Gaultheria procumbens L. (Ericaceae) Box Berry, Checker Berry, Creeping Wintergreen, Mountain Tea, Teaberry, Wintergreen Teaberry (Medicine)

Gaultheria procumbens L. (Ericaceae) Box Berry, Checker Berry, Creeping Wintergreen, Mountain Tea, Teaberry, Wintergreen Teaberry

Medicinal Uses (Wintergreen) —

I find the aroma of the methyl salicylate, the active main ingredient in wintergreen, very pleasant. I frequently use a boswellin cream with wintergreen when my knee acts up. In Maine, we make wintergreen tea, drinking it and applying it topically for chronic or temporary pain. There’s more than analgesic methyl-salicylate, there are at least three more analgesics: caffeic-acid, ferulic-acid, and gentisic-acid. And it complements the red pepper with its analgesic capsaicin, and the peppermint with its menthol. You’ll find several OTC pain relievers using these herbs alone, or any one of their constituents, or in various combination. Methyl salicylate has been employed in baths, liniments, and ointments, for pain relief, e.g., in gout, lumbago, rheumatism, and sciatica. Children who chew the roots for six weeks each spring reportedly suffer less tooth decay. With leaves shaped like South America’s coca leaves, these wintergreen leaves and/or fruits were used by North American Indians to keep their breath when portaging heavy loads. Algonquin guides chewed the leaves to improve their breathing (and I expect their breath as well) during hunting. Amerindians smoked and chewed the dried leaves. Quebec Indians rolled the leaves around aching teeth. The EO is used as an analgesic, antiseptic, and counterirritant in rheumatism, lumbago, and sciatica. Like so many other aromatic EOs, its oil can be fatal if ingested in large quantities. The whole plant is used as an antiseptic, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, lactagogue, nervine, rube-facient, stimulant, antirheumatic, and as a flavoring in medicine. The tea is used as a gargle for sore throat and stomatosis, as a douche for leucorrhea, and as a collyrium for conjunctivitis. Small doses stimulate the stomach, large doses cause vomiting. It may be used for diarrhea, and as an infant’s carminative. Leaves are used in the treatment of asthma.
In an interesting case of synergy, Jin et al. (1999) show that aloesin and arbutin inhibit tyrosinase synergistically, acting via different mechanism.
And death from stomach inflammations have resulted from frequent and large doses of the oil. The highest average maximum use level is ca. 0.04% in candy. Not listed under FDA §172.510, 182.10, or 182.20. Wintergreen has lectinic, including mitogenic properties. Salicylism usually marked by tinnitus, nausea, and vomiting and may result from excessive dosage of salicylic acid and/or its salts.


Indications (Wintergreen) —

Amenorrhea (f; CEB); Arthrosis (1; DEM; FNF; PHR; PH2); Asthma (f; CEB; PHR; PH2); Bacteria (1; FNF); Cancer (1; CEB; FNF; LEL); Candida (1; FNF); Caries (1; CEB; CRC; FNF); Catarrh (f; CRC); Cold (1; DEM; FAD; FNF); Colic (1; APA; MAD); Congestion (f; MAD); Conjunctivosis (f; CRC); Cough (1; X1798722); Cramp (1; FNF); Cystosis (1; FNF); Debility (f; CEB); Dermatosis (f; CRC); Diabetes (1; CRC; FNF); Diaphragmosis (1;
MAD; PHR); Diarrhea (f; CEB; CRC); Dropsy (f; CRC); Dysentery (f; DEM); Dysmenorrhea (1;
CRC; FNF; MAD; PHR); Dyspepsia (1; APA; DEM); Dyspnea (f; CEB; CRC); Edema (1; APA; FNF); Epididymosis (1; CRC; MAD; PHR); Fever (1; APA; CRC; FAD; MAD); Flu (1; DEM; FNF); Fungus (1; FNF); Gas (1; APA); Gastrosis (f; CRC; MAD); Gingivosis (1; DEM; FNF); Gonorrhea (f; CRC); Gout (1; CRC; FNF; MAD); Headache (1; APA; DEM; FAD; FNF); Heart (f; MIC); Immunodepression (1; FNF); Infection (1; FNF; MAD); Inflammation (1; APA; FNF); Ischiosis (f; MAD); Leukorrhea (f; CRC); Lumbago (1; CRC; DEM; FAD); Myosis (1; APA; FAD);
Nephrosis (f; DEM; FAD); Neuralgia (1; FAD; PH2); Ophthalmia (f; CEB); Orchosis (1; CRC;
MAD; PHR); Ovariosis (1; PHR); Pain (1; APA; MAD); Pertussis (f; MAD); Pleurisy (1; PHR); Pleurosis (f; MAD); Pleurodynia (1; CRC; PHR); Rheumatism (1; APA; CRC; FAD; FNF); Sciatica (1; CRC; FAD; PH2); Scrofula (f; CRC); Sniffle (f; MAD); Sore Throat (1; APA; CRC); Sprain (1; BOW; FAD); Stomachache (1; DEM; FAD); Stomatosis (1; CRC; FNF); Streptococcus (1; FNF); Stroke (f; MIC); Swelling (1; X1875280); Tapeworm (f; DEM); Toothache (1; CRC; FNF); Typhus (f; MAD); Uterosis (f; MAD); UTI (1; FNF); VD (f; CRC; DEM); Water Retention (1; APA; CEB; FNF); Worm (f; DEM); Yeast (1; FNF).

