Herb: Wild Liquorice

Latin name: Glycyrrhiza echinata

Family: Leguminosae

Medicinal use of Wild Liquorice:

The root is alterative, expectorant and tonic. It is usually mixed with other herbs, partly at least to improve their taste.

Description of the plant:


100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

to July

Habitat of the herb:

Muddy places by rivers.

Edible parts of Wild Liquorice:

Root - raw or cooked. Very fibrous, it is often boiled to extract the sugars and is a source of Russian and German liquorice. It is used as a confection, a sweetener and medicinally. A delicious sweet flavour. The dried root is often used for chewing, it is especially useful for teething children and as a tooth cleaner. The root contains glycyrrhizin, a substance that is 50 times sweeter than sugar. A tea made from the roots is an excellent thirst quencher.

Propagation of the herb:

Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow spring or autumn in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and grow them on for their first winter in a greenhouse. Plant out in late spring or early summer when in active growth. Plants are rather slow to grow from seed. Division of the root in spring or autumn. Each division must have at least one growth bud. Autumn divisions can either be replanted immediately or stored in clamps until the spring and then be planted out. It is best to pt up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a cold frame until they are established before planting them out in the spring or summer.

Cultivation of Wild Liquorice:

Muddy places by rivers.

Known hazards of Glycyrrhiza echinata:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.