Licorice Root

Botanical Name: Glycyrrhiza glabra Family: Leguminosae

Common name(s): Licorice


  • Tender perennial | Zones 7-10 | 4-5 feet tall | Lavender and white flowers in mid to late summer
  • Well-drained soil | Full sun to partial shade | Hot climate


Harvest the rhizomes the third year with a needle-nose spade in the spring or fall


Decoction: Boil 1/2-1 teaspoonful of the root in 1 cup water for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3x/day.

Tincture: Take 1-3ml of the tincture 3x/day.

Syrup: Can be added to cough syrup

Cautions: Should not be taken by people with water retention


Constituents: Glycyrrhizic acid, phytoestrogens, coumarins,flavonoids, essential oil, polysaccharides

Actions: Alterative, demulcent,expectorant,laxative

Uses: Adrenal issues, stomach and digestive issues, colds and flu, blood/liver detoxification, mild laxative for children

Combinations: Combine with echinacea, dandelion, red colver, burdock, sassafras, or sarsaparilla for blood detoxification


  • Neutral; pleasant taste


  • Homegrown Herbs, by Tammi Hartung
  • Medicinal Herbs, by Rosemary Gladstar
  • *The Way of Herbs, by Michael Tierra
  • Photo credit: CJ via Flickr cc

Have never really been a fan of the flavor of licorice, but it is a versatile plant. When I had digestive issues, it was one of the recommended herbs and I got it in pill form. Rosemary’s book has a recipe for making herb pills and that’s the way I would go in the future, or make my own tincture.

PS it was really hard to find a free licorice photo!