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Latin name - Glycerrhiza glabra
English name - Licorice, Sweet wood, Sweetwort,
Indian name - Mulethi, Yastimadhu

Introduction

Yashtimadhu is sweet, cooling and heavy to digest. In Ayurveda, Yastimadhu is used extensively as a demulcent, mild expectorant and anti-inflammatory agent. It is good for the eyes. It improves strength and complexion. It is a lubricant and aphrodisiac. It promotes the growth of hair and improves voice.


Plant Description

Glycyrrhiza is a hardy herb or undershrub, usually of 2 m height. It is tall, erect perennial plant with light, gracefully-spreading pinnate foliage and dark green lanceolate leaflets that hang down at night and violet to lavender color flower. The roots are brown, long and cylindrical.


Chemical Constituents

The roots of Glycyrrhiza glabra contain glycyrrhizin, which is a saponin that is 60 times sweeter than cane sugar; Flavonoid rich fractions include liquirtin, isoliquertin liquiritigenin and rhamnoliquirilin. The Indian roots show various 2-methyliso - flavones, and an unusual coumarin, C liquocoumarin, 6 - acetyl- 5, hydroxy- 4-methyl coumarin. Asparagine is also found.


Parts Used

Dried roots and stolons


Benefits of Licorice:

  • Licorice can be chewed on to relieve sore throats.
  • Gargling with an infusion of Licorice root is reputed to relieve oral inflammations, dry coughs, bronchitis and asthma.
  • Soothes irritation caused by acids, and coats digestive and urinary tracts. Hence, Licorice may be prescribed for indigestion, heartburn, and gastric ulcers.
  • Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, Licorice is a time-honored remedy for arthritis.
  • Externally applied for treating eczema, herpes, and canker sores (mouth ulcers).
  • Strengthens the immune system.
  • Currently, the herb is being investigated as a possible cancer treatment. It is suspected that the compounds in Licorice root may be able to inhibit the growth of cancerous cells.

Dosage

Licorice Powder- 2-4 grams per day.