9 Health Benefits of Licorice: Can Relieve Sore Throat and Coughing Up with Phlegm

Licorice is an herbal plant from Mediterranean lands that is widely used as a health medicine. Apart from being used as medicine, this liquorice from ancient times has often been used as a sweetener in candy or sweet drinks. Licorice is available in a variety of substance forms, either containing glycyrrhizin acid or as deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL).

Health Benefits of Licorice

The nutritional content in licorice is protein, carbohydrates, sugar, vitamin A, and antioxidant compounds such as flavonoids and glycyrrhizin.

Licorice is a natural ingredient that also has many benefits. What are the health benefits of licorice?

1. Increase immunity

Licorice contains triterpenoids, which are antiviral substances that are great for supporting the body's immune system. According to a study published in Food Chemistry, the roots of this herbal plant also contain antioxidants that can ward off free radicals and increase the body's resistance so you don't get sick easily. Some medicines also use the root of this plant for diseases, such as hepatitis C, HIV, and influenza.

2. Relieves cough and sore throat

Licorice root is useful for relieving sore throats and coughs with phlegm. This herb can help soothe the throat and expel the phlegm that keeps you coughing.

This herb is also known to contain anti-inflammatory substances. These substances function to calm inflammation so that the sore throat you feel subsides. Use the root extract of this herbal plant as a syrup or tea.

3. Relieves symptoms of PMS and menopause

Licorice is also known to have a similar effect to the hormone estrogen to relieve PMS pain in women. Plus, a study from Health Care for Women International found that licorice root can also treat menopausal symptoms. The effect resulting from drinking this plant extract is even said to be better than the effect of hormone therapy.

4. Treating pain

As a plant root that contains antispasmodic substances, licorice tea has the effect of being able to relieve cramps in the stomach or other parts of the body muscles. Meanwhile, plant extracts in the form of ointments can also help relieve discomfort due to joint pain.

5. Possibility to help treat cancer

The American Cancer Society is currently researching the benefits of licorice on the treatment of breast and prostate cancer. However, some Chinese medicine has long used this root for cancer. Even though it has been used for a long time to treat cancer, it is a wise step if you still consult your doctor about using licorice root or any other treatment.

6. Treating skin and dental problems

Topical ointments containing licorice are widely recommended for treating eczema skin disease. This plant whose roots are beneficial, can be used as an ingredient in skin medicine because of its antibacterial properties.

In addition, because of its nature, many herbalists use this plant extract to treat tooth decay or cavities caused by bacteria.

7. Treating stomach pain

Licorice root is a plant commonly used to treat stomach aches and other digestive problems. In cases of food poisoning, heartburn, and heartburn, the root extract of this medicinal plant can help speed up repair of the stomach lining. Licorice can also help restore the acid balance in it. This is due to the anti-inflammatory and immune properties derived from the glycyrrhizic acid in this plant.

In addition, a study found that glycyrrhizic acid can prevent the growth of the toxic bacteria H. pylori in the intestines in large quantities. There is also research that shows people who have peptic ulcer disease, heartburn, or gastritis have improved symptoms when using DGL.

DGL is one form of licorice that is safer and can be consumed in the long term.

8. Relieve stress

When under stress, the adrenal glands will try to produce adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormone) constantly. As a result, the two hormones will increase in number in the body. Quoted from Healthline, the extracted licorice root can suppress the body so that it doesn't release the adrenal hormone continuously.

In addition, this liquorice extract can also help control the levels of the hormone cortisol in the body so that the amount is not excessive. That way the stress symptoms you feel can subside.

9. Lighten underarm skin and protect skin

It turns out that this one plant is also a natural ingredient to brighten underarm skin and protect skin. Many deodorant products use this plant as the main ingredient of their product.

This plant extract is also able to treat itchy and inflamed skin in people with eczema. The active substance in this plant is also able to overcome skin hyperpigmentation conditions and counteract the effects of sun damage.

There are also other allegations about the benefits of licorice in treating certain medical conditions, such as bleeding, hepatitis, Addison's disease, high cholesterol, polycystic ovary syndrome, infections, coughs, muscle cramps, weight loss, irritable bowel syndrome, and psoriasis. However, further research is still needed to determine the effectiveness and safety of licorice in treating these medical conditions.

In What Forms Is Licorice Available?

Liquid extract

This plant is generally consumed after being extracted into a liquid. This plant extract usually tastes sweet, so it is often used as a flavoring for candy or warm drinks. If you are taking extracts of this herbal plant, pay attention to the dosage not exceeding 30 mg / mL. Because, the content of glycyrrhizic acid as much as possible can trigger dangerous side effects.


In herbal stores, this plant can also be obtained in powder form that can be mixed with ointments for the skin. Its use in combination with a gel base makes it a topical ointment that cleanses the skin. This medicinal powder can treat eczema and acne. According to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, the recommended dosage for the use of licorice root in a day is less than 75 milligrams.


The leaves of licorice root can also be used as medicine. To do this, you can dry the leaves and crush them before brewing them into tea. If you want to be more practical, you can also find this plant tea at supermarkets or drugstores. You should not consume more than 8 ounces of licorice tea per day. Drinking too much of it may have harmful effects.


DGL aka deglycyrrhizinated licorice is a form of licorice with glycyrrhizin in it. This is the safer form. DGL should contain no more than 2 percent of the glycyrrhizin content. DGL is available in tablet, capsule, tea and powder form. The recommended consumption limit is no more than 5 grams of DGL per day.

Know the Side Effects Consumption of Licorice

In general, consumption of licorice contained in food and drinks is still considered safe, as long as it is still in accordance with the dosage. Likewise, if you apply it to the skin, with a note of use in a short time. However, the use of licorice in large amounts and over a long period of time is not recommended, because it will cause dangerous effects, including irregular heartbeat, hypertension, hypokalemia, paralysis, and brain damage.

In addition, other side effects that may occur due to consuming licorice include:
  • Headache.
  • Fatigue.
  • Menstrual disorders.
  • Buildup of fluid and sodium in the body.
  • Decreased sexual desire in men.

Caution also for pregnant women, you are advised not to consume licorice. Consuming large doses will increase the risk of preterm birth, and even miscarriage and fetal defects. Although the exact effect is not yet known, you are also advised not to consume licorice while breastfeeding.

Therefore, consult your doctor first before deciding to consume licorice, and always read the ingredients listed on the packaging label for medicinal and food products.

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