Here’s All You Need to Know About Liquorice

Liquorice is a flowering plant of the legume family. It is common to both Asia and Europe. You will find that it is native to Europe and Asia and has multiple uses in these regions. For instance, both regions use this flavour medicines, drinks, and sweets. In addition, it is of immense medical value. For instance, the root can treat various ailments ranging from bronchitis, constipation, heartburn, and menstrual cramps.

Earliest evidence of this root goes back to Egypt, where it was fed to pharaohs as a sweet drink. Further, many practitioners of Chinese, Greek, and Middle Eastern ancient medicine would use this to ease digestive and inflammatory pain. Similarly today, it is common in the curing of t9eczema, swelling of the liver, and mouth sores.

Safety Levels

This is safest and most effective on oral consumption. Many need to consume this in large doses as medicine. For instance, doctors suggest doses of up to 4-5 grams for a 4-month period. However, even slightly higher doses can cause harm through weaknesses, paralysis, cardiac ailments. In fact, those who consume large amounts of liquorice flavoured tea, candy, or tobacco are at greater risk of high blood pressure.

Likewise, it is often safe to apply liquorice to the skin too. Thus, many apply it as a gel with liquorice root extract. However, you may develop rashes as a side effect – so make sure to carry out a patch test first.

Nevertheless, there are certain conditions which are more prone to negative effects. First, this may be unsafe for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Studies find that high liquorice consumption during pregnancy (>250 grams per week) can increase risks of early delivery or miscarriage. While there is insufficient information on the topic, doctors recommend entirely avoiding consuming it.

Second, it can harm those with cardiac ailments. This is because it causes the body to store water, which worsens congestive heart failure. Similarly, it raises blood pressure levels. Thus, avoid this if you have a family history of heart risk.

Third, it can be detrimental to those with hormone sensitive conditions. This is because liquorice acts as a natural substitute for oestrogen. Thus, it can interfere with hormonal functioning. In this manner, it may worsen breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer types.

You may also wish to avoid liquorice if you face kidney diseases, sexual problems, hypertonia, or have undergone surgery.


If liquorice is safe for your personal consumption, do incorporate it in the right amounts for a healthy diet. Here are some of the benefits it brings.

Skin Health

Been facing rashes or breakout recently? Liquorice root can help. This houses over 300 compounds which can fight inflammation, as well as harmful microbes. Don’t just take this from us – various animal and test tube studies demonstrate this too. For instance, a two-week study across 60 adults finds regular liquorice gel use helped to alleviate eczema rates. Similarly, some other studies show that such gels are effective in treating acne and eczema.

Digestive Health

Liquorice is useful in treating indigestion symptoms, such as stomach reflexes or heartburn. Various studies prove this too. For instance, a month-long study among 50 patients finds that just two 75 mg capsules per day was enough to alleviate symptoms. Similarly, another 2-year long study finds liquorice to provide better results than antacids. Finally, a third study finds that a combination of standard treatment and a low dose of glycerrheretinic acid can alleviate symptoms.

However, more human studies are necessary to support these findings.

Peptic Ulcer Treatment

Peptic ulcers are a result of inflammation from the H.Pylori bacteria. They can form in the stomach, lower oesophagus, and small intestine. Thankfully, liquorice root extracts can be a popular remedy to this. For instance, a study among mice proves that doses of 91 mg per pound (200 mg per kg)  of body weight is more effective than regular ulcer medications. Similarly, a two-week study among 120 adults finds that a combination of both liquid extracts and standard treatment can reduce bacterial presence.

Anti cancerous Properties

This provides protective effects against certain cancer types. It can especially help with slowing down or preventing skin, breast, or prostate cancers. In fact, various studies prove this as well. Similarly, it can also cure oral mucositis. These are painful mouth sores which often occur as a result of chemotherapy or radiation.

There are various studies which prove this too. For instance, a two-week study among 60 cancer patients finds that liquorice has the same effect as standard cures for oral mastitis. However, mostly test tubes and animal studies in this area have found results. Thus, more human research can help to back up these findings.

Upper Respiratory Conditions

Both liquorice root extract and tea contain antimicrobial effects. Thus, they can aid upper respiratory tract conditions, such as asthma and throat soreness. For instance, one study finds that conventional asthma treatments with a dosa of liquorice are more effective. In addition, both test tube and human studies find that liquorice root tea and extract can help protect you from a sore throat post surgery.

Cavity Protection

Cavities are a common condition which result from neglect of oral health. This is typically a result of mouth bacteria and plaque, which accumulates in the mouth over time. Most sweeteners can deteriorate oral health. However, liquorice can protect you against this. In fact, a study among 66 preschool children finds that those consuming lollypops with just 15 mg of liquorice have better oral health than others.

Miscellaneous Benefits

The benefits of liquorice don’t stop here. It can treat diabetes, menopausal symptoms, and hepatitis C, and even boost weight loss.


Liquorice is a fantastic natural sweetener which you can add to teas and hot drinks. Just make sure not to overdose – this can give you unwanted side effects. Further, be cautious of certain other ailments or conditions you may have. Nevertheless, this is a fantastic remedy and natural herb to add to your diet.

Click here to check out some Ayurvedic remedies for indigestion.

Join us here at Mekosha for an Ayurvedic retreat in Kerala.

Article By:

Mekosha Ayurveda

"The Mekosha team works hard to put together curated knowledge to help you with your holistic healing journey. Subscribe now to receive more such useful articles."

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