Licorice is a leguminous plant of glycyrrhiza. It is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine. Triterpenoid is one of the mainly active components of licorice. In recent years, the broad-spectrum antiviral activity of many triterpenoids in licorice was confirmed, and these findings have become a hot spot of antiviral immunity. The triterpenoids of licorice has the potential to become a novel broad-spectrum antiviral medicine and will be widely used in the clinical treatment. This review provided a summary of the recent anti-virus research progress on several triterpenoids in licorice, such as glycyrrhizic acid, glycyrrhizin, glycyrrhetinic acid and its derivatives. The antiviral roles of triterpenoids in licorice against herpes virus, HIV, hepatitis virus, SARS coronavirus and influenza virus were briefly summarized.