Glycyrrhiza glabra
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Botanical Classification



















Botanical – leguminoceae

Ayurvedic – shimby kul

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Other Names

  • English name – licorice
  • Hindi name- mulethi
  • Sanskrit – yastimadhu
  • Gujarati name - jethimadh

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It is found in Egypt, Middle East, Turkistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Asia minor, middle Asia, Russia, Europe, china. In India it is found in Jammu and Kashmir, Dehradun and Delhi.

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It has a perineal shrub that attains a height of 6 feet. Roots are long, wrinkled, and brown in color and when the outer skin is removed it has scaly yellow texture inside. From the roots secondary roots and tertiary roots originate. Leaves are conjoint. Ovate in shape and are in groups of 4 to 7. Flowers are pink to purple in color. Pod is 1 inch in length chipped that contains 2 to 3 beans that are kidney shaped.

According to ayurveda it has been classified into two categories.

  • Jalaj (related to water)
  • Stahlaj (related to land)

According to availability in India it is still classified into three categories

  • G. glabra variety- it is also called Spanish Licorice
  • G. glabra variety glandulifera- it is also known as Russian licorice.
  • G. glabra variety violaceae – it is also known as Persian licorice.

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Chemical Constituents


The main constituent in it is glycyrrizin that is present in the form of glycyrrzic acid. It is 50 times sweeter than sugar. It also contains isoliquiritin and a glyceride which is 2.2 % that gets converted to liquiritin. It is the compound that is responsible for more salivary secretion in the mouth. It is also contains steroid and estrogen. Besides this it contains 3.8 % glucose, 2.4 to 6.5 % sucrose, starch 30 %, asparagines, bitter substance, resin 2 to 4 %, a volatile oil 0.03 to 0.35 % and a coloring substance

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It is vata and pitta suppressant. It cools up the body and reduces pain and inflammation it strengthens the nervous system. It also helps in improving the mental condition and tones brain. It improves digestion, improves absorption of mineral and water. It also normalizes the peristaltic condition in the body. It also helps in blood formation. It is an excellent remedy for all kind of respiratory disorders. It is diuretic in nature. It initiates spermatogenesis. It is good in skin related disorders and also is effective in itching disorders. It helps in normalizing the body temperature. It is a good body tonic.

According to ayurveda it contains

  • Gunna (properties) – guru (heavy) and snigdh (slimy)
  • Rasa (taste) – madhur (sweet)
  • Virya (potency) – sheet (cold)

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It has no toxic effect on human body when consumed in limited dosage

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Plant part used



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  1. Inflammation
  2. Baldness
  3. Premature graying of hairs
  4. Pain
  5. Wounds
  6. Rheumatoid arthritis
  7. Headache
  8. Nausea
  9. Vomiting
  10. Constipation
  11. Pain abdomen
  12. Hyperacidity
  13. Peptic ulcers
  14. Blood related disorders
  15. Tuberculosis
  16. Jamming of chest with mucus
  17. Pain in flanks
  18. Cough
  19. Asthma
  20. Dysurea
  21. Gonorrhea
  22. Urine related problems
  23. Decreased sperm count
  24. Skin related problems
  25. Itching
  26. Chronic fever
  27. General body weakness

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  1. Paste-it is being used on application on wounds. It also used for growth of hairs and avoiding the premature graying of hairs.
  1. Powder and decoction- it helps in easy digestion of food. It helps in easy absorption of water in the intestines. It helps in relieving from headaches. It also relives from pain caused by ulcers in stomach. It curbs infections in the body. It is a good mucolytic agent and is also a good expectorant. It resolves the urine related problems. It improves skin texture and helps in curing skin related ailments. It si also useful in chronc fever.

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