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June 2009

Licorice May Help Prevent Postoperative Sore Throat

New evidence suggests that patients recovering from surgery were less likely to develop sore throats, a common complication of general anesthesia, if they gargled a licorice solution.

The study included 40 spinal surgery patients (aged 18-60) who were randomly assigned to gargle with either plain water or a licorice solution five minutes before receiving general anesthesia.

The found that both the incidence and severity of sore throat and cough were lower in the licorice group compared to the placebo group.

Although these early results are promising, the study is limited by its small sample size. Additional research is needed before a firm conclusion can be made.

For more information about licorice, please visit Natural Standard's Foods, Herbs & Supplements database.


  1. Agarwal A, Gupta D, Yadav G, et al. An evaluation of the efficacy of licorice gargle for attenuating postoperative sore throat: a prospective, randomized, single-blind study. Anesth Analg. 2009 Jul;109(1):77-81. View Abstract
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. Copyright 2009.
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