Oral Diseases (2011) 18, 32–39
Licorice, the name given to the roots and stolons of Glycyrrhiza species, has been used since ancient times as a traditional herbal remedy. Licorice contains several classes of secondary metabolites with which numerous human health benefits have been associated. Recent research suggests that licorice and its bioactive ingredients such as glycyrrhizin, glabridin, licochalcone A, licoricidin, and licorisoflavan A possess potential beneficial effects in oral diseases. This paper reviews the effects of licorice and licorice constituents on both the oral microbial pathogens and the host immune response involved in common ora-dental diseases (dental caries, periodontitis, candidiasis, and recurrent aphthous ulcers). It also summarizes results of clinical trials that investigated the potential beneficial effects of licorice and its constituents for preventing/treating oro-dental diseases.