Glycyrrhiza glabra, also known as licorice and sweetwood, is native to the Mediterranean and certain areas of Asia. Historically, the dried rhizome and root of this plant were employed medicinally by the Egyptian, Chinese, Greek, Indian, and Roman civilizations as an expectorant and carminative. In modern medicine, licorice extracts are often used as a flavoring agent to mask bitter taste in preparations, and as an expectorant in cough and cold preparations. Licorice extracts have been used for more than 60 years in Japan to treat chronic hepatitis, and also have therapeutic benefit against other viruses, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), and Herpes simplex. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) preparations are useful in treating various types of ulcers, while topical licorice preparations have been used to soothe and heal skin eruptions, such as psoriasis and herpetic lesions.