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Liqourice introduction.

Liquorice Root
Natural Liquorice

Research Papers


Liquorice and its natural compounds demonstrate anti-inflammatory activities and has been traditionally used to eliminate phlegm, releive coughing and alleviate pain. A meta-analysis published in Pharmaceutical Biology review 93 research papers showed 3 triterpene and 13 flavonoids present in liquorice were responsible for its anti-inflammatory action. These compounds down-regulate inflammatory pathways such as TNF-a, MMPs and PGE2, suggesting Liquorice can serve as a therapeutic treatment for inflammatory conditions. 

Yang R, Yuan BC, Ma YS, Zhou S, Liu Y. The anti-inflammatory activity of liquorice, a widely used Chinese herb. Pharm Biol. 2017;55(1):5-18.

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Sore Throats 

Two clinical trials have reported that a liquorice gargle reduces the incidence of post operative sore throat. The large trial was double blinded and placebo controlled involving 236 patients intubated for surgery. The test group gargled with liquorice solution for one minute while the control gargled with simple syrup. The results showed the Liquorice gargle halved the incidence of postoperative sore throat by improving pain at rest and difficulty swallowing on the Likert scale. 

Ruetzler K et al. A randomized, double-blind comparison of licorice versus sugar-water gargle for prevention of postoperative sore throat and post extubation coughing. Anesth Analg. 2013 Sep;117(3):614-621.

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Cough & Mucus 

Herbal medicine uses liquorice to reduce the frequency of cough (anti-tussive) and to loosen mucus, making it easier to cough up (expectorant). A 2017 study published in Bio-Organic and Medicinal Chemistry Journal identified that Liquiritin Aposide and Liquiritin, two compounds present in Liquorice reduce cough frequency by 30-78% in animal models. Additionally these two compounds and liquiritigenin showed potent expectorant activity after 3 days of treatment. The results suggest that liquiritin apioside and liquiritin are the major cough suppressant and expectorant compounds in liquorice. 

Kuang Y, Li B, Fan J, Qiao X, Ye M. Antitussive and expectorant activities of licorice and its major compounds. Bioorg Med Chem. 2018 Jan 1;26(1):278-284.

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