Licorice in Ayurveda
YASTIMADHU, botanically named as "Glycyrrhiza glabra" is a genus of perennial herbs and undershrubs distributed in the sub-tropicalnd warm temperate regions of the world. The root of the said herb has been used in India since time immemorial.
Liquorice (Yastimadhu) is one of the most popular medicinal herbs in India and also in abroad. The root of Glycyrrhiza glabra (liquorice) contains a substance called glycyrrhizin which is 50 times sweeter than sugar. Sugar, as we know it today, is a relatively new development 400 years ago, the only sweet tastes came from fruit and honey. The extreme sweetness of liquorice (Yastimadhu) made it a real oddity and people loved it. Due to its peculiar sweetness, liquorice was used in many medicines to mask the unpleasant taste of the other ingredients. This is a still common practice in India today and many parts of the world.
Botanical Name : Glycyrrhiza glabra
Sanskrit - Yashtimadhu
Hindi - Mulethi
English - Liquorice or Sweetwood
Bio energetics:Rasa (Taste)- Madhura (Sweet)
Guna (Characteristics)- Heavy and slightly oily.
Veerya (Potency)- Sheeta (cold)
Vipaka (Post digestion effect)- Madhura (Sweet)
Actions on Doshas - Reduces Vata and Pitta, may increase Kapha.
Parts Used : Roots
Chemical Constituents :The principal constituent of liquorice root is - glycyrrhizin. Root contains 3.6% glycyrrhizin, a yellow amorphous powder-asparagine, a glycoside isoliquirtin 2.2%, glucose 3.8%, starch, gum, mucilage, amorphous, sulphuric acid and metallic acids, calcium and meganesium salts.
Effects on Respiratory System - It is excellent emollient and hence used in cough, asthma and hoarseness of voice. If taken as lozenges it gives soothing effect on the throat as well as for pharynx. it to be demulcent, emollient, expectorant and useful in cough and chest afflictions. it is used to treat coughs, laryngitis, sore throat, bronchitis and chronic bronchitis.
Liquorice possesