An herb entry from the Ancient Herbs and Modern Herbs book by James K. Sayre, Copyright, 2001. All rights reserved.


Licorice, Chinese - Glycyrrhiza uralinsis (Glycyrrhiza viscida) - family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae) (Mimosaceae) (Pea Family) (Pulse Family) (Mimosa Family).

This perennial plant grows to about three feet high. It has compound leaves with oval-shaped dark green leaflets. Each summer it has spikes of pea-like violet flowers. The flowers are followed by hanging pods, which contain the seeds. Chinese Licorice is very similar in its medicinal effects to Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra). Its roots have been used as a source of folk medicine in Asia for thousands of years. Traditional Chinese Medicine use of roots (Gan Cao) as a remedy for bronchitis, coughs, bladder ailments, inflammations, kidney ailments and liver problems. Also used as an herbal tea. Note: Licorice has a high sodium content. Note: it should not be taken by persons with high blood pressure, liver problems, gall bladder problems, heart disease or kidney problems. Note: do not use if you suffer from low blood potassium. Note: with long-term use, Licorice may cause medical problems such as asthma, headaches, high blood pressure and indigestion. Note: do not take if pregnant or nursing. Native to northern China, Japan, Manchuria and Siberia in Asia. Cultivated as a medicinal herb and as an ornamental in North America.


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Web page last updated on 21 May 2003.