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Licorice Root: Supplement Uses, Side Effects & Dosage

What is licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Licorice is a plant used for flavoring food,
beverages, and tobacco. The root issued as a natural, herbal supplement for
medicinal purposes. Chemicals in licorice may reduce inflammation, thin mucus
secretions, decrease cough, and increase the body’s ability to heal ulcers.
Check with your health care professional before using herbs or herbal

What brand names are available for licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)?

Glycyrrhiza glabra, Alcacuz, Sweet Root, Gan Zao, and
many others

Is licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)?


What are the side effects of licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)?

Side effects of licorice are tiredness, increased blood
pressure, low blood potassium levels, irregular menstrual cycle, headache,
decreased libido, increased blood pressure, and increased fluids in the body.

What is the dosage for licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)?

  • Upset stomach: A combination product containing licorice is used as 1 ml by
    mouth three times daily.
  • Ulcer: Take 760-1520 mg by mouth with meals for 8 to 16 weeks.
  • Cough: Take 0.5 to 1 gram of powdered root one to three times a day.
  • Root: Take 1 to 4 gram by mouth three times a day.
  • Tea: Prepare tea with 1 to 4 gram of root per 150 ml water; drink 1 cup up to
    three times a day.

Which drugs or supplements interact with licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)?

Licorice should not be used with warfarin (Coumadin) because it can accelerate the breakdown of warfarin and decrease the effectiveness, leading to increased risk of clotting.

Licorice should be used with caution with digoxin (Lanoxin) because licorice can lower potassium levels in the body and low potassium can lead to increased digoxin side effects like dizziness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, irregular heart rate and rhythm, and visual disturbances.

Licorice should be used with caution in women taking birth controls pills or other hormonal medications. Licorice may change hormone levels in the body and decrease effectiveness of estrogen containing medications like conjugated estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, and estradiol (Estrace).

Licorice should be used with caution with blood pressure medications because large amounts of licorice can increase blood pressure and decrease the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.


GERD is the back up of stomach acid into the esophagus.
See Answer

Is licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)-oral safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

It is not known whether licorice enters
breast milk or safe
for the newborn; however, it is best to avoid using licorice in mothers who are

What else should I know about licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)?

What preparations of licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) are available?

Licorice roots are available as tablets, powder, and liquid
formulations. Concentration of licorice may vary from product-to-product due to
multiple manufacturers producing various products. Check the licorice product
for the actual amount of licorice contained in the product. Often these products
are supplemented with anise oil which has a similar smell and taste.

How should I keep licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) stored?

Due to multiple manufacturers making different forms of licorice,
storage requirements may vary based on individual manufacturer practices.


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