Wintergreen for cold/flu:

• Analgesic: caffeic-acid; ferulic-acid; gallic-acid; gentisic-acid; methyl-salicylate; ursolic-acid
• Antiallergic: ferulic-acid
• Antibacterial: arbutin; caffeic-acid; ferulic-acid; gallic-acid; gentisic-acid; p-coumaric-acid; p-hydroxy-benzoic-acid; tannic-acid; vanillic-acid
• Antibronchitic: gallic-acid
• Antiflu: caffeic-acid; gallic-acid; lupeol
• Antihistaminic: caffeic-acid; ursolic-acid
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-amyrin; caffeic-acid; ferulic-acid; gallic-acid; gaultherin; gen-tisic-acid; lupeol; methyl-salicylate; ursolic-acid; vanillic-acid
• Antioxidant: caffeic-acid; ferulic-acid; gallic-acid; lupeol; p-coumaric-acid; p-hydroxy-benzoic-acid; tannic-acid; ursolic-acid; vanillic-acid
• Antipharyngitic: tannic-acid
• Antipyretic: methyl-salicylate
• Antiseptic: arbutin; caffeic-acid; ericolin; gallic-acid; methyl-salicylate; tannic-acid
• Antitussive: arbutin
• Antiviral: caffeic-acid; ferulic-acid; gallic-acid; gentisic-acid; lupeol; tannic-acid; ursolic-acid
• COX-2-Inhibitor: ursolic-acid
• Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor: gallic-acid; ursolic-acid
• Immunostimulant: caffeic-acid; ferulic-acid; gallic-acid; tannic-acid
• Phagocytotic: ferulic-acid
• Analgesic: caffeic-acid; ferulic-acid; gallic-acid; gentisic-acid; methyl-salicylate; ursolic-acid
• Antiarthritic: ursolic-acid
• Antiedemic: alpha-amyrin; beta-amyrin; caffeic-acid; lupeol; ursolic-acid
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-amyrin; caffeic-acid; ferulic-acid; gallic-acid; gaultherin; gen-tisic-acid; lupeol; methyl-salicylate; ursolic-acid; vanillic-acid
• Antiprostaglandin: caffeic-acid
• Antirheumatic: gentisic-acid; lupeol; methyl-salicylate
• Antispasmodic: caffeic-acid; ferulic-acid; p-coumaric-acid
• COX-2-Inhibitor: ursolic-acid
• Counterirritant: methyl-salicylate
• Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor: gallic-acid; ursolic-acid
• Elastase-Inhibitor: ursolic-acid
• Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor: caffeic-acid; p-coumaric-acid; ursolic-acid
• Myorelaxant: gallic-acid

Other Uses (Wintergreen) —

Oil of Wintergreen is used as a flavoring agent in beers, beverages, candies, chewing gums (e.g., the now rare Teaberry Gum), soft drinks, and dental preparations, often combined with menthol and eucalyptus. One root beer remedy called for 4 drachms wintergreen oil, 2 sassafras oil, 1 clove oil, and ca. 120 g alcohol. The red to pinkish spicy fruits are eaten raw and used in jams, jellies, pies, and syrup. Amerindians ate the berries, even in the snow. Leaves used to make an herbal tea (Mountain Tea), as a condiment, and a nibble. Stronger teas, candies, and wines, are made from the fermented bright-red leaves. Amerindians smoked and chewed the dried leaves. I have steeped the leaves and berries in vodka for my “Teaberry Trip,” even in midwinter. In summer, I like to add wild ginger and beebalm. Old timers steeped the leaves in brandy as a tonic liqueur. Weed (1985) recommends the vinegar tincture of wintergreen (CRC, FAC, LIL).
According to the Annals on Endocrinology, and Dominic and Pandey (1979), female mice do not return to estrus following exposure to males perfumed with oil of wintergreen (or a commercial perfume). Male urine may be the source of the primer pheromone involved in estrus induction, ineffective because of the masking by wintergreen oil. Unable to perceive the male pheromone, due to wintergreen oil, females remain in anestrus following exposure to perfumed males.
For more information on activities, dosages, and contraindications, see the CRC Handtopic of Medicinal Herbs, ed. 2,  et al., 2002.

Cultivation (Wintergreen) —

It’s hard transplanting this common herb from the edges of the peat bogs and from acid sterile soils, probably because of an obligate mycorrhiza. Bown (2001) suggest propagation by seed, autumn sown on the soil surface, or by semi-ripe cuttings in summer, or by separating rooted suckers in spring. Hardy zones 3-7.

Chemistry (Wintergreen) —

The active ingredient is methyl salicylate, now made synthetically. Commercial oil of wintergreen, or oil of checkerberry, is obtained from distillation of the twigs of black birch. The volatile oil contains 98-99% methyl salicylate. Arbutin, ericolin, gallic acid, gaultherine, gaultherilene, gaultheric acid, mucilage, tannin, wax, an ester, tria-contane, and a secondary alcohol are also reported. Other acids reported include O-pyrocate-chusic-, gentisinic-, salicylic-, p-hydroxybenzoic-, protocatechuic-, vanillic-, syringic-, p-cou-maric-, caffeic-, and ferulic-acids. Here are a few of the more notable chemicals found in wintergreen. For a complete listing of the phytochemicals and their activities, see the CRC phytochemical compendium,  and , 1993 (DAD) and the USDA database.

Aloesin —

Laxative; Sunscreen

Arbutin —

Allelochemic IC51 = 1.1 mM; Antibacterial MIC = 4000-8000 ppm; Antiedemic 50 mg/kg; Antimelanogenic IC50 = 40 [iM; Antiseptic 60-200 mg/man; Antistreptococcic MIC = 4000-8000 ppm; Antitussive; Artemicide; Candidicide; Diuretic 60-200 mg/man; Insulin-Sparer; Mycoplasmistat; Tyrosinase-Inhibitor IC50 = 40 [M; Urinary-Antiseptic.

