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Nom scientifique : Glycyrrhiza glabra

Synonyms : soft wood, sweetened wood, soft root, licorice root

Part(s) used

Fresh or dried root

Principal constituents

Glycyrrhizic, glycyrrhizine acid, flavonoids and isoflavonoids

Recognized therapeutic effects

  • Relieves inflammation of the digestive tract (peptic ulcers, heartburn, gastritis)

Traditional use

  • Treats dry cough, respiratory tract inflammation, sore throat and laryngitis
  • Relieves rheumatism and arthritis
  • Relieves inflammation of the urinary and intestinal tracts
  • Used externally to treat ocular and skin inflammation
  • Used as a mouthwash to treat oral herpes sores and mouth ulcers

Contraindications

  • Hypertension, hypokalemia and cardiovascular disease
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Kidney failure
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Diabetes
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Serious congestion of respiratory mucous membranes
  • Male sexual dysfunction
  • Prolonged use (+4 to 6 wks)

Drug interactions

  • Increases toxicity of Lanoxin (Digoxin)
  • Counteracts effects of antihypertensive diuretics (Aldactone, Aldactazide, Moduret)
  • Used simultaneously with Aspirin, reduces gastric bleeding
  • Increases effectiveness of interferon (used to treat hepatitis)
  • Provides additional protective effect in the case of gastric ulcers when taken with Cimetidine
  • Increases absorption of Nitrofurantoin
  • Prolongs effect of corticosteroids and topical corticosteroids (hydrocortisone)

Please note: The natural health product should not be confused with candy store licorice, which is made up mostly of sugar. This causes problems when taken with medication containing insulin or oral antidiabetics (Actos, Diabeta, Diamicron, Avandia, etc.)

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