Glycyrrhiza glabra

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(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 ?
Dual inhibitory effect of Glycyrrhiza glabra (GutGard) on COX and LOX products.
The present study was aimed to prove the efficiency of liquid culture system for rapid clonal multiplication of Glycyrrhiza glabra using shake flasks.
En Glycyrrhiza glabra estan incluidas las variedades siguientes:
a) Glycyrrhiza glabra was demonstrated to reverse markers of liver injury and reduce accumulation of fat in the liver
Glycyrrhiza glabra L (Fabaceae), which commonly called liquorice, is one of the well-known medicinal plants.
The MIC value of aqueous extract of roots of Glycyrrhiza glabra against Candida albicans is 625 g/ml as described by Irani et al.
Both the phenolics were isolated from the rhizomes of Glycyrrhiza glabra.
John's wort) herb, Coptis chinensis (gold thread, huang han) root, Artemisia hudoviciana (western mugwort) leaf, Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root, glycyrrhizin, Schisandra chinensis (wu wei zi) fruit, Astragalus membranaceus (huang qi) root, Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) root, Arctium lappa (burdock) root, shosaiko-to, Xiao Chai Hu Tang, Salvia miltiorrhiza (Chinese sage, dan shen) root, salvianolic acid B, Fuzheng Huayu formula, Gynostemma pentaphyllum (jiao gu lan) root, and Ginkgo biloba seed.
Protection of DNA and microsomal membranes in vitro by Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Objective: Ankaferd[R] Blood Stopper (ABS) comprises a standardized mixture of the plants Thymus vulgaris, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Vitis vinifera, Alpinia officinarum, and Urtica dioica.
Liquorice, extracted from the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant from southern Europe and Asia, has been important in Chinese medicine for centuries.
Glycyrrhiza glabra contains biologically active constituents including glycyrrhizin, glycyrrhetin and glycerrhizinic acid, all of which have anti-inflammatory activity.