Dear Pharmacist: What is licorice root? I heard you talk about it at a lecture and say something like it could take the place of lots of different drugs, and that it helped with chronic fatigue. — W.W. Dallas, Texas
Answer: Licorice root is an herbal remedy often used in Chinese traditional medicine. It’s ancient, and was used by the Greeks and Romans for many health concerns such as ulcers, sore throat, asthma, depression, menopause, arthritis, heartburn, gastrointestinal concerns of all sorts and various viral infections (like hepatitis and the flu). Unfortunately, licorice candy (mmm, Twizzlers) doesn’t have quite the same effect, but hey, that’s not to say you couldn’t indulge in that every now and then! Just know that licorice root is a totally different animal, and unlike candy, it has many medicinal properties.
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