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Liquorice (British English) or licorice (American English; IPA: /ˈlɪkərɪʃ, -ɪs/ LIK-ər-ish, -iss)[5][6] is the common name of Glycyrrhiza glabra, a flowering plant of the bean family Fabaceae, from the root of which a sweet, aromatic flavouring can be extracted.

Quick facts: Liquorice, Scientific classification , Binomi...
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Clade: Inverted repeat-lacking clade
Genus: Glycyrrhiza
G. glabra
Binomial name
Glycyrrhiza glabra
  • Glycyrrhiza brachycarpa (Boiss.)
  • Glycyrrhiza glandulifera Waldst. & Kit.)
  • Glycyrrhiza hirsuta (Pall.)
  • Glycyrrhiza pallida (Boiss.)
  • Glycyrrhiza violacea (Boiss.)

The liquorice plant is an herbaceous perennial legume native to Western Asia, North Africa, and Southern Europe.[1] Botanically, it is not closely related to anise or fennel, which are sources of similar flavouring compounds. (Another such source, star anise, is even more distantly related from anise and fennel than liquorice, despite its similar common name.) Liquorice is used as a flavouring in candies and tobacco, particularly in some European and West Asian countries.

Liquorice extracts have been used in herbalism and traditional medicine.[7] Excessive consumption of liquorice (more than 2 mg/kg [3.2×10−5 oz/lb] per day of pure glycyrrhizinic acid, a liquorice component) may result in adverse effects, and overconsumption should be suspected clinically in patients presenting with otherwise unexplained hypokalemia and muscle weakness.[8] In at least one case, death has been attributed to excessive liquorice consumption.[9]