Expectorant medicinal plant used mainly in case of cough or phlegm, it is usually found in infusion, root to suck or chew, and candies.


Portuguese name: liquorice, sweet root, regaliz
Binomial name: Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
French name: réglisse , bois doux, racine douce
English name: Liquorice, Licorice (USA)
German name: Süzzholz
Italian name: liquirizia




Triterpene saponins (glycyrrhizin), flavonoids, sugars, phytosterin, coumarins

parts used

Dried roots and stolons


Expectorant, spasmolytic, mild diuretic, anti-ulcer, calming, anti-inflammatory (important effect according to National Geographic)


Cough , bronchitis , catarrh, hoarseness , sore throat , gastric acidity (ulcers), allergic rhinitis , often indicated for external use during a cold sore crisis .

Note: it is estimated that a licorice-based treatment should not exceed a duration of 4 to 6 weeks, as there may be side effects.

Secundary effects

In high doses and prolonged administration there is a risk of side effects on the hormonal system (such as water retention, problems with minerals such as potassium [K]), hypertension, heart problems, kidney problems and lactation.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which spoke on the occasion of Halloween in October 2017, a day of high consumption of sweets, adults over 40 years old should pay special attention not to consume too many sweets containing licorice (in english black liquorice🇧🇷 The American agency estimates that ingesting about 57 grams of licorice per day for at least two weeks could lead people in this age group to seek a hospital with irregular heartbeats or arrhythmia. Glycyrrhizin, found in licorice root, can cause a drop in potassium (K) concentration. When this happens, some people may experience heart rhythm disturbances, as well as high blood pressure, bloating, lethargy, and even congestive heart failure.


Liver problems, pregnancy, anemia, hypertension.


Some diuretics (saluretics) or cardiac glycosides: increased risk of potassium wasting.

Licorice-based preparations

– Licorice Infusion (Licorice Root Infusion)

– Licorice Candies

– Licorice stick

– licorice powder

– Tincture of licorice

– Licorice decoction

Where does licorice grow?

Licorice grows in Europe. Plant that can grow up to 1 m in height, usually just over 50 cm in height. Licorice reaches a height of between 50 and 100 cm. It is a perennial plant, that is, it can live for several years. Flowering occurs in Europe from May to September.


– Licorice root is very popular with children but should not be used for a long time as there is a risk of side effects. It is estimated that a licorice-based treatment should not last longer than 4 to 6 weeks.

– Despite this, licorice root is a good alternative to treat cough in children (as a complement to other treatments), if it is sucked, chewed or used in infusions for a few days, every two hours, for example.


A study cited by National Geographic1 demonstrated the effectiveness of deglycyrrhizinatedlicorice(DGL) in the case of ulcers. In this study, 169 participants with duodenal ulcer were given 380 mg of deglycyrrhised licorice (DGL) three times a day. The results showed that this form of licorice was as effective as conventional antacids or cimetidine.

– Licorice is also widely used in confectionery or candies, however, these delicacies have no medicinal or curative effect, but provide a very pleasant taste.

licorice and pregnancy

A Finnish study published in February 2017 in the specialized journal American Journal of Epidemiologyshowed that licorice should be avoided by pregnant women. In fact, young people who were exposed to very high amounts of licorice (equivalent to more than 500 mg of glycyrrhizin per week) during pregnancy were less successful on tests of cognitive reasoning conducted by psychologists. The difference was equivalent to 7 IQ points. Memory was also affected in these young teenagers exposed to large amounts of licorice during pregnancy. In addition, parents estimated that these young people would be more likely to suffer attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity. The limit of a safe amount of licorice during pregnancy is not known, hence the need to avoid this plant during pregnancy.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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