Parts used - the root
Bronchitis, upper respiratory catarrh and coughs. Licorice stimulates mucus production, and helps to loosen sticky phlegm making coughs more productive. Licorice also contains a chemical called glycyrrhetinic that has cough suppressant properties.
Sore throats - licorice has demulcent (soothing and coating) properties and is also anti-inflammatory.
Heartburn, indigestion, and gastric and duodenal ulcers. Licorice helps to reduce stomach acid. It also helps to increase mucus secretion in the gastric tract, soothing irritation and inflammation.
Licorice may shorten the healing time of mouth ulcers.
Licorice has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties
Small amounts of licorice such as the amounts found in candies and other foods do not pose a risk. However licorice is a powerful drug and serious health problems can result from taking it at medicinal levels for long periods of time.
Do not take licorice medicinally for more than four to six weeks without medical advice.
Licorice should not be taken medicinally if you have high blood pressure, glaucoma, diabetes, kidney or liver disease, or if you are taking hormonal therapy (licorice may interfere with this).
It should also be avoided at medicinal amounts if you have rapid heartbeats or if you are pregnant or nursing.
Anyone who is taking digitalis or who has had a stroke or heart disease should not take licorice without first consulting a physician.
History of Licorice
Licorice is a shrub that grows in subtropical climates. It has been used medicinally for more than 3000 years, and is often called "The Grandfather of the Herbs".
It was used to treat a variety of complaints including congestion, coughs, colds, rashes, constipation and arthritis. It was also used to treat more serious problems like cancer and hepatitis.
The Chinese call it "the great detoxifier" as it is thought to rid the body of poisons. Native Americans made a tea from licorice, drank it as a laxative, and used it to treat earaches and coughs.
Disclaimer: The information presented is for information purposes only. It is based on scientific studies or traditional usage. Consult a health care professional before using supplements or making any changes in prescribed medications. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease