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Viral Hepatitis

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Alternative Therapies--Licorice root

for Veterans and the Public

Licorice root

Licorice root, sold as capsules and liquid extracts, comes from the licorice plant. Its active component is called glycyrrhizin.

People with hepatitis C should not take licorice without first talking to their doctors. The herb can interact with certain medications. And taking licorice over a long period of time can cause serious side effects, including high blood pressure, headache and sluggishness. Glycyrrhizin can worsen ascites, the buildup of fluid in the abdomen, a condition sometimes caused by cirrhosis.