Gaultherin —

Antiinflammatory; Diuretic.
Methyl-Salicylate — ADI = 500 |ig/mg; Analgesic; Anticancer; Antiinflammatory; Antipyretic; Antiradicular; Antirheumatalgic; Antiseptic; Carminative; Counterirritant; Dentifrice; Insectifuge; LDlo = 170 orl hmn; LD50 = 887 orl rat; LD50 = 1110 orl mus; LD50 = 4 ml orl chd; LD50 = 30 ml orl man.

Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (Fabaceae) Licorice

Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (Fabaceae) Licorice

Medicinal Uses (Licorice) —

It is considered alexeritic, alterative, antipyretic, demulcent, deodorant (lf), depurative, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, estrogenic, laxative, pectoral, and sudorific. With a long history of use for indigestion and inflamed stomach, licorice provides two derivatives that reduce or cure ulcers. When I was being heavily medicated for slipped disk, especially with ulcerogenic NSAIDs, I took a lot of licorice to prevent the ulcer the NSAIDs might cause. Its mucilage makes a natural demulcent, not only for the stomach but for the throat and other mucous membranes. Modern studies hint that sweets trigger endorphin production, and that may be why we have so many sweet OTC cough drops. The licorice treatments help too. One could boil frayed roots in water to relieve a cough or sore throat. Not too much though! Ingestion of 280 mg/kg licorice per day for four weeks triggered cardiac problems, GI problems, and hypertension (RIN). In India, it is chewed with betel. Chinese use the frayed roots as a preferred “toothbrush,” which cleans plaque better with a scouring motion than most types of toothbrush, while not irritating the gums like the brushing action currently used here.
Heartwise, four isoflavans and two chalcones proved to be very potent antioxidants against LDL oxidation, possibly preventing formation of atherosclerotic lesions (glabradin and isoflavan were both
most abundant and active), according to Israel researchers (TAD). UK researchers conclude, as do I, that the antioxidant activity of the whole root is more a synergistic result of the whole mix rather than isolated flavonoid. May I predict that allopathic pharmaceutical manufacturers will seize on one of the stronger, modifying and making it more unnatural but much more patentable (JAD).
Isoflavonoids are antiseptic against bacteria, candida, mycobacterium, and staphylococcus (CAN), and antiviral against Epstein-Barr, herpes, Newcastle, vaccinia, and vesicular stomatitis virus with no activity toward polio (CAN). Glycyrrhizin and/or GA inhibit in vitro viruses like chickenpox, herpes, HIV-1, HHV-6, HHB-7 et al. Glycyrrhizin reduces morbidity and mortality of mice infected with lethal doses of flu virus. And long-time administration of licorice to hepatitis C patients prevented liver cancer. Glycyrrhizin is also active against test tube leukemia (TAD). Ma et al. (2001) note that apoptosis, induced by isoliquiritigenin, may be helpful in stomach cancer. Isoliquiritigenin may be a principal antitumor constituent of licorice.
Yarnell and Abascal (2000) described licorice as one of the most thoroughly studied botanical immunomodulators for HIV patients, both Glycyrrhiza glabra and Glycyrrhiza uralensis. Glycyrrhizin, the major active ingredient seems to serve both as immunomodulator and an antiviral, an ideal combination for HIV infection. Intravenous glycyrrhizin also improves liver function in uncontrolled clinical trials in HIV patients. But there are other useful constituents besides glycyr-rhizin. Hence, whole plant extracts should be studied. Whole licorice extracts should be compared head-to-head with glycyrrhizin to determine relative efficacy and safety (Yarnell and Abascal, 2000). Standish et al. (2002) note that glycyrrhizin in vitro inhibits viral attachment or fusion. “It may also inhibit protein kinase C (PKC), an activator of NF-kB. When 400-1600 mg glycyrrhizin was administered ivn to three HIV-positive hemophiliacs, their viral load was substantially lower after a month. Another small ivn study in hemophiliacs showed lymphocyte improvement in all nine patients, CD4+/CD8+ ratios increased in six, and CD4 lymphocyte levels increased in eight. In a third observational study (4 and 7 years, daily doses 150-225 mg/day), patients who received glycyrrhizin when CD4 T-cell counts were above 200 maintained those counts; ditto for those starting with counts above 500. Two researchers independently reported immune enhancements (CD4 T-cell counts, CD4+/CD8+ ratios, lymphocytes, NKC) in 22 hemophiliac patients over periods of 3-11 years (Standish et al., 2002).
And glycyrrhizin blocks estrogen effects binding to estrogen receptors, hence the antiestrogenic activities reported. Estrogenic activity has also been attributed to the isoflavones, but these too may bind to estrogen receptors (JAD, CAN). Maybe this is one of those amphoteric herbs. “Liquorice exhibits an alternative action on estrogen metabolism, causing inhibition if oestrogen concentrations are high and potentiation when concentrations are low” (CAN). I’ve heard the same things about clover’s phytoestrogenic isoflavones, some of which are shared with licorice. Strandberg et al. (2001) studied birth outcome in relation to licorice consumption during pregnancy. Heavy glycyr-rhizin exposure during pregnancy did not significantly affect birth weight or maternal blood pressure but was significantly associated with lower gestational age.
Glycyrrhizin not only has its own antiarthritic, antiedemic, and antiinflammatory activities, it potentiates the antiarthritic activities of hydrocortisone, at least in rats (MPI). Glycyrrhizin even potentiates cocoa. Licorice seems also to potentiate prednisolone in five pemphigus patients kept free of bullae with prednisolone. Licorice seems to potentiate by inhibiting metabolic degradations of prednisolone (MPI).
In a study of clinical applications of ayurvedic herbs, Khan and Balick (2001) note human studies on licorice for acne vulgaris, chronic duodenal ulcers, chronic hepatitis, and diabetic hyperkalemia. Oral DGGL (380 mg, 3 x day) equaled antacids or cimetidine in 169 patients with chronic duodenal ulcers. Interestingly, GA inhibits growth of the ulcer bacteria, Helicobacter pylori
(TAD). Oral dose of GA as antitussive orally as codeine (LEG, LIL, MAB, TAD).


Indications (Licorice) —

Abscess (f; DAA); Addison’s Disease (1; DAA; FAY; PED; WHO); Adenosis (f; JLH); Adrenal Insufficiency (1; CAN; PNC; WHO); Allergy (f; BOW); Alzheimer’s
(1; COX; FNF); Ameba (1; FAD); Anemia (f; DAA); Anorexia (f; DAA; WHO); Anxiety (1; BGB); Appendicitis (f; PH2; VVG; WBB; WHO); Arthrosis (1; COX; MAB; WHO); Asthenia (f; DAA); Asthma (1; BGB; DEP; FAD; FAY; KAB; SKY); Atherosclerosis (1; AKT); Bacteria (1; DAA; FNF); Biliousness (f; KAB); BO (f; KAB); Boil (f; DAA; MAB); BPH (1; FNF); Bronchosis (2; DEP; FAD; FAY; FNF; KAB; PHR; PH2; SKY; WHO); Bug Bite (f; VVG); Burn (f; DAA); Cancer (1; COX; DAA; FNF; HOX); Cancer, abdomen (1; FNF; JLH); Cancer, bladder (1; FNF; JLH); Cancer, breast (1; FNF; JLH); Cancer, colon (1; FNF; JLH); Cancer, gland (1; FNF; JLH); Cancer, kidney (1; FNF; JLH); Cancer, liver (1; FNF; JLH); Cancer, neck (1; FNF; JLH); Cancer, spleen (1; FNF; JLH); Cancer, stomach (1; FNF; JLH; PM67:754); Cancer, throat (1; FNF; JLH); Cancer, uterus (1; FNF; JLH); Cancer, uvula (1; FNF; JLH); Candida (1; APA; FNF); Canker Sore (f; SKY); Carbuncle (f; FAY; PH2); Caries (1; WHO); Cardiopathy (f; WHO); Cataract (1; CAN); Catarrh (2; DEP; KOM; PH2; PIP; WHO); CFS (1; MAB; SKY); Chickenpox (1; TAD); Cholecystosis (1; FAD); Cirrhosis (f; AKT); Cold (1; APA; CRC); Colic (f; CAN; KAB); Condyloma (f; JLH);
Congestion (1; APA; FNF); Conjunctivosis (1; MAB; MPI; PH2); Constipation (f; APA; MAB; PH2; WAM); Cough (2; APA; DAA; DEP; FAD; FAY; FNF; KAB; PHR; PH2; PED; SUW; VVG);
Cramp (1; FAY; FNF; MAB; VVG); Cystosis (f; CRC; MAD); Cytomegalovirus (1; PH2); Depression (f; MAB); Dermatosis (f; PH2); Diabetes (1; MAB); Diarrhea (f; DAA); Diphtheria (f; WHO); Duodenosis (f; PH2); Dysmenorrhea (f; APA); Dyspepsia (1; CRC; SKY; WHO); Dyspnea (f; DAA); Dysuria (f; MAD); Earache (f; APA); Eczema (1; SKY; WAM); Encephalosis (1; MAB); Enterosis (f; KAB; MPI); Epigastrosis (1; BGB; VVG); Epilepsy (f; KAB; WHO; PH2); Fatigue (f; KAB); Fibromyalgia (f; SKY); Flu (1; MAB; PH2; TAD); Fungus (1; FNF); Gastrosis (2; CAN; DAA; FAD; FAY; PHR; PH2); Hay Fever (1; WAM); Headache (f; PH2); Heartburn (f; SKY); Hemicrania
(f; KAB); Hemophilia (1; BGB); Hemoptysis (f; KAB); Hemorrhoid (f; DAA; WHO; VVG);
Hepatosis (2; APA; FAY; FNF; PHR; PH2; PNC); Hepatosis C (1; MAB); Herpes (1; AKT; APA; MAB; WAM); Hiccup (f; KAB); HIV (1; FNF; MAB; TAD); Hoarseness (f; DEM; DEP; FAY; HHB); Hot Flash (1; AKT); Hyperphagia (1; MAB); Hyperthyroid (f; DAA); Hysteria (f; FAY); IBD (1; WAM); Immunodepression (1; FNF); Induration (f; JLH); Infection (1; FNF); Inflammation (1; DAA; DEP; FNF; MPI; WBB); Itch (f; VVG); Kidney Stone (f; WHO); Laryngosis (f; DAA); Leukemia (1; FNF); Lichen Planus (1; MAB); Low Blood Pressure (1; MBB; PH2); Lupus (SLE) (1; APA); Malaria (1; DAA; MAB); Malaise (f; FAY); Melanoma (1; FNF; TAD); Mucososis (1; FAD; MAB); Nausea (f; DAA; KAB); Nephrosis (1; CAN; MAD); Neuropathy (1; CAN); Ophthalmia (f; KAB); Otosis (f; KAB); Pain (1; DAA; FNF; KAB; KAP; MBB); Pemphigus (1; MPI); Pharyngosis (1; BGB; DAA); PMS (1; WAM); Pneumonia (f; MAD); Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (1; BGB; MAB); Polyp (f; JLH); Psoriasis (1; WAM); Pterygium (f; JLH); Respirosis (2; APA; DEP; KOM; PIP); Retinosis (1; CAN); Rheumatism (1; FAY; WHO); Rhinosis (f; JLH); Senility (f; DAA); Shingles (1; BOW; MAB); Snakebite (f; KAB; WHO); Sore (f; DAA; KAB); Sore Throat (1; APA; DAA; KAB; PH2; SUW; WAM; WHO); Splenosis (1; DAA; FAY; MAD; PH2); Staphylococcus (1; FAY); Sting (f; SUW); Stomatosis (f; MAB); Strangury (f; MAD); Sunburn (f; VVG);
Swelling (f; DAA); Tetanus (f; WHO); Thirst (f; CRC; DAA; DEP); Thrombosis (f; PH2); Tri-
chomonas (1; FAY); Tuberculosis (1; DAA; FAY; KAB; MAB; MAD; VVG; WBB; WHO); Ulcer
(2; AKT; DAA; FAY; FNF; KOM; PHR; PH2; PIP; WAM); Urethrosis (f; WBB); Urogenitosis (f; DEP; HHB; SUW); UTI (1; MAB); Vaginosis (1; APA); Vertigo (f; BGB; WHO); Viral Hepatosis
(f; PHR); Virus (1; FNF; PH2); Voice (f; KAB); Wound (f; KAB; PH2); Yeast (1; APA; PH2). Licorice for cancer:
• Adaptogen: paeonol
• Alpha-Reductase-Inhibitor: genistein
• AntiEBV: glycyrrhetinic-acid
• AntiHIV: apigenin; betulinic-acid; glycycoumarin; glycyrrhisoflavone; glycyrrhizin; iso-licoflavonol; licochalcone-a; licopyranocoumarin; lignin; naringenin; quercetin
• Antiaggregant: apigenin; bergapten; estragole; eugenol; ferulic-acid; genistein; isoliquiritige-nin; kaempferol; ligustrazine; naringenin; paeonol; quercetin; tetramethyl-pyrazine; thymol
