Glycyrrhiza glabra (family Fabaceae), commonly known as licorice, is a herbaceous perennial that has been used as a flavoring agent in foods and medicinal remedies for thousands of years. Licorice root has been widely used around the world to treat cough since ancient times. It contains several active compounds including glycyrrhizin, glycyrrhetinic acid, flavonoids, isoflavonoids, and chalcones. Glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhetinic acid are considered to be the main active components and are potent inhibitors of cortisol metabolism, due to their steroid-like structures. The root of this plant has been used for treatment of coughs, colds, asthma, and COPD.
Glycyrrhiza glabra is part of the catalog of ayurvedic medicinal plants of Sri Lanka.