Glycyrrhiza glabra

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


(lik-e-rish) ,

Glycyrrhiza glabra

(trade name),

deglycyrrhized licorice (DGL)

(trade name),

sweet root

(trade name)


Therapeutic: antiulcer agents


Licorice blocks the metabolism of prostaglandins E and F2 alpha and may accelerate peptic ulcer healing. Licorice root also has antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, laxative and soothing properties.

Therapeutic effects

Improved symptoms of dyspepsia.


Absorption: Unknown.
Distribution: Unknown.
Metabolism and Excretion: Unknown.
Half-life: Unknown.

Time/action profile



Contraindicated in: Hypersensitivity.Pregnancy and lactation.
Use Cautiously in: Congestive heart failure.Hypertension.Renal disease.Hypokalemia.Consumption of 30 grams/day or more for several weeks can cause severe adverse events.

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects

Central nervous system

  • headache
  • lethargy


  • arrhythmias
  • hypertension


  • pseudohyperaldosteronism
  • hyperparathyroidism
  • decreased serum testosterone

Fluid and Electrolyte

  • hypokalemia
  • sodium and water retention


  • nausea
  • vomiting


  • acute renal failure


  • muscle weakness


↑ risk of cardiotoxicity with cardiac glycosides ↓ effectiveness of antihypertensives ↑ potassium loss with potassium-depleting diuretics ↑ metabolism and ↓ levels of warfarin Licorice causes potassium depletion which may increase the risk of cardiotoxicity withcardiac glycoside-containing herbs (digitalis) Additive potassium depletion can occur with stimulant laxative herbs (senna)
Oral (Adults) Dyspepsia—1 mL three times daily (Iberogast — combination product with other herbs) for 4 weeks


Liquid extract: Tablets: Capsules:

Nursing implications

Nursing assessment

  • Assess GI function (bowel sounds, abdominal distention, and usual pattern of bowel function) before and periodically during therapy.
  • Monitor blood pressure and ECG periodically during prolonged therapy.
  • Lab Test Considerations: Monitor 17–hydroxyprogesterone concentrations, electrolytes, LDH, lipid profile, liver function tests, plasma renin, renal function test, and testosterone periodically during therapy.

Potential Nursing Diagnoses

Deficient knowledge, related to medication regimen (Patient/Family Teaching)


  • Oral: Administration should be limited to 4 wks.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patient to take as directed.
  • Advise female patient to notify health care professional if pregnancy is planned or suspected or if breastfeeding.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • Reduction in dyspepsia.


A preparation from the root of a legume, usually Glycyrrhiza glabra, which contains asparagine, betaine, chalcones, choline, coumarins, flavonoids, glycyrrhizin, gums, isoflavonoids and saponins. Liquorice has a high content of glycyrrhizic acid—glucuronic acid + glycyrrhetinic acid—which is structurally similar to steroids, explaining its anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and antirheumatic effects; it is antitussive, demulcent, expectorant, laxative, sedative and reduces serum glucose and cholesterol.
Chinese medicine
Liquorice is used topically for abscesses and wounds, and internally for abdominal pain and spasms, alcohol and other intoxications, asthma, cholecystitis, cirrhosis, colds, coughing and wheezing, constipation, diabetes, fever, gastritis, gastric ulcers, heartburn, hepatitis, lung congestion, and sore throat.
Herbal medicine
In Western herbal medicine, Glycyrrhiza glabra is used topically for eczema, herpes and skin infections, and internally for arthritis, colic, constipation, cough, gastric ulcers, hepatitis and for many of the same conditions as Chinese medicine.
Excess liquorice causes mineralocorticoid excess (e.g., suppresses 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and the RAA axis), with sodium and water retention, hypertension, hypokalemia and myopathy with myoglobulinuria; it should not be used in patients with glaucoma, hypertension, renal disease or pregnancy.

Liquorice has an unsubstantiated reputation as an aphrodisiac. Its erotic power is mentioned in the Kama Sutra, and liquorice potions are recommended for “sexual vigour”. Liquorice odours are said to increase blood flow to the genitalia.

Glycyrrhiza glabra,

n See licorice.
References in periodicals archive ?
Evaluation of antioxidant and antiatherogenic properties of Glycyrrhiza glabra root using in vitro models.
Effect of gamma irradiation on the antimicrobial and free radical scavenging activities of Glycyrrhiza glabra root.
Comparative brain cholinesterase inhibiting activity of Glycyrrhiza glabra, Myristica fragrans, ascorbic acid and metrifonate in mice.
Key words: Immunology phytopharmaceutical containing Echinacea purpurea and Glycyrrhiza glabra, in vivo carbon-clearance model, in vitro granulocyte-, T-lymphocyte- and chemoluminescence bioassays
Activation of rapid signaling pathways and the subsequent transcriptional regulation for the proliferation of breast cancer MCF-7 cells by the treatment with an extract of Glycyrrhiza glabra root.
37) Glycyrrhiza glabra Artemisia capillaris Morus alba Astragalus membranaceus Carthamus tinctorius Lee et al.
ABS is a plant-based hemostatic agent composed of a standardized mixture of Urtica dioica, Vitis vinifera, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Alpinia officinarum, and Thymus vulgaris.
He referred to the export of the products to other countries, as saying saffron, caraway; Glycyrrhiza glabra and fennel are among the herbal products which have been exported from the country.
Brightening Exfoliant Powder, for example, contains a who's-who of nature's powerhouse skincare ingredients: Allantoin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Salicylic Acid, Zea Mays (Corn Starch).
Iberogast is a multi-component formulation of 9 herbal extracts namely Iberis amara, Angelica archangelica, Matricaria recutita, Carum carvi, Silybum marianum, Melissa officinalis, Mentha x piperita, Chelidonium majus and Glycyrrhiza glabra.
Ankaferd; Thymus vulgaris, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Vitis vinifera, Alpinia officinarum ve Urtica dioica bitkilerinin karisimindan olusmaktadir.
Also Glycyrrhiza glabra, Echinacea spp and Hydrastis canadensis are useful in infection and inflammation.