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Traditional Medicine Research  2018, Vol. 3 Issue (2): 82-94    DOI: 10.12032/TMR201810067
A systematic summary of natural compounds in Radix Glycyrrhizae
Ming Yang1,2, Yi Jin1,2, Li-Ping Yang1,*()
1 Department of Pharmacy of Beijing Hospital, National Center of Gerontology, Assessment of Clinical Drugs Risk and Individual Application Key Laboratory National Clinical Research Center of Respiratory Diseases, Beijing, China.
2 School of Life Sciences and Biopharmaceuticals, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang, China.
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This study provides a basis for further study on molecular mechanisms of anti-inflammatory, phlegm-expelling, cough- and pain-relieving activities of Gancao (Radix Glycyrrhizae).

Editor’s Summary

Gancao (Radix Glycyrrhizae) was first recorded in Shennongbencaojing, which was published in the third century A.D. (Han Dynasty of China).


Objective: To accumulate data from studies on the compounds identified from Gancao (Radix Glycyrrhizae, GC), and then systematically summarize and classify these compounds according to their structural characteristics. Methods: Five databases (CNKI, VIP, Wanfang data, CBM, and Pubmed) were used to search for studies on the chemical structure of compounds from GC. The retrieval time of the respective databases was from their inception to March 2016. According to the inclusion and exclusion criteria, the papers were carefully screened, and the data were extracted. Results: A total of 653 compounds from GC were collated from 252 articles, including flavonols (n = 201) belonging to 10 subgroups, terpenes and saponins (n = 167), coumarins (n = 30) belonging to 3 subgroups, aliphatics (n = 206), aromatics (n = 35), and others (n = 14). The flavones, represented by liquiritin and liquiritigenin, were the most reported compounds isolated from GC, followed by terpenes and saponins such as glycyrrhizic acid and glycyrrhetinic acid. Conclusion: The more than 600 natural compounds in GC may be responsible for GC’s anti-inflammatory, phlegm-expelling, cough- and pain-relieving activities.

Key wordsRadix Glycyrrhizae      Flavonol      Terpene      Saponin     
Published: 05 March 2018
Fund:  Funding: This work was supported by Building Project of National Clinical Priority Specialty for Clinical Pharmacy.
Corresponding Authors: Yang Li-Ping     E-mail:
Cite this article:

Ming Yang, Yi Jin, Li-Ping Yang. A systematic summary of natural compounds in Radix Glycyrrhizae. Traditional Medicine Research, 2018, 3(2): 82-94. doi: 10.12032/TMR201810067

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Search words
#1 Glycyrrhiza [Title]
#2 Component [Title] or Ingredient [Title] or Composition [Title] or Constituent [Title]
#3 #1 And #2
Table 1 The search strategy
Figure 1 Flowchart of study selection
Figure 2 Chemical structures of main flavanones
Figure 3 Chemical structures of main isoflavones
Figure 4 Chemical structures of main flavones
Figure 5 Chemical structures of main chalcone
Figure 6 Chemical structures of main flavonols
Figure 7 Chemical structures of main isoflavans
Figure 8 Chemical structures of main pterocarpans
Figure 9 Chemical structures of main isoflavanones
Figure 10 Chemical structures of main isoflavenes
Figure 11 Chemical structures of licocoumarone
Figure 12 Chemical structures of main terpenes and saponins
Figure 13 Chemical structures of main aliphatic compounds
Figure 14 Chemical structures of main coumestans
Figure 15 Chemical structures of main coumestans
Figure 16 Chemical structures of main aromatic compounds and other compounds
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