Due to its content of numerous plant compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, licorice root extract has been studied for its protective effects against certain types of cancer .

In particular, licorice extract and its compounds have been linked to slowing or preventing cell growth in skin, breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers .

As research is limited to test tubes and animals, its effects on human cancers are unknown.

Yet, licorice root extract may help treat oral mucositis — very painful mouth sores that people with cancer sometimes experience as a side effect of chemotherapy and radiation .

A 2-week study in 60 adults with head and neck cancer revealed that a topical licorice film was just as effective as the standard treatment for oral mucositis.