Licorice may have therapeutic effects against herpes zoster infection. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Antiviral activity of glycyrrhizin against varicella-zoster virus in vitro.
Antiviral Res. 1987 Feb;7(2):99-107. PMID: 3034150
One of the plant extracts, glycyrrhizin (GL) was investigated for its antiviral action on varicella-zoster virus (VZV) in vitro. When human embryonic fibroblast (HEF) cells were treated with GL after inoculation of virus (post-treatment), the average 50%-inhibitory dose (ID50) for five VZV strains was 0.71 mM, and the selectivity index (ratio of ID50 for host-cell DNA synthesis to ID50 for VZV replication) was 30. GL was also effective against VZV replication when HEF cells were treated 24 h before the inoculation (pretreatment). Furthermore, at a concentration of 2.4 mM GL inactivated more than 99% of virus particles within 30 min at 37 degrees C. In combination with other anti-herpes drugs (acyclovir, adenine arabinoside, bromovinyldeoxyuridine, and phosphonoformate) or human native beta-interferon, GL had an additive or slightly synergistic effect on VZV replication. The mechanism of anti-VZV action is still unclear. We postulate that GL inhibits the penetration, uncoating or release of virus particles."