What Are Some Common Uses of Licorice Root?


Quick Answer

Individuals commonly use licorice root to treat digestive issues such as heartburn, stomach ulcers and chronic gastritis as well as bronchitis and eczema, according to WebMD. The root contains chemicals that thin mucous secretions, decrease cough and hasten ulcer healing.

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Full Answer

Research suggests that a product containing licorice root and various other herbs may decrease symptoms of heartburn, as stated by WebMD. Although some evidence suggests that licorice aids the healing of stomach ulcers, findings are mixed as of 2015. Research shows that a licorice gel applied to the skin three times daily for two weeks can reduce symptoms of eczema. Individuals use licorice to treat bleeding, canker sores, osteoarthritis and a variety of other conditions, but more research is needed to prove its effectiveness.

Some people wash their hair with licorice to reduce oiliness, and women use an herbal form of the plant known as Shakuyaku-kanzo-to to treat polycystic ovary syndrome, according to WebMD. Others use the plant to treat bacterial and viral infections. Licorice root interacts with a variety of medications such as warfarin, estrogen and digoxin, so individuals should speak with a doctor before taking this herbal remedy. Licorice may cause high blood pressure, low potassium and paralysis if used in large doses for more than four weeks.

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