Glycyrrhiza glabra (liquorice) has also been used for this purpose since ancient times, especially in Ayurvedic medicine where it is also used in tooth powders. Modern cough syrups often include liquorice extract as an ingredient. Additionally, liquorice may be useful in conventional and naturopathic medicine for both mouth ulcers and peptic ulcers.
Liquorice is also a mild laxative and may be used as a topical antiviral agent for shingles, ophthalmic, oral or genital herpes.
Liquorice affects the body's endocrine system as it contains isoflavones (phytoestrogens). It can lower the amount of serum testosterone, but whether it affects the amount of free testosterone is unclear. Large doses of glycyrrhetinic acid in liquorice extract can lead to hypokalemia and serious increases in blood pressure, a syndrome known as apparent mineralocorticoid excess. It inhibits Helicobacter pylori, is used as an aid for healing stomach and duodenal ulcers, and in moderate amounts may soothe an upset stomach. Liquorice can be used to treat ileitis, leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease as it is antispasmodic in the bowels.
Liquorice is an adaptogen which helps reregulate the Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. It can also be used for auto-immune conditions including lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis and animal dander allergies.