Yashtimadhu / Licorice / Mulethi / Glycyrrhiza glabra is a leguminous herbaceous plant growing to 1 metre in height. It is an important medicinal plant in the practice of Ayurveda. Contains sugars, saponins, glycosides. It has a balancing effect on all three doshas when used internally. The root is used in Ayurvedic medicine. Licorice has a branched thick root, sprouting deep into the ground for three to four meters. The root system of plants is extensive, part of the roots has up to several tens of branches. With proper collection licorice retains its useful properties for a very long time, up to 10 years.
The word “liquorice” is derived from the Greek γλυκύρριζα (glukurrhiza), meaning “sweet root”. The scent of liquorice root comes from a complex and variable combination of compounds, of which anethole is up to 3% of total volatiles. Much of the sweetness in liquorice comes from glycyrrhizin, which has a sweet taste, 30–50 times the sweetness of sugar. The sweetness is very different from sugar, being less instant, tart, and lasting longer.
The isoflavene glabrene and the isoflavane glabridin, found in the roots of liquorice, are phytoestrogens.
- Has a comprehensive therapeutic, restorative and analgesic effect on the body. It improves the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, strengthens the immune system, stimulates the bronchopulmonary system, normalizes the work of the liver, kidneys and biliary tract, as well as the thyroid gland, and has a therapeutic effect on the skin from the inside. It has anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory effect. It protects the heart, relieves headaches at high pressure, improves blood circulation, reduces the level of bad cholesterol. It acts as a conductor for other therapeutic components, helping to deliver them to the right organs in the shortest possible time.
- It treats all types of respiratory diseases, helps get rid of diseases of the lungs, bronchi and the entire respiratory system. Eliminates burning sensation in the respiratory system. Acts as an emollient and expectorant. It helps with dry cough and sore throat.
- Reduces the acidity of the stomach; used for the treatment and prevention of gastritis, prevents the formation of peptic ulcer, eliminates indigestion, heartburn and flatulence; removes toxins from the body, providing a mild laxative effect. Accelerates the recovery of the pancreas. Enhances insulin production and lowers blood cholesterol. Being an aphrodisiac, increases the stamina of the body, softens pain during menstruation. It is considered one of the best lymphostimulants.
- It cleanses the blood, therefore it is successfully used in the treatment of skin diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, allergic dermatitis.
- It has a beneficial effect on the nervous system, improves mood and helps to cope with depression, which is due to its property of natural aphrodisiac.
External (cosmetic) application:
- In skin care: Successfully combats skin diseases – in its healing effect it replaces even hormonal preparations. Refreshes the skin and gives it a more saturated and healthy color, reduces melanin synthesis, eliminates pigmentation. It has anti-allergic and bactericidal properties, relieves inflammation. It fights against skin ailments, no less effective than hormonal drugs. It has antioxidant properties, promotes skin regeneration, slows down aging. This is a natural phytoestrogen that stimulates the formation of collagen fibers, helps smooth wrinkles. Due to its ability to accelerate water-salt metabolism, licorice extract helps to cope with edema.
- When caring for hair and scalp: It has a bactericidal effect, relieves inflammation and irritation of the scalp, and fights against dandruff and itching. This is a natural hair conditioner, like henna. Beneficial effect on all types of hair: dry, oily and mixed. Contains soap substances – saponins, thanks to which it also acts as a natural cleansing component of cosmetics. It enhances blood circulation, strengthening hair follicles and preventing their loss.
- In oral care: licorice contains natural plant-based chemicals that kill bacteria in the mouth and prevent their accumulation. Perfect for caries prevention.
Cautions: Excessive consumption of liquorice (more than 2 mg/kg/day of pure glycyrrhizinic acid, a liquorice component) may result in adverse effects, such as hypokalemia, increased blood pressure, and muscle weakness.