Liquorice for animals?

Yes – but not the confectionery version!  It may seem unusual that a product that’s so well-known as a sweet treat, can actually be a healthy choice, but extracts from the liquorice plant are often used for many animals. 

As well as all the information on holistic approaches to animal care that’s available online at, i’ll be discussing a variety of more detailed information here, as well as other animal related info that hopefully you’ll find useful!

So liquorice…. yes it’s been used for medical reasons – veterinary and human – for hundreds of years. Liquorice root contains various properties including “glycyrrhizin” which is thought to have various beneficial effects.

Although often used to help maintain respiratory health, liquorice is also used for digestive health. It’s generally palatable because of its naturally sweet taste which makes it easier to give in your animal’s feed.  Liquorice root can be given as a tincture or as a tea – and for skincare, as an oil.  But your Vet will be able to advise on what maybe best.


As with many herbs, it has the potential to be quite potent, and should only ever be used if your Veterinary Surgeon agrees that it is safe – especially if your animal has a known ailment or is on other supplementation or medication. It is also not suitable for pregnant or nursing animals.

Additionally, it’s normally advised to only use for short periods of time – e.g. no longer than 2 weeks at a time. Preferably, organic sources of liquorice should only be used for medicinal purposes.

Where can it be purchased?

Many Veterinary Surgeon’s sell supplements containing liquorice, as do good horse or dog feed stores.

Like to learn more about herbal ways to help animal health? Visit Taranet’s advice page here

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