Glycyrrhizic acid (GA), belonging to a class of triterpenes, is a conjugate of two molecules, namely glucuronic acid and glycyrrhetinic acid. It is naturally extracted from the roots of licorice plants. With its more common uses in the confectionery and cosmetics industry, GA extends its applications as a herbal medicine for a wide range of ailments. At low appropriate doses, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, antioxidant, anti-tumor, antimicrobial and anti-viral properties have been reported by researchers worldwide. This review summarizes the effects of GA on metabolic syndrome, tumorigenesis, microbes and viruses, oxidative stress, and inflammation, as well as the reported side effects of the drug.