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Planta Med. 2015 Dec;81(18):1654-69. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1557893. Epub 2015 Sep 14.

The Pharmacological Activities of Licorice.

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School of Chinese Pharmacy, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China.


Licorice is one of the oldest and most frequently used herbs in traditional Chinese medicine. It contains more than 20 triterpenoids and 300 flavonoids. In recent years, a lot of studies have reported that the active compounds isolated from licorice possess antitumor, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, immunoregulatory, and several other activities that contribute to the recovery and protection of the nervous, alimentary, respiratory, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems. In this paper, nine different pharmacological activities of licorice are summarized. The active compounds responsible for these pharmacological activities, the molecular mechanisms, and in vivo and in vitro studies are listed in detail. Furthermore, the clinical therapeutics and toxicity studies of licorice are also discussed. We hope this work can provide a basis for further studies concerning with the safe and effective use of licorice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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