• Antiangiogenic: apigenin; genistein
• Antiarachidonate: eugenol
• Anticancer: alpha-terpineol; anethole; apigenin; benzaldehyde; bergapten; camphor; estragole; eugenol; ferulic-acid; formononetin; galangin; genistein; geraniol; glabrene; glabridin; glabrol; glycyrrhetic-acid; glycyrrhetinic-acid; glycyrrhizic-acid; glycyrrhizin; indole; isoliquiritigenin; isoquercitrin; kaempferol; licocoumarone; licoflavanone; lignin; linalool; liquiritigenin; maltol; methyl-salicylate; naringenin; o-cresol; p-hydroxy-ben-zoic-acid; p-methoxy-phenol; phenol; quercetin; salicylic-acid; sinapic-acid; soyasapo-nin; umbelliferone; vitexin; xanthotoxin
• Anticarcinomic: betulinic-acid; ferulic-acid; hederasaponin-c
• Antiestrogenic: apigenin; estriol; ferulic-acid; genistein; glycyrrhetic-acid; glycyrrhe-tinic-acid; glycyrrhizic-acid; glycyrrhizin; quercetin
• Antifibrosarcomic: quercetin
• Antihepatotoxic: ferulic-acid; glucuronic-acid; glycyrrhetic-acid; glycyrrhetinic-acid; glycyrrhizin; naringenin; quercetin; sinapic-acid
• Antihyaluronidase: apigenin
• Antiinflammatory: apigenin; bergapten; betulinic-acid; carvacrol; eugenol; ferulic-acid; galangin; genistein; glycyrrhetic-acid; glycyrrhetinic-acid; glycyrrhizic-acid; glycyr-rhizin; isoliquiritin; kaempferol; licochalcone-a; liquiritic-acid; liquiritigenin; liquiritin; lupeol; mannitol; methyl-salicylate; naringenin; neoisoliquiritin; neoliquiritin; paeonol; quercetin; salicylic-acid; thymol; umbelliferone; vitexin; xanthotoxin
• Antileukemic: apigenin; astragalin; genistein; kaempferol; liquiritigenin; naringenin; pinocembrin; quercetin
• Antileukotriene: genistein; licochalcone-a; quercetin
• Antilipoperoxidant: quercetin
• Antilymphomic: genistein; xanthotoxin
• Antimelanomic: apigenin; betulinic-acid; carvacrol; genistein; geraniol; glycyrrhetic-acid; glycyrrhetinic-acid; quercetin; thymol
• Antimetastatic: apigenin; tetramethyl-pyrazine
• Antimicrobial: genistein
• Antimutagenic: apigenin; eugenol; ferulic-acid; galangin; genistein; glabrene; glycyrrhe-tic-acid; glycyrrhetinic-acid; glycyrrhizin; kaempferol; mannitol; n-nonacosane; narin-genin; o-cresol; p-hydroxy-benzoic-acid; paeonol; quercetin; saponins; umbelliferone; xanthotoxin
• Antineoplastic: ferulic-acid
• Antinephrotic: anethole
• Antineuroblastomic: genistein
• Antinitrosaminic: ferulic-acid; lignin; quercetin
• Antioxidant: apigenin; carvacrol; eugenol; ferulic-acid; genistein; glycyrrhetic-acid; gly-cyrrhetinic-acid; glycyrrhizin; isoquercitrin; kaempferol; lignin; lupeol; maltol; mannitol; naringenin; p-hydroxy-benzoic-acid; phenol; quercetin; salicylic-acid; sinapic-acid; thymol; vitexin
• Antiperoxidant: galangin; lupeol; quercetin
• Antiperoxidative: naringenin
• Antiproliferant: apigenin; quercetin
• Antiproliferative: genistein
• Antiprostaglandin: carvacrol; eugenol; glycyrrhizin; umbelliferone
• Antistress: paeonol
• Antithromboxane: eugenol
• Antitumor: apigenin; benzaldehyde; bergapten; betulinic-acid; eugenol; ferulic-acid; geraniol; glycyrrhetic-acid; glycyrrhetinic-acid; isoquercitrin; kaempferol; lignin; lupeol; naringenin; quercetin; salicylic-acid; xanthotoxin
• Antiviral: apigenin; betulinic-acid; ferulic-acid; galangin; genistein; glabranin; glycycou-marin; glycyrrhetic-acid; glycyrrhetinic-acid; glycyrrhisoflavone; glycyrrhizic-acid; glycyrrhizin; isolicoflavonol; kaempferol; licochalcone-a; licopyranocoumarin; lignin; linalool; lupeol; naringenin; p-cymene; phenol; quercetin
• Anxiolytic: apigenin
• Apoptotic: apigenin; genistein; kaempferol; quercetin
• Beta-Glucuronidase-Inhibitor: apigenin
• COX-2-Inhibitor: apigenin; eugenol; kaempferol; quercetin; salicylic-acid
• Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor: apigenin; carvacrol; galangin; kaempferol; quercetin; salicylic-acid; thymol
• Cytotoxic: apigenin; betulinic-acid; eugenol; genistein; lupeol; pinocembrin; quercetin; xanthotoxin
• DNA-Binder: estragole
• Estrogen-Agonist: genistein
• Hepatoprotective: betaine; eugenol; ferulic-acid; glycyrrhetic-acid; glycyrrhetinic-acid; glycyrrhizic-acid; glycyrrhizin; herniarin; quercetin; soyasaponin
• Immunostimulant: anethole; astragalin; benzaldehyde; ferulic-acid; glycyrrhetic-acid; glycyrrhetinic-acid; glycyrrhizic-acid; glycyrrhizin
• Interferonogenic: glycyrrhetic-acid; glycyrrhetinic-acid; glycyrrhizin
• Leucocytogenic: anethole
• Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor: galangin; kaempferol; quercetin; umbelliferone
• Mast-Cell-Stabilizer: quercetin
• Mitogenic: glycyrrhizin
• Ornithine-Decarboxylase-Inhibitor: apigenin; ferulic-acid; genistein; quercetin
• p450-Inducer: quercetin
• PKC-Inhibitor: apigenin
• PTK-Inhibitor: apigenin; genistein; quercetin
• Prostaglandigenic: ferulic-acid; p-hydroxy-benzoic-acid
• Protein-Kinase-C-Inhibitor: apigenin; quercetin
• Reverse-Transcriptase-Inhibitor: glycyrrhizin
• Sunscreen: apigenin; ferulic-acid; umbelliferone
• Topoisomerase-II-Inhibitor: apigenin; genistein; isoquercitrin; kaempferol; quercetin
• Topoisomerase-II-Poison: genistein
• Tyrosine-Kinase-Inhibitor: genistein; quercetin
Licorice for ulcer:
• Analgesic: camphor; eugenol; ferulic-acid; glycyrrhizin; methyl-salicylate; p-cymene; paeonol; phenol; quercetin; salicylic-acid; thymol
• Anesthetic: benzaldehyde; benzoic-acid; benzyl-alcohol; camphor; carvacrol; eugenol; guaiacol; linalool; phenol; pinocembrin; thymol
• Antibacterial: acetic-acid; acetophenone; alpha-terpineol; anethole; apigenin; benzalde-hyde; benzoic-acid; carvacrol; eugenol; ferulic-acid; geraniol; glabridin; glabrol; glycyr-rhetic-acid; glycyrrhetinic-acid; glycyrrhizic-acid; glycyrrhizin; guaiacol; herniarin; hispaglabridin-a; hispaglabridin-b; indole; isoquercitrin; kaempferol; lignin; linalool; naringenin; p-cymene; p-hydroxy-benzoic-acid; paeonol; phenethyl-alcohol; phenol; pinocembrin; quercetin; salicylic-acid; sinapic-acid; terpinen-4-ol; tetramethyl-pyrazine; thujone; thymol; umbelliferone; xanthotoxin
• Antiinflammatory: apigenin; bergapten; betulinic-acid; carvacrol; eugenol; ferulic-acid; galangin; genistein; glycyrrhetic-acid; glycyrrhetinic-acid; glycyrrhizic-acid; glycyr-rhizin; isoliquiritin; kaempferol; licochalcone-a; liquiritic-acid; liquiritigenin; liquiritin; lupeol; mannitol; methyl-salicylate; naringenin; neoisoliquiritin; neoliquiritin; paeonol; quercetin; salicylic-acid; thymol; umbelliferone; vitexin; xanthotoxin
• Antioxidant: apigenin; carvacrol; eugenol; ferulic-acid; genistein; glycyrrhetic-acid; gly-cyrrhetinic-acid; glycyrrhizin; isoquercitrin; kaempferol; lignin; lupeol; maltol; mannitol; naringenin; p-hydroxy-benzoic-acid; phenol; quercetin; salicylic-acid; sinapic-acid; thymol; vitexin
• Antiprostaglandin: carvacrol; eugenol; glycyrrhizin; umbelliferone
• Antiseptic: alpha-terpineol; anethole; benzaldehyde; benzoic-acid; benzyl-alcohol; camphor; carvacrol; cresol; eugenol; furfural; geraniol; glabranin; glabrene; glabridin; gla-brol; glycyrrhizin; guaiacol; hexanol; hispaglabridin-a; hispaglabridin-b; kaempferol; linalool; methyl-salicylate; o-cresol; oxalic-acid; phenethyl-alcohol; phenol; pinocem-brin; salicylic-acid; terpinen-4-ol; thujone; thymol; umbelliferone
• Antispasmodic: anethole; apigenin; benzaldehyde; bergapten; camphor; carvacrol; eugenol; ferulic-acid; genistein; geraniol; herniarin; isoliquiritigenin; kaempferol; lina-lool; liquiritigenin; mannitol; naringenin; quercetin; tetramethyl-pyrazine; thujone; thymol; umbelliferone; xanthotoxin
• Antiulcer: eugenol; glycyrrhetic-acid; glycyrrhetinic-acid; glycyrrhizic-acid; glycyr-rhizin; isoliquiritigenin; kaempferol; licochalcone-a; liquiritigenin; liquiritin; naringenin
• Antiviral: apigenin; betulinic-acid; ferulic-acid; galangin; genistein; glabranin; glycycou-marin; glycyrrhetic-acid; glycyrrhetinic-acid; glycyrrhisoflavone; glycyrrhizic-acid; gly-cyrrhizin; isolicoflavonol; kaempferol; licochalcone-a; licopyranocoumarin; lignin; linalool; lupeol; naringenin; p-cymene; phenol; quercetin
• Bacteristat: malic-acid; quercetin
• COX-2-Inhibitor: apigenin; eugenol; kaempferol; quercetin; salicylic-acid
• Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor: apigenin; carvacrol; galangin; kaempferol; quercetin; salicylic-acid; thymol
• Fungicide: acetic-acid; acetophenone; anethole; benzoic-acid; camphor; carvacrol; eugenol; ferulic-acid; formononetin; furfural; genistein; geraniol; hederasaponin-c; her-niarin; isoliquiritin; isomucronulatol; licoisoflavone-a; linalool; liquiritigenin; liquiritin; naringenin; octanoic-acid; p-cymene; paeonol; phenol; pinocembrin; propionic-acid; pru-netin; quercetin; salicylic-acid; sinapic-acid; terpinen-4-ol; thymol; umbelliferone; xan-thotoxin
• Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor: galangin; kaempferol; quercetin; umbelliferone
• MDR-Inhibitor: genistein
• Vulnerary: benzoic-acid; terpinen-4-ol

