Additional notes (click to expand)


Traditional Herbal Medicine Registration (THMR).

Culpeper: ‘Of Liquoris, the best there is grows in England. It ... helps the roughness of the windpipe, Hoarseness, diseases in the kidney or bladder, and ulcers in the bladder (which in my opinion is a very difficult thing to cure, although curable) ... helps difficulty of breathing ... the root dried and beaten into a powder, and the powder put into the eye is a special remedy for a Pin and a Web.’
Culpeper, Nicholas. (1650). A Physical Directory . London, Peter Cole.

Liquorice was one of the most widely known medicines in ancient history as documented in Assyrian tablets and Chinese herbals of 2000 BC .
DeSwiet, Michael. (2012). Liquorice Glycyrrhiza glabra. link

Notes: A Pin is caligo, a spot on the cornea that obscures sight; a Web is a pterygium, a vascular overgrowth from the conjunctiva over the cornea. They were brave herbalists (and patients) who put herbal compounds onto the eye.
Oakeley, Dr. H. F. (2013). The Gardens of the Pharmacopoeia Londinensis.

Liquorice is a source of glycyrrhizin and glycrrhetinic acid. Carbenoxolone, a synthetic derivative of glycyrrhetinic acid, is a licensed drug (in the UK) for oesophageal ulceration and inflammation. Other uses include treatment of oral and perioral lesions. Carbenoxolone (aka Carbenoxolone, CBX) is also used as a blocker of the enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11β-HSD), of pannexon membrane channels (comprising 6 subunits of pannexin) and the related innexon channels (consisting of invertebrate innexins), and at higher concentrations, as a blocker of connexon channels ("hemichannels" made up of 6 connexin subunits each) and of gap junctions (2 connexons joined together). Animal and in vitro studies suggest that this blockade can increase insulin sensitivity.[citation needed] Nootropic effects[edit]. Carbenoxolone has also been investigated for nootropic effects.[1] This research started from an observation that long-term exposure to glucocorticoids may have negative effects on cognition. Carbenoxolone may decrease the amount of active glucocortocoid in the brain, because the drug inhibits 11Beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1, an enzyme which degrades cortisol, an active glucocorticoid to cortisone (inactive). In the research trial investigating this use of carbenoloxone, it was shown that the drug improved verbal fluency in elderly healthy men (aged 55–75). In type 2 diabetics aged 52–70, the drug improved verbal memory. However, potassium-sparing diuretic amiloride was co-administered with carbenoxolone, since carbenoxolone used by itself may cause hypertension by increasing cortisol in the kidneys. References[edit] 1.Jump up ^ Sandeep TC, Yau JL, MacLullich AM, et al. (2004). "11Beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase inhibition improves cognitive function in healthy elderly men and type 2 diabetics". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 101 (17): 6734–9. doi:10.1073/pnas.0306996101. PMC 404114. PMID 15071189. Accessed April 2014

Medicinal uses Uses supported by clinical data None. Uses described in pharmacopoeias and in traditional systems of medicine As a demulcent in the treatment of sore throats, and as an expectorant in the treatment of coughs and bronchial catarrh. Also in the prophylaxis and treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers, and dyspepsia (1, 6, 8, 27– 29). As an anti-infl ammatory agent in the treatment of allergic reactions (27), rheumatism and arthritis (9), to prevent liver toxicity, and to treat tuberculosis and adrenocorticoid insuffi ciency (9, 30). Uses described in folk medicine, not supported by experimental or clinical data As a laxative, emmenagogue, contraceptive, galactagogue, antiasthmatic drug, and antiviral agent (15). In the treatment of dental caries, kidney stones, heart disease (15), “consumption”, epilepsy, loss of appetite, appendicitis, dizziness, tetanus, diphtheria, snake bite, and haemorrhoids (11, 13). Contraindications Radix Glycyrrhizae is contraindicated in patients with hypertension, cholestatic disorders or cirrhosis of the liver, hypokalaemia, or chronic renal insuffi ciency, and during pregnancy (9, 29).
WHO monographs on medicinal plants commonly used in the Newly Independent States (NIS). 2010. WHO, Geneva


In Yorkshire liquorice is known as Spanish, supposedly because in the past, Spanish monks grew liquorice root at Riveaux Abbey. Liquorice was either taken to Pontefract by the Benedictine monks that came to the town in 1090 or brought from the Crusades by a member of the De Lacy family who built Pontefract Castle.
DeSwiet, Michael. (2012). Liquorice Glycyrrhiza glabra. link

Sweet wood.
Oakeley, Dr. H. F. (2013). The Gardens of the Pharmacopoeia Londinensis.

Family name change from Papilionaceae

Other use

Food flavouring. 60% of liquorice production worldwide is used for flavouring tobacco.

Recently liquorice made from liquorice root was used for confectionary such as the famous Pomfret (Pontefract Cake ) or Yorkshire Penny. By 1885, there were 10 companies producing liquorice sweets in Pontefract.
DeSwiet, Michael. (2012). Liquorice Glycyrrhiza glabra. link


Avoid in pregnancy as it may cause abortions due to oestrogenic activity; hyper- aldosteronism may result from excessive ingestion (MCA, 2002).
Medicines and Health Care Regulatory Agency , MCA. (2002). Medicines and Health Care Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for restricted or prohibited herbal medicines. Medicines and Health Care Regulatory Agency . link

Wikipedia (see also for more information): Its major dose-limiting toxicities are corticosteroid in nature, due to the inhibitory effect its chief active constituents, glycyrrhizin and enoxolone have on cortisol degradation and include: oedema, hypokalaemia, weight gain or loss and hypertension.[40][41] Accessed May 2014

Geographical distribution

  • Asia-Temperate, Caucasus, North Caucasus
  • Asia-Temperate, Caucasus, Transcaucasus
  • Asia-Temperate, China
  • Asia-Temperate, Middle Asia, Kazakhstan
  • Asia-Temperate, Middle Asia, Kyrgyzstan
  • Asia-Temperate, Middle Asia, Tadzhikistan
  • Asia-Temperate, Middle Asia, Turkmenistan
  • Asia-Temperate, Middle Asia, Uzbekistan
  • Asia-Temperate, Mongolia
  • Asia-Temperate, Siberia
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Afghanistan
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Cyprus
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Iran
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Iraq
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Israel
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Jordan
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Lebanon-Syria
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Turkey
  • Asia-Tropical, Indian Subcontinent, India
  • Asia-Tropical, Indian Subcontinent, Pakistan
  • Europe, Eastern Europe, East European Russia
  • Europe, Eastern Europe, South European Russia
  • Europe, Eastern Europe, Ukraine
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Albania
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Bulgaria
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Greece
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Italy
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Romania
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Yugoslavia
  • Europe, Southwestern Europe, France


Glycyrrhiza glabra L.

Genus: Glycyrrhiza
Species: glabra L.
Common names: Licorice; Liquorice
Pharmacopoeia Londinensis name: Glycyrrhyza
Distribution summary: Eurasia
Habit: Perennial
Hardiness: H5 - Hardy; cold winter
Habitat: Frequently on sandy soils
Garden status: Currently grown
Garden location: Pharmacopoeia Londinensis 1618 'Roots' (HSE 3)
Flowering months: June, July
Reason for growing: Medicinal, other use, traditional herbal registration

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