What is Licorice ?
This article talks about Licorice also spelled as Liquorice and also known as Glycyrrhiza glabra. The usefulness of this herb is also discussed at length.
One of the well known herb with enormous therapeutic benefits and trust over centuries is Glycyrrhiza glabra also known as sweet root or Licorice, is a native to the Mediterranean and certain areas of Asia like India. Historically, the dried rhizome and root of this plant were used medicinally by the Egyptian, Chinese, Greek, Indian, and Roman civilizations.
Licorice symbolism itself denotes its actions. In fact, the name ‘Licorice’ is derived (by the Old French word licoresse), from the ancient Greek glukurrhiza, meaning ‘sweet root’. Licorice contains a number of components including a water-soluble, biologically active complex that accounts for 40-50 percent of the total dry Licorice root. Glycyrrhizin, a triterpenoid compound, accounts for the sweet taste of licorice root. This compound represents a mixture of potassium-calcium-magnesium salts of Glycyrrhizic acid that varies, a range of 5- 25% depending on the nature of the Licorice root. Modern science also documented several therapeutics actions in different trials and observations.
Licorice has been found to be effective in various viral illnesses, peptic ulcers, inflammatory disorders; respiratory disorders, anti bacterial activity, anti inflammatory activities. In Japan over many decades Licorice is being used for chronic hepatitis which was documented in clinical trials. Licorice has anti HCV property and healing affect on oral Lichen planus ulcers. In 2004 in Journal of Ethno pharmacology it was published that Licorice usage enhanced the learning ability and memory enhancing activity. Licorice is found to be effective in reducing the side effects of radiation and chemotherapies. Too much consumption of Licorice induces weight gain and water retention in the body; hence it should be used according to the guidelines.
Licorice for various conditions–
Powders of Licorice, Indian poppy and sugar in equal parts are helpful for heart health.
Two to three grams of Licorice powder with milk is good tonic for the body.
Two grams of Licorice powder with lukewarm water helps to resolve constipation.
Decoction made up Licorice with honey helps to resolve dry irritable cough.
Licorice paste with milk acts as a good Galactagogue (increase breast milk).
Any compound made with Licorice, mustard seeds in equal parts and ¼ of purified Aconitum ferox helps in many brain related conditions. It should be taken as snuff after consulting a Doctor.
Licorice powder with clarified butter acts as disinfectant for wounds.
Regular recommended use of Licorice is helpful in regulating blood pressure and is a good source of estrogen hormone in women.
For gastric ulcers soak Licorice roots over night and drink that soaked water with honey. One would see amazing results.
Pills made up from decoctions of Licorice, Cardamom, and Malabar nut (Adathoda vasaca) helps in respiratory disorders.
In early stages of baldness, application of paste made with roots of Licorice, saffron and milk, to the scalp is helpful. Nevertheless it needs a lot of patience.
I hope I was able to explain uses of Licorice and I hope the discussion above is useful to all people. Again, it is always good to seek the advice of a Medical Doctor.
Dr. Deo is an expert Herbalist, a consultant and the author of this page.
All the information provided and on supplements above and opinions expressed above should not be construed as medical advice. This information is provided for educational purposes only. Any statements made above have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products discussed above are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.