Licorice has long been used for both culinary and medical purposes. Used for flavouring and sweetening candies and medical remedies, licorice also has other potent effects, particularly for ulcers and adrenal insufficiencies. Whole licorice is used for cases of adrenal insufficiencies and inflammation. Another more widely used form is the deglycyrrhizinated one, which is as effective as whole licorice in its ulcer-treating properties, but without any hypertensive side effects.
Licorice contains the glycoside glycyrrhizin, which has a similar structure and activity as the adrenal steroids. Licorice has an anti-inflammatory activity similar to that of cortisone and has been found useful for arthritis and allergies. In addition, licorice has been used for mild Addisons disease and other adrenal insufficiencies, such as hypoglycemia.
Licorice is used for ulcers and stomach distress, inflammatory problems, arthritis, adrenal insufficiency, Addisons disease, hypoglycemia, cirrhosis and liver damage, skin problems, rashes, dermatitis, impetigo, coughs and bronchial complaints, bacterial infections, and constipation, as well as as a female tonic.