What are the Medical Uses of Glycyrrhiza Uralensis?

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  • Written By: A. Pasbjerg
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 25 June 2019
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Glycyrrhiza uralensis, or Chinese licorice, is one of the most commonly used herbs in traditional Chinese medicine. Grown mainly in western Asia, it has been recognized by the Chinese for centuries as having a variety of medicinal properties and is considered to be one of their 50 fundamental herbs used in healing. Also referred to as gan cao, it is often prescribed in combination with other herbs and is considered to enhance and facilitate their healing qualities. Due to its sweet flavor, it is also sometimes used to improve the taste of certain medicines.

One of the main uses of Glycyrrhiza uralensis is as a stress reliever. The herb is considered to be adaptogenic, meaning it is thought to help the body deal with stress. Those suffering from tension and anxiety can use the herb to help promote calmness and relaxation.

Another medicinal property of the herb is its ability to increase circulation. This property helps improve overall health and vitality by increasing blood flow throughout the body and helping clear wastes more effectively. One should be careful not to overuse the herb, however, as excessive amounts can cause an unhealthy increase in blood pressure.


People with skin problems may also benefit from using the herb. It has both anti-inflammatory and emollient qualities, which can help soothe and soften irritated, inflamed skin and help improve its appearance. Skin blemishes such as boils or acne may improve with treatments using Chinese licorice, due to its anti-bacterial properties. Preparations such as creams or ointments that can be applied topically are preferred for these types of issues.

Illnesses that affect the respiratory system are sometimes treated using Glycyrrhiza uralensis. Both an anti-tussive and an expectorant, the herb is very helpful in reducing coughs and making them more productive. Those suffering from asthma or respiratory infections such as bronchitis will typically use an internally ingested preparation for treatment.

Another area where Chinese licorice may have positive effects is on the digestive system. It can serve as a laxative and so may be helpful for those struggling with constipation. It is also known to help soothe peptic ulcers when taken internally.

Glycyrrhiza uralensis is also thought to have various other properties that can help treat certain problems. It may be used to treat Addison's disease, as it stimulates adrenal function. It is known to help balance blood sugar levels and hormone production is also stimulated by its use.


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Post 3

Where can I find this supplement and how much does it normally cost? In my experience natural supplements can be shockingly expensive. I don't want to pay too much just to get a mild benefit.

Post 2

I have had problems with anxiety for my entire life. It has had a very negative effect on many aspects of my life but I was always hesitant to go see a psychiatrist and get a prescription. I think that many drugs designed to treat mental conditions do as much harm as good.

I was really excited when I heard about Chinese licorice because it is all natural and has few if any side effects. I figured I would try it and if it worked, great, if not, there would not be any real consequences.

The first day I took it I felt more confident and liberated than I had in years. It is now a part of my daily routine. Even on the days when I don't take it my anxiety is not nearly as bad as it used to be. This stuff really works. I don't want to call it a miracle drug but it is close.

Post 1

I took a supplement of Chinese licorice in order to try and clear up some of my acne. And while it didn't clear it up completely, it did help a lot.

I took a supplement I found at a local nutrition store once a day. I began to see results within a week. My existing acne began to clear up and I did not break out nearly as often as I had before. I had tried many things in the past with little success so I was ecstatic when the licorice began to work.

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