Other Uses (Licorice) —

Grown primarily for its dried rhizome and roots, it is a condiment and used to flavor candies and tobaccos. Roots are the source of licorice powder and extract, widely employed in baked goods, confection, ice cream, soft drinks, etc. Dutch confectioners produce sweet and salty versions of licorice drops. Some candy makers augment the anethole flavor with oil of anise. Most “licorice” candy contains little or no licorice but is flavored with anise oil. Glycyrrhizin is some 50-100 times sweeter than sugar. Glycyrrhizin potentiates the flavor of cocoa, replacing 25% cocoa in manufactured products. A tea made from the powdered rootstock is consumed directly or added to other herbal teas to sweeten them naturally. I used them to stir herbal teas, sweetening them gently in the process. I also use them to make liqueurs. One old cold remedy, which I call “licorice liqueur,” was a British beer brewed of licorice, fennel, anise seed, elecampane, and sassafras. I steep them all in vodka to make the licorice liqueur. Maybe it cures the cold; surely it intoxicates. Others put 4 tbsp licorice root in a fifth of vodka and let it stand a couple of days
in a dark place, then strain and add sugar syrup (1 cup sugar dissolved in 1/2 cup water). In nineteenth-century Paris, a drink was made from licorice and lemon called “coco” (AAR). Adding lemon juice to a licorice infusion produces a rather full-bodied lemonade (AAR). Legend suggests that Scythian warriors could survive 12 days without drink if supplied with licorice and mare’s milk cheese (TAD). According to Rose, quantities of licorice were stored in King Tut’s tomb. Licorice sticks and brewer’s licorice are added to beer for increased head retention and to give thickness, flavor, and blackness to porter and stout (FAC). Singers chew the root to strengthen the throat. In India, licorice root is chewed with betel. Licorice is used in Chinese cooking in soups and meats slow-braised until tender in multispiced soy sauce. Ground licorice root sometimes appears in Chinese five-spice powder (AAR). Grain coffees can be flavored with the extract (FAC). The leaves, called “nakhalsa,” are used as a substitute for tea in Mongolia (FAC). Most licorice production is used by the tobacco industry and for the preparation of licorice paste, licorice extract, powdered root, and mafeo syrup. Spent licorice serves in fire-extinguishing agents, to insulate fiberboards, and as a compost for growing mushrooms; also, in feed for cattle, horses, and chickens.
(AAR, CRC, FAC, LEG, LIL).
For more information on activities, dosages, and contraindications, see the CRC Handtopic of Medicinal Herbs, ed. 2,  et al., 2002.

Cultivation (Licorice) —

As Tucker and DeBaggio (2000) put it, licorice is so easily grown that it has the potential to become a weed. Bown (2001) lists it for zones 7-9. Seed should be scarified or soaked overnight and sown in spring. Perennial plants can be divided in spring or autumn. Stolon cuttings better made in spring (Bown, 2001). Licorice seems to thrive in full sun, on deep sandy soils, moist but not waterlogged, pH 5.5-8.2 (average 7.1). It is usually planted in spring from crown divisions spaced about 18 in apart in the rows. Plants should be weeded or intercropped with catch crops such as cabbage, carrot, or potato. It takes 3-4 years to produce marketable roots. Flowers are often pinched off to encourage root production. Apparently, glycyrrhizin is maximal at flowering time. And the thicker the root, the more glycyrrhizin. Harvest is labor intensive as the roots are deep and as long as 25 ft (8 m). Roots are washed after digging and then dried. Root yields often run 2000-4000 lb/a (= -2000-4000 kg/ha), but yields of 22,000 lb/a dried root have been attained, from 50,000 lb/a in Russia. Cultivated stands produce two to three times more root than weedy stands in Eurasia (LEG, TAD).

