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Licorice has antibacterial properties and has been found to help relieve stomach ulcers
Licorice is a useful cough remedy; it acts as an expectorant, helping to loosen and expel phlegm
Licorice root is beneficial for digestion and helps soothe irritation and inflammation of your digestive tract
Item Code #2579
Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (syn. G. glandulifera Walst. & Kit.), G. uralensis Fisch. Ex DC.
Licorice root is presently one of the most widely used medicinal herbs, and has been used therapeutically for several thousand years in Western and Eastern medicine (Gibson, 1978; Leung and Foster, 1996; Wang et al., 2000). Licorice ranks as the 10th most important herb for Western medical herbalists and in Unani traditional medicine clinics in Pakistan (Bergner, 1994; American Institute of Unani Medicine, 1999). In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), licorice root is the most commonly-used herb, though it is almost always used in combination with other herbs (Leung, 1999).
Licorice root consists of the dried roots and rhizomes of Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (syn. G. glandulifera Walst. & Kit.) and its varieties or G. uralensis (WHO, 1999; McGuffin et al., 2001), or other species of Glycyrrhiza (US FDA, 1998), and contains no less than 4% glycyrrhizic acid (syn. glycyrrhizin) (Ph.Eur., 2001). Peeled roots contain no less than 20% water-soluble extractive, and unpeeled roots contain no less than 25% water-soluble extract (Blumenthal et al., 1998), and no less than 25% dilute ethanol-soluble extract (JP XII, 1991; JSHM, 1993).
Catarrh of the upper respiratory tract (Blumenthal et al., 1998)
Aphthous, stomatitis (oral ulcers) (Das et al., 1989)
Gastric ulcers (Morgan et al., 1985)
Duodenal ulcer (Kassir, 1985; Larkworthy and Holgate, 1975)
Note: The German Commission E also approved licorice preparations containing glycyrrhizin for gastric and duodenal ulcers.
Prevention of radiation complications in lungs during radiotherapy (Palagina et al., 1999) [extract]
Chronic hepatitis (Chang and But, 1986; Huang, 1999) [decoction]
Sore throat, as a demulcent (IP, 1996; WHO, 1999)
Cough with viscid expectoration (Schilcher, 1997) [extract, tea, or juice]
Dyspepsia (WHO, 1999)
Hepatic failure, subacute (Acharya et al., 1993) [Note: i.v. preparation]
Reduced risk of liver carcinogenesis in hepatitis C patients (Arase et al., 1997)
Bronchitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, bronchial asthma, chronic hypocorticoidism (PPRC, 1992)
Infantile colic—with chamomile flower (Matricaria spp.), fennel seed (Foeniculum vulgare), vervain herb (Verbena hastata), and lemon balm leaf (Melissa officinalis) (Weizman et al., 1993; Zand et al., 1994)
Productive cough in children—with marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis), anise seed (Pimpinella anisum), and cowslip flower (Primula veris) (Schilcher, 1997)
Decoction: 1.0–1.5 g licorice root placed in approximately 150–250 ml cold water. Boiled, simmered for 10–15 minutes, then strained, 2–3 times daily (Meyer-Buchtela, 1999; ÖAB, 1991; Wichtl and Bisset, 1994).
Infusion: Approximately 150 ml boiling water poured over 4.5 g licorice root and steeped 10–15 minutes; 2–3 times daily (Braun et al., 1997).
Fluid extract BP [1:1 (g/ml), 16–20% ethanol (v/v)]: 2–5 ml, 3 times daily (BP, 1980; Bradley, 1992).
Powdered root: Approximately 5–15 g root daily, equivalent to 200–600 mg glycyrrhizin (Blumenthal et al., 1998), 2–4 g single dose (API, 1989). Note: After decocting for 10 minutes, approximately 50% of the available glycyrrhizin, and approximately 45% of the liquiritin are released into the tea. After 30 minutes, approximately 80% of the glycyrrhizin, and 75% of the liquiritin are released, respectively (Meyer-Buchtela, 1999).
DGL native dry extract BP [0.5–2.0% total flavonoids, calculated as liquiritigenin]: 0.4–1.6 g, 3 times daily (BP, 1986; Bradley, 1992).
DGL chewable tablets : For acute cases of gastric or duodenal ulcers; 2–4 tablets chewed before each meal. For chronic cases, 1–2 tablets chewed before each meal (Pizzorno and Murray, 1999).
Fluid extract DAB [2.0–4.0% glycyrrhizin, 52–65% ethanol (v/v)]: 5–15 ml daily, (or 2–5 ml, 3 times daily) corresponding to Commission E dosage of 5–15 g of root daily (Blumenthal et al., 1998).
Fluid extract PPRC : 2–5 ml, 3 times daily (PPRC, 1992).
Native dry extract [4–5:1 (w/w), minimum 20% glycyrrhizin]: 0.33–0.8 g, after meals 3 times daily.
No longer than four to six weeks internally without medical advice. There is no objection to using licorice root as a flavoring agent up to a maximum daily dosage equivalent to 100 mg glycyrrhizin (Blumenthal et al., 1998). A diet rich in potassium (e.g., bananas) is recommended during treatment period (Bruneton, 1999).
By Teresa Steadman
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