The licorice root is often used to flavor herbal formulas, but it has important medicinal properties of its own. Chinese herbalists prescribe it for several digestive and stomach problems and for coughs and colds. Licorice is also considered an anti-inflammatory medication, useful in treating skin diseases and it is prescribed as well for ulcers. The best form of the herb is powdery, with a thin, unwrinkled, reddish brown outer skin and a white cross section. The raw form is characterized as neutral in traditional Chinese medicine; when fried in honey it is believed to be a warm herb.
Taken internally for:
Licorice can be purchased in bulk from Chinese pharmacies, Asian markets and some Western health food stores. It also is available in tablet form.
Combinations: Mixed with ephedra stem and apricot seed, licorice is prescribed for coughing and wheezing. A preparation of licorice and mung bean is believed to be an antidote to aconite and several other toxins. And combined with honeysuckle flowers it is used to treat rashes or . For details on dosages and preparations, check with a Chinese medicine practitioner.
Euphorbia, genkwa flower, kan-sui root, sargassum seaweed and polygala are considered incompatible with licorice.