Chemistry (Licorice) —

Here are just a few of the chemicals, some almost restricted to licorice. For a complete listing of the phytochemicals and their activities, see the CRC phytochemical compendium,  and , 1993 (DAD) and the USDA database.
Glycyrrhetinic-Acid — Beta-Reductase-Inhibitor; Antiaddisonian; Antiallergic 600 mg/kg ipr; Anti-anaphylactic 600 mg/kg ipr; Antiarthritic; Antiasthmatic; Antibacterial; Anticancer; Anticirrhotic; Anticomplement 0.1 \xM; Antidiuretic; AntiEBV; Antiedemic; Antierythemic; Antiestrogenic; Anti-hepatotoxic 50-500 [ig/ml; Antiherpetic; Antiinflammatory; Antimelanomic; Antimutagenic; Anti-oxidant; Antiprostatic; Antirheumatic; Antistomatitic; Antitumor-Promoter; Antitussive; Antiulcer; Antivaccinia; Antiviral; Hepatoprotective; Hypertensive; Immunostimulant; Interferongenic; Min-ertalcorticoid; Ornithine-Decarboxylase-Inhibitor.
Glycyrrhinic-Acid — Antihistaminic; Antiophidic; Antitetanic; Antitoxic.
Glycyrrhisoflavanone — Xanthine-Oxidase-Inhibitor IC50 = >100 \\M.
Glycyrrhisoflavone — Antiherpetic EC50 = >10 ng/ml; AntiHIV; Antiviral EC50 = >10 [g/ml, 20 Hg/ml; MAOI IC50 = 60-140 \\M, IC50 = 95; Xanthine-Oxidase-Inhibitor IC50 = 53 \\M.
Glycyrrhizan-UC — Immunomodulator; RES-Activator.
Glycyrrhizic-Acid — Antiaddisonian; Antibacterial; Anticancer; Anticirrhotic; Antiestrogenic; Anti-herpetic; Antiinflammatory; Antirheumatic; Antistomatitic; Antitussive; Antiulcer; Antiviral; 11B-HSD-Inhibitor; Hepatoprotective; Hypertensive; Immunostimulant.
Glycyrrhizin — Adrenocorticotropic; Amphiestrogenic; Analgesic; Antiaddisonian; Antiag-gregant; Antiallergic; Antianaphylactic; Antiarthritic; Antiasthmatic; Antibacterial; Anticancer; Anticapillary-Fragility; Anticariogenic; Anticataract; Anticirrhotic; Antidiptheric; Antidote; Anti-edemic; Antiestrogenic; Antiflu; Antigingivitic; Antihepatosis; Antihepatotoxic 1000 [ig/ml; Antiherpetic; AntiHIV 0.6 mM; Antiinflammatory; Antimutagenic; Antioxidant; Antiplaque; Anti-prostaglandin; Antiradicular; Antirheumatic; Antiseborrheic; Antiseptic; Antistomatitic; Antitetanic; Antithrombic; Antitussive; Antiulcer; Antivaccinic; Antiviral 8 mM; Candidicide; Choleretic; Detoxicant; Ergogenic 40-80 mg/may/day/shortterm; Estrogenic; Expectorant; Hepatoprotective; Hypertensive; Immunostimulant; Interferonogenic; MAOI IC50 = 160 \\M; Mineralcorticoid; Mitogenic; Pancreaprotective; Pseudoaldosteronistic; Reverse-Transcriptase-Inhibitor; Sweetener (50 x sucrose).
Isolicoflavanol — AntiHIV 20 [g/ml; Antiviral 20 [g/ml; Aromatase-Inhibitor IC50 = 0.1 \xM. Isoliensinine — Antitumor; Cytotoxic 16 ppm.
Isoliquiritigenin — Aldose-Reductase-Inhibitor IC50 = 0.32 \\M; Antiaggregant; Anticancer; Anti-depressant; Antidiabetic; Antiperoxidase; Antispasmodic; Antiulcer; Apoptotic; Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor; Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor; MAOI EC50 = 17 \xM, IC50 = >200; Pigment.
Isoliquiritin — Aldose-Reductase-Inhibitor IC50 = 0.72 \\M; Antiangiogenic; Antiinflammatory; Fungicide; MAOI; Phytoalexin.
Licocoumarone — Anticancer; MAOI IC50 = 60-140 \\M, IC50 = 60 [M; Xanthine-Oxidase-Inhibitor IC50 = 13 [M.
Licoflavanone — Anticancer.
Licofuranone — MAOI IC50 = 60-140 [M, IC50 = 87 \xM.
Licoisoflavone-A — Antifeedant 1.2 ppm; Fungicide ED50 = <50; Phytoalexin.
Licoisoflavone-B — Antifeedant ED50 = <1 ppm.
Licopyranocoumarin — Antiherpetic EC50 = >10 [ig/ml; AntiHIV 20 [ig/ml; Antiviral EC50 = >10 [g/ml; MAOI IC50 = 60-140 [M, IC50 = 140 [M; Xanthine-Oxidase-Inhibitor IC50 = >100 \iM.
Licoricin — Antiaggregant; Antiinflammatory. Licorione — Antiulcer.
Liquiritigenin — Anticancer; Antidepressant; Antiinflammatory; Antileukemic IC50 = 0.290 [ig/ml; Antispasmodic; Antiulcer; CNS-Active; Fungicide ED50 = >100; Hemoglobin-Inducer; MAOI; Phytoalexin.
Liquiritigenin-Chalcone — Antispasmodic; Antiulcer.
Liquiritin — Antiinflammatory; Antiulcer; Fungicide; Xanthine-Oxidase-Inhibitor. Liquiritone — Antiinflammatory. Liquiritoside — Analgesic; Anticonvulsant.

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