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Licorice

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jun 11, 2021.

What are other common names?

  • Glycyrrhiza glabra
  • Glycyrrhiza uralensis
  • Bois doux
  • Can Cao
  • Chinese Licorice
  • Deglycyrrhized Licorice
  • Gan Cao
  • Gan Zao
  • Glycyrrhizae Extractum Crudum
  • Glycyrrhizae Radix
  • Glycyrrhizic Acid
  • Glycyrrhizinic Acid
  • Isoflavone
  • Kanzo
  • Lakrids
  • Lakritzenwurzel
  • Licochalcone-A
  • Liquiriti Radix
  • Phytoestrogen
  • Russian Licorice
  • Shao-Yao-Gan-Cao-Tang
  • Spanish Licorice
  • Succens Liquiritiae
  • Sweet Root
  • Zhi Gan Cao

What is this product used for?

Licorice may help with certain stomach ulcers caused by bacteria when it is used with other ulcer drugs. It may also help with weight loss. It has also been used to help improve symptoms of sore throat and cough in people who have just had surgery.

What are the precautions when taking this product?

  • Always check with your doctor before you use a natural product. Some products may not mix well with drugs or other natural products.

  • This product may interfere with some lab tests. Be sure to talk with your doctor about this and all drugs you are taking.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor that you take this product if you are scheduled for surgery or tests.

  • Do not use this product if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. Use birth control you can trust while taking this product.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to thin your blood. These are drugs like warfarin (Coumadin), heparin, or enoxaparin (Lovenox).

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to dissolve blood clots. These are drugs like alteplase (Activase), reteplase (Retevase), or streptokinase.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to help with swelling or inflammation. These are drugs like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Naprosyn).

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs for inflammation. Some of these drugs, like cascara, can decrease the potassium in your blood. These are drugs like dexamethasone (Decadron), hydrocortisone (Cortef), or prednisone (Deltasone).

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs called “water pills.” These drugs, like cascara, can decrease the potassium in your blood. These are drugs like furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide, HydroDiuril), or chlorothiazide (Diuril).

  • Take extra care and check with your doctor if you have:

    • Heart problems

    • Kidney problems

    • Eye problems

    • Blood pressure problems

    • Low potassium levels

What should I watch for?

  • Upset stomach

  • Swelling

  • Arm or leg muscle pain, cramps, or numbness

When do I need to call the doctor?

  • Signs of a very bad reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Go to the ER right away.

  • Signs of heart attack. These include chest pain or pressure, a feeling of something sitting on your chest, trouble breathing, sweating, fast heartbeat, and dizziness.

  • Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headaches, nervousness, problems breathing, or nosebleeds.

  • Signs of low blood sugar. These include anger, hunger, dizziness, shaking, a fast heartbeat, confusion, or sweating.

  • Very bad throwing up

  • Very bad loose stools

  • Very bad headache

  • Bruising or bleeding that is not normal

  • Changes in your menstrual periods like lots of bleeding, spotting, or bleeding between cycles.

Where can I learn more?

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/licoriceroot

Last Reviewed Date

2019-05-09

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