Licorice (Glycyrrhiza plants, usually the Glabra species) have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to fairly good acclaim for various digestive and health problems, and as a general vitality promoting agent. Licorice is also routinely used as a candy product, and is inherently a functional food rather than just a candy (as the oil containing the traditional licorice flavor also contains some bioactive compounds).

One of the most important compounds in Licorice appears to be Glycyrrhizin, which is the sugar-bound form of Glycyrrhetic Acid (there exists both an alpha and beta isomer, with the latter 18β-Hydroxyglycyrrhetic acid being referred to frequently). This compound is highly relevant when consuming pure licorice extracts due to its good absorption and relatively high content, but also underlies a fairly reliable reduction in testosterone and a highly reliable increase in circulating cortisol after consumption. Both of these effects are dose-dependent and not associated with any toxicological effects (and reversed upon cessation of Licorice), but many persons may want to avoid Glycyrrhizin and Glycyrrhetic Acid due to these reasons.