Chinese Licorice Root

Picture of chinese licorice plant

Chinese Licorice Plant

Chinese Licorice Root Benefits

Licorice root is great for de-toxifing the body. It can remove over twelve hundred toxins.

It is mixed into many Chinese herbal formulas to enhance the effects of the other herbs and reduce any bad side effects they may have. Some believe that it can remove intoxication from alcohol and drugs, though no scientific studies have confirmed this.

In China, licorice is knows as “The great detoxifier”.

Licorice is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant and antispasmodic in nature. It is probably best known for it’s expectorant and demulcent activity. Licorice, for many years, has been an important ingredient in cough drops and syrup. It’s also beneficial for treating cold, flu and sore throat and any illness caused by virus or bacteria.

This root has so many healing properties it’s hard to list them all. Some others include the treatment of bronchitis, tooth decay, gingivitis, canker sores, ulcers, muscle cramps, enlarged prostate, dandruff, liver conditions, arthritis and many more.

Chinese Licorice root has been widely used in China for the treatment of ulcers. It possesses the ability to lower acid levels in the stomach, relieve indigestion and heartburn. It is also has mild laxative effects. It is good for relieving inflammation and irritation in the digestive tract. It also helps the liver by increasing the flow of bile.

This Chinese herb can also enhance the immune system by naturally boosting interferon levels. Interferon is a chemical that fights viruses. It’s Glycyrrhizinic acid content also stops the growth of harmful bacteria and viruses.

Chinese Licorice should not be confused with licorice from other locations, such as Europe and America. “Glycyrrhiza Uralensis” is the Chinese licorice. Other types of licorice like “Glycyrrhiza glabra” do NOT have the same healing properties discussed here. They do have their own set of healing properties though that you might want to research further.

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Chinese Licorice root Uses

  • Treat coughs, colds and flu
  • Treat depression
  • Weight loss
  • Anti fatigue
  • Treat body odor
  • Assist the pancreas
  • Treat bronchitis, emphysema, tuberculosis and asthma
  • Treat dandruff and baldness
  • Treat gingivitis and tooth decay
  • Treat canker sores
  • Treat viral and bacterial infections
  • Treat skin conditions such as rash, eczema and shingles and psoriasis
  • Treat fungal infections like athlete’s foot
  • Treat heartburn and GERD
  • Treat ulcers
  • Treat liver problems
  • Treat constipation
  • Treat cancer
  • Treat hepatitis
  • Treat yeast infections
  • Reduce PMS, hot flashes and mood swings
  • Treat prostate enlargement
  • Treat arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis and gout

Scientific Name

Glycyrrhiza Uralensis

Common Names

Guo Lao, sweat herb, sweet wood, beauty grass, elf grass, pink grass

Where It Grows

This plant is native to China

Which Part Of The Plant Is Used

The root

Picture of Chinese Licorice Root

Chinese Licorice Root

How It Works

Chinese Licorice root contains many beneficial substances, like glycyrrhizin, plant sterols, glycosides, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals. It promotes the proper functioning of the adrenal glands.

How It’s Used

Chinese licorice root is available in capsules, tablets, tea, extracts and syrup.

Precautions and Side Effects:

Chinese Licorice root should not be taken by people with high blood pressure or heart disease. Do NOT take if Pregnant or nursing. May cause the retention of water.

Description and History Of Chinese Licorice

Chinese licorice is a perennial plant that grows from three to seven feet tall and grows in grassy plains. It prefers a dry climate and sunshine. The root is brown and wrinkled with it’s inside colored yellow. It has a sweat taste. The plant has on average five pairs of dark green leaves. In Chinese herbalism, licorice is at the top of the list with ginseng in importance for treating disease and insuring good health.

Licorice root is one of the most widely used herbs in Chinese medicine. It is thought to enhance the effects of all other herbs. The Chinese herbalist have been using this potent herb for over 5,000 years. It was mentioned in their oldest medical texts, “Shen Nong’s Herbal Classic”. In Chinese “Guo Lao”, another name for licorice, means “Teacher of the King”. Licorice is about 50 times sweater than sugar.

Editor’s Comments

I have used licorice many times for the treatment of cough and gingivitis and sometimes heartburn. It is most effective.


Medline Plus – Licorice Report
National Center For Alternative Medicine


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