Q. I suffered from psoriasis on my hands and elbows for more than 22 years. I accidentally discovered a solution for this miserable malady.
I had an unusual craving for black licorice and asked the owner of our local nutrition center how to eliminate this craving. She suggested taking an herbal form of licorice. This immediately solved my craving.
To my surprise, I realized I had gotten an added bonus. My psoriasis disappeared. The licorice worked better than the steroid creams my doctor prescribed for so many years.
A. Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is part of a traditional Chinese herbal mixture that is considered effective for psoriasis (American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, Aug., 2010). We don’t suggest taking it orally, though, since licorice can lead to low libido, fluid retention and high blood pressure. Herbal experts such as James Duke, PhD, have recommended applying licorice extract topically to psoriasis lesions for relief.
Find more information about licorice in our Herb Library.

Join Over 54,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

  1. cindy m.
    Reply

    I saw the article about topical licorice for psoriasis, could you lead me to a place to buy it? Have checked local health food stores and have no luck. Even checked on line but had no luck either. Hope you can help. I need the help.

  2. Cass
    Reply

    If licorice is used topically does that mean the side effects don’t apply or are just reduced?

  3. Carol
    Reply

    I had a outbreak of psoriasis and am trying licorice root on my legs, how long should it take to see a response?

  4. REH
    Reply

    Yes it was me that posted a question for you.

  5. PR
    Reply

    That’s interesting! I never thought of using licorice for psoriasis but what a great testimony!

  6. Ashere
    Reply

    I have tried using licorice extract for my psoriasis and it has not helped at all… is there a specific brand that you would suggest?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: DON’T KNOW OF A SPECIFIC BRAND; SORRY IT DIDN’T WORK.

  7. abigail
    Reply

    does DGL, deglycyrrhized (sp?) licorice work as well? this is available in tablets and avoids the problems described in your answer.

  8. Suze
    Reply

    What about using deglycyrrhizinated licorice? I think that answers the concern about side effects, but would it be still effective?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: IT DOES TAKE CARE OF THE SIDE EFFECT CONCERNS, BUT WE DON’T KNOW IF IT WILL WORK AGAINST PSORIASIS.

  9. DD
    Reply

    Does red licorice have the same properties (some good, some not so good) as black licorice?

What Do You Think?

Share your thoughts with others, but be mindful of protecting your own and others' privacy. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from web visitors is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. In posting a comment, you agree to our commenting policy and website terms and conditions.