Prevention of cleft lip and/or palate in A/J mice by licorice solution

Congenit Anom (Kyoto). 2023 Sep;63(5):141-146. doi: 10.1111/cga.12527. Epub 2023 Jun 3.


Cleft lip and/or palate anomalies (CL ± P) are the most frequent birth defects affecting the orofacial region in humans. Although their etiology remains unclear, the involvement of environmental and genetic risk factors is known. This observational study aimed to investigate how the use of crude drugs with estrogen activity influenced an animal model's ability to prevent CL ± P. A/J mice were randomly divided into six experimental groups. Five of these groups consumed a drink containing crude drug licorice root extract, with the following weights attributed to each group: 3 g in group I, 6 g in group II, 7.5 g in group III, 9 g in group IV, and 12 g in group V, whereas a control group consumed tap water. The effect of licorice extract was examined for fetal mortality and fetal orofacial cleft development compared to the control group. The rates for fetal mortality were 11.28%, 7.41%, 9.18%, 4.94%, and 7.90% in groups I, II, III, IV, and V, respectively, compared to 13.51% in the control group. There were no significant differences in the mean weight of alive fetuses in all five groups compared to the control group (0.63 ± 0.12). Group IV showed the lowest orafacial cleft occurrence of 3.20% (8 fetuses) with statistical significance (p = 0.0048) out of 268 live fetuses, whereas the control group had the occurrence of 8.75% (42 fetuses) among 480 live fetuses. Our study showed that the dried licorice root extract may reduce orofacial birth defects in experimental animal studies.

Keywords: cleft lip and/or palate; estrogen; licorice extract.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cleft Lip* / epidemiology
  • Cleft Palate* / epidemiology
  • Glycyrrhiza*
  • Humans
  • Mice


  • Glycyrrhiza glabra extract