Licorice or Liquorice :
Licorice is the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra from which a somewhat sweet flavour can be extracted.There are two main methods of making licorice extract . In both methods, the roots of the licorice plants are harvested and dried, after which they are cleaned. In the first method, the licorice roots then are ground into powder, which can then be used as is or mixed with water.
In the second (more modern) method, the roots are pulped and boiled, and the extract is concentrated by allowing the water to evaporate. If the extract is in dried form, it can be stored indefinitely.
The compound glycyrrhizin (or glycyrrhizic acid), found in liquorice, has been proposed as being useful for liver protection in tuberculosis therapy, however evidence does not support this use which may in fact be harmful. Glycyrrhizin has also demonstrated antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, and blood-pressure increasing effects in vitro and in vivo, as is supported by the finding that intravenous glycyrrhizin (as if it is given orally very little of the original drug makes it into circulation) slows the progression of viral and autoimmune hepatitis. Liquorice has also demonstrated promising activity in one clinical trial, when applied topically, against atopic dermatitis. Additionally liquorice has also proven itself effective in treating hyperlipidaemia. Liquorice has also demonstrated efficacy in treating inflammation-induced skin hyperpigmentation. Liquorice may also be useful in preventing neurodegenerative disorders and cavities. Anti-ulcer, laxative, anti-diabetic and expectorant properties of liquorice have also been noted.
Liquorice may be useful in conventional and naturopathic medicine for both mouth ulcers and peptic ulcers.