orally.

The recommended dosage of licorice root is less than 75 milligrams per day, according to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.


Licorice plant leaves, dried and crushed into a tea, have become popular. You can purchase these teas at supermarkets and health food stores.

Teas are used to promote digestive, respiratory, and adrenal gland health. When you see herbal teas for “bronchial wellness” and “cleanse and detox,” they usually contain forms of licorice. The popular throat remedy known as Throat Coat tea is a combination of marshmallow root, licorice root, and elm bark.

It’s not recommended that people ingest more than 8 ounces of licorice tea per day.


DGL is licorice with glycyrrhizin removed, which is a safer form. DGL should contain no more than 2 percent glycyrrhizin. This form is recommended for gastrointestinal symptoms as long-term intake may be needed. DGL is available in chewable tablets, capsules, tea, and powder. Consume no more than 5 grams of DGL per day.

Culinary Uses

  • Dried roots are still sometimes sold as a sweet.
  • Typically, the juice is obtained from the root and concentrated by boiling.
  • Solid extract obtained this way is used to make sweets such as licorice sticks and candy.
  • Root raw is used as a flavoring.
  • Liquorice powder is used in sweets, baked goods, ice cream, soft drinks etc.
  • Dried root is often used for chewing; it is excellent for teething children and also as a tooth cleaner.
  • Tea made from the roots is an excellent thirst quencher.
  • Powdered root is also used as a sweetener in other herb teas.
  • Leaves are used as a tea substitute in Mongolia.
  • Root of licorice is used in the food industry for the production of candies, chewing gums and various liqueurs.
  • It is used as flavoring agent of tobacco and various types of beer and brandy.

Other Facts

  • Extracts from the root are used as a foaming agent in beers and fire extinguishers.
  • Fiber obtained from the roots is used for insulation, wallboard, boxboard etc.
  • Fibers can be used after the medicinal and flavoring constituents of the root have been removed.

Healthy recipe using Licorice Root

1. Healing (and yummy) Licorice Root Tea

Licorice Root Tea





  • 1 cup chopped dry licorice root
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon chips
  • 1/2 cup dried orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup chamomile flowers


  1. Mix everything well in the bowl and then store in the glass jar, faraway from light and heat.
  2. To prepare tea: Combine 3 heaping tablespoons of tea mix and 2.5 cups of cold water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour in a big teacup by using a strainer and pass it on to the invalid with the empathy-filled smile. Then drink some yourself because it’s delicious (and so he can keep this sick bug to himself this time).

2. Original Licorice Candy

Original Licorice Candy





  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon powdered licorice root (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon dried anise, root (POWDERED ( or to taste)
  • 1 cup flour (enough to make a workable dough)
  • icing sugar


  1. Warm the molasses as well as add licorice and anise powder.
  2. Mix in enough flour to create a workable dough.
  3. Roll mixture into small tubes, cut into desired lengths.
  4. Roll in icing sugar if desired. The mix will harden when cool.

3. Caramelized Carrot & Licorice Root Soup

Caramelized Carrot & Licorice Root Soup





  • 1 small Cinnamon Stick 
  • 2 teaspoons Licorice root 
  • 1 cup Boiling water 
  • 2 tablespoons virgin Coconut oil 
  • 8 medium Carrots sliced into 1/4″ rounds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Ginger root, very finely minced
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh Lemon juice


  1. Add licorice root and cinnamon stick to the one cup of boiling water. Let it steep 15-20 minutes. Strain and reserve liquid.
  2. In a sizable fry pan, saute carrots and salt in oil over low heat. Saute, stirring frequently, for 20-30 minutes or until carrots are tender and also have a hint of golden brown.
  3. Once “caramelized”, allow carrots to cool 5-10 minutes. Transfer into a high-powered blender together with licorice/cinnamon liquid, ginger, two cups water and lemon juice. Blend on medium-high until super smooth. Add water when needed to sit in preferred consistency.
  4. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with Lemon Coconut Cream

4. Steamed liquorice sponges

Steamed liquorice sponges





  • 4 liquorice spirals or Pontefract cakes
  • 100g/3½oz unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 100g/3½oz caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 100g/3½oz self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp liquorice extract


  1. Butter four dariole moulds or individual pudding basins, about 175ml/6fl oz capacity, and line the base of each using a disc of baking parchment.
  2. Place a liquorice spiral or even Pontefract cake in the base of every prepared mould. Put all the residual ingredients in the large bowl and beat together utilizing an electric whisk. Start off slowly then boost the speed and mix for just two minutes, or even till all of the ingredients are very well combined.
  3. Divide the mixture between the moulds. Tap each mould on the work surface to eliminate any air pockets and level out the mix.
  4. Create a lid for every pudding by putting a small piece of baking parchment over a small piece of foil and making a pleat in the middle, folding both sheets together (to allow for the puddings’ expansion since they cook). Place the lids on top of the puddings, foil side up, and secure with string.
  5. Stand the moulds in the steamer. Alternatively, put them in a sizable saucepan and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the moulds. Place the lid on the pan and bring to a simmer. Either way, steam the puddings for 45 minutes.
  6. Uncover the puddings and run the tip of a small, sharp knife around the edge of each, to help release them. Invert them onto warmed plates and serve straight away, with custard.

