Licorice root tea has been used to treat digestive problems, such as acid reflux and stomach ulcers. The demulcent – or moistening – effect of licorice root is thought to coat the esophagus and stomach, preventing damage from stomach acid. Licorice root tea has also shown some benefit to canker sores or mouth ulcers, when used as a wash.
Some of the components to licorice root tea have shown distinctly estrogenic effects, which may make licorice a useful estrogen replacement for post-menopausal women. According to research published in the “Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology,” licorice root may provide protection from cardiovascular disease in post-menopausal women due to its estrogenic effects.
Another study found in “Molecular Nutrition and Food Research” determined that glabridin – a constituent of in licorice root tea – has anticancer effects particularly for breast cancer by inhibiting migration of cancer cells, stopping invasion of cancer cells into breast tissue and preventing angiogenesis – or the formation of new blood cells with which cancer cells migrate into the body.
Licorice root tea is a tasty and soothing remedy for a scratchy throat, dry, unproductive cough and helps to expel mucous.
Licorice contains estrogenic compounds such as anethole, dianethole and photoanethole. These compounds, also found in plants such as fennel and anise, increase the production of reproductive hormones such as prolactin, estrogen and progesterone. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), licorice may help treat hormone-related conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome.