Planta Med 2015; 81(18): 1654-1669
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1557893
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Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

The Pharmacological Activities of Licorice

Rui Yang
School of Chinese Pharmacy, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China
,
Li-qiang Wang
School of Chinese Pharmacy, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China
,
Bo-chuan Yuan
School of Chinese Pharmacy, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China
,
Ying Liu
School of Chinese Pharmacy, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 13 September 2014
revised 17 July 2015

accepted 23 July 2015

Publication Date:
14 September 2015 (online)

Abstract

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.