5. Blackcurrant and liquorice Swiss roll

Blackcurrant and liquorice Swiss roll





  • For the decorative sponge paste
  • 70g/2½oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 70g/2½oz icing sugar
  • 2 free-range egg whites
  • 80g/3oz plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp liquorice essence
  • ½-1 tsp black food colouring paste

For the sponge

  • 3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
  • 75g/2½oz caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 75g/2½oz self-raising flour

For the filling

  • 75g/2½oz butter, softened
  • 225g/8oz icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp liquorice essence
  • 200g/7oz blackcurrant jam


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/400F/Gas 6. Grease and line a Swiss roll tin with baking parchment.
  2. For the decorative sponge paste, cream the butter and icing sugar together till light and fluffy and then progressively add the egg whites, beating continuously. Fold within the flour then add the liquorice essence and food colouring paste and beat till the mixture is black. Spoon in a piping bag fitted with a plain piping nozzle and pipe six diagonal lines across the tin. Refrigerate the tin when you make the plain cake batter.
  3. For the sponge, place the eggs and caster sugar in a huge bowl and whisk with a hand-held electric mixer till the mixture is light and frothy and leaves a trail when the whisk is taken away. Sift the flour over the mixture and thoroughly fold in using a sizable metal spoon or rubber spatula.
  4. Gently pour the mixture in the tin, giving the tin a little shake so the mixture finds its own level; gently push the mixture into the corners if required. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or till the sponge is golden-brown and starting to shrink away from the sides of the tin.
  5. Lay two sheets of parchment paper (cut just a little larger than the size of the tin) on a work surface and sprinkle one with caster sugar. Once the sponge is cooked, turn it out onto the sheet of sugared paper and carefully peel off the lining paper. Lay the other sheet of paper within the striped top and flip over, so that the black lines are underneath. Set aside for cooling.
  6. For the filling, beat the butter, icing sugar, milk and liquorice essence in the bowl until smooth.
  7. Once cooled, discard the sugared paper, trim the edges of the sponge using a sharp knife and score a line across the sponge 2cm/1in in from one of the short edges. Spread an even layer of the buttercream within the sponge.
  8. Spread an even layer of jam over the buttercream. Roll up the Swiss roll firmly starting in the scored end and ultizing the paper to help you.

6. Salt liquorice caramels

Salt liquorice caramels





  • groundnut oil, for greasing
  • 125g/4½oz unsalted butter
  • 225g/8oz granulated sugar
  • 200g/7oz condensed milk
  • 175ml/6fl oz golden syrup
  • 2 large pinches rock salt, or to taste
  • 10 g raw liquorice powder
  • ¼ tsp black food coloring paste


  1. Grease a 20cm/8in square baking tin with groundnut oil, then line with baking paper and grease again.
  2. Place the butter in the deep, heavy-bottomed pan together with the sugar, condensed milk and golden syrup. Heat over the lowest heat, mixing constantly with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Put a sugar thermometer within the pan and increase the heat somewhat to bring the mix into a gentle boil. Cook, stirring constantly till the temperature reaches 118C/245F. (CAUTION: boiling sugar is incredibly hot. Handle cautiously. Make use of a deep pan to avoid bubbling over.)
  4. Take the pan off the heat and make use of a wooden spoon to stir in the large pinch of rock salt, the liquorice powder and black food colouring. Beat the mix well till the black paste colours it entirely.
  5. Pour the caramel into the prepared tin and scatter with rock salt. Leave to cool for one hour, then place in the fridge. Leave overnight before cutting into squares. Wrap each square in a piece of parchment paper.
  6. Enjoy with a coffee or even give to your friends as a gift.

Special Precautions and Warnings

Pregnancy & breastfeeding: Licorice is completely unsafe to take by mouth during pregnancy. High consumption of this root during pregnancy, about 250 g per week, gives you a higher risk of early delivery or a miscarriage. Although there isn’t still sufficient reliable proof about the safety of using licorice when you are breastfeeding, it is better to avoid using it.

Hormone-sensitive conditions including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, uterine fibroids, or endometriosis: Licorice may work as estrogen in the body. So, if you suffer from any condition that is made worse by exposing estrogen, avoid using licorice.

Heart disease: Licorice may cause water retention in the body, which may worsen the congestive heart failure. Licorice may also give you an increased risk of irregular heartbeat. Avoid consuming licorice root if you suffer from heart disease.

High blood pressure: Licorice may increase blood pressure. Avoid consuming it in large amounts if you suffer from high blood pressure.

Low potassium level in the blood: Licorice root can reduce potassium in the blood. So, if your potassium level is already low, it may make it lower. Avoid consuming licorice if you suffer from this condition.

A muscle condition caused due to nerve problems: Licorice may reduce the levels of potassium in the blood. This makes hypertonia worse. Avoid using licorice if you suffer from hypertonia.

Sexual problems in men: This root can decrease the interest of a man in sex and make erectile dysfunction worse by decreasing the level of a hormone named testosterone.

Kidney disease: An excessive usage of the licorice root may worsen kidney disease. Avoid consuming it.

Surgery: Licorice may interfere with the control of blood pressure during & after surgery. Stop using it at least 14 days before a surgery.



















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