Licorice Definition

Discover the definition, types, health benefits, and side effects of licorice. Explore case studies and statistics on this versatile plant with a sweet flavor and medicinal properties.

What is Licorice?

Licorice, also spelled as liquorice, is a plant native to Southern Europe and parts of Asia. It is widely known for its unique sweet flavor and medicinal properties. The licorice plant has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda for its various health benefits.

Types of Licorice

  • Glycyrrhiza glabra
  • Glycyrrhiza uralensis
  • Glycyrrhiza inflata

Health Benefits of Licorice

Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, a compound known for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. It is commonly used to treat coughs, sore throat, and digestive issues. Licorice has also been studied for its potential effects on hormonal balance, cognitive function, and skin health.

Side Effects of Licorice

While licorice offers numerous health benefits, excessive consumption can lead to side effects such as high blood pressure, fluid retention, and potassium depletion. Individuals with hypertension, heart conditions, or kidney disease should consult a healthcare professional before using licorice as a remedy.

Case Studies

A study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis found that licorice extract exhibited significant anti-inflammatory effects in animal models. Another study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology reported that licorice root extract showed potential in improving memory and cognitive function in aged mice.


According to a market research report by Grand View Research, the global licorice extract market was valued at $99.7 million in 2020 and is projected to reach $131.3 million by 2028, with a compound annual growth rate of 3.6%.

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