2009 年 26 巻 1 号 p. 101-104
Licorice is the root and stolon of the Glycyrrhiza plant, which belongs to the family Leguminosae. The licorice plant is an important medicinal herb, and the constituent—glycyrrhizin—is widely used as a natural sweetener and also as a pharmaceutical agent because of its anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective properties. Licorice is also an indispensable ingredient of traditional Japanese Kampo medicines. Furthermore, licorice extracts are used as cosmetics, food additives, tobacco flavors, and confectionery foods. In this article, we review the importance of licorice and its related products.