Liquorice

Botanical name

Glycyrrhiza glabra

Common Names

Liquorice, licorice 

FAMILY

Fabaceae (Leguminosae)

Description

This perennial is harvested a couple of years after being planted. 

Part supplied

The chopped root.

Food Use

Liquorice is a popular addition to herbal tea blends, especially in digestifs taken after meals to support sensitive digestion and pick-me-up blends. The whole root can be chewed and is a pleasant, low-calorie alternative to sweets, enjoyed by both children and adults.

Recipes

Use 1 teaspoon of dried herb to one cup of boiling water to make a tasty tea. Infuse for 5-10 minutes. Sweeten with honey or lemon to taste.

Alternatively add half a teaspoon (2.5 ml) of tincture to a cup of warm water for a quick alternative to tea.

The herb can be added as a flavouring to gin, vodka and other infusions.

Medicinal Use

Liquorice has traditionally been used as an anti-inflammatory, expectorant, laxative and supportive tonic for the adrenal glands. It is considered to be a synergistic herb and often incorporated as a flavouring in traditional herbal medicines. It is an active ingredient in our historic licenced Sage and Garlic Catarrh Remedy which contains the equivalent of 550 mg of Liquorice root per 5 ml dose to soothe coughs and encourage the expulsion of mucus. It was often incorporated into throat lozenges in the past for this reason.

Key actions: Demulcent, expectorant, adrenal tonic, anti-inflammatory.

In clinic: Herbalists use this herb to treat adrenal insufficiency, bronchitis, gastritis and peptic ulceration. 

If you are interested in the medicinal use of this herb please consult a herbalist. Herbs are generally used at medicinal strength, in blends, prescribed for each unique patient's condition.

Directions

Infusion: Half a teaspoon to 2 of herb (1 to 4 g) to a cup of cold water. Pour boiling water over the herb and leave to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes. Flavour with lemon, ginger or honey if desired. Drink 3 times a day unless otherwise told by a medical herbalist.

Decoction: Half a teaspoon to 2 of herb (1 to 4 g) to a cup of cold water, bring to the boil and leave to sit for 15 minutes. Or steep 1 teaspoon bark in cold water overnight. Flavour with lemon, ginger or honey if desired. Drink 3 times a day unless otherwise told by a medical herbalist.

Tincture: Take 3 ml (1:3 in 25% tincture), 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.

Fluid extract: 1:1 Take 0.6 to 2 ml, 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.

Dried Herb: Maximum of 12 g per day may be taken as a powder or capsules.

Other Uses

Cosmetic Use

None known.

Other Uses

None known.

Cautions

Contraindications

Avoid if you suffer from high blood pressure, anorexia, lowered potassium within the blood, kidney failure, oedema (water retention), congestive heart failure, cholestatic (decrease in bile flow) and cirrhotic liver disease.

This herb is considered safe in food amounts. Do not take if you are allergic to this plant or other members of this plant's family (Fabaceae). Not all herbs are suitable in pregnancy, breastfeeding or for young children. If in doubt, please ask us or your medical herbalist.

Side effects

It is not unusual for increased blood pressure, heightened sodium levels and lowered levels of potassium to be found as a result of liquorice consumption (the confectionary rather than the root). Plant extracts cause few side effects when taken correctly but if a side effect is experienced please contact us.

Interactions with drugs

Do not take along with laxatives, diuretics, digoxin and potassium-depleting drugs. Herbal remedies and supplements can interact with medicines. If you are taking medication please check with your medical practitioner, or call us, before taking herbs, supplements and medication together.

More Information

Articles

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Recipes

Look in our recipes section for more uses of this herb.

Research

Read the latest PubMed research on this herb.

Add to BagGlycyrrhiza glabra - Liquorice root 100g £6.25

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