Glycyrrhizic acid (GA) is the bioactive compound of licorice and has been used as a herbal medicine because of its anti-viral, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. This study was designed to investigate the effects of GA on tumor growth, angiogenesis, and the mechanisms underlying the anti-angiogenic activities of GA. We observed that GA inhibited tumor growth and angiogenesis in mice. GA decreased angiogenic activities, such as the migration, invasion, and tube formation of endothelial cells. We also demonstrated that GA reduced the production of reactive oxygen species and activation of ERK in endothelial cells. Our findings suggest that GA is a promising anti-angiogenic therapeutic agent that targets the ERK pathway. Considering that angiogenesis is highly stimulated in the majority of cancers, GA could offer a potent therapeutic agent for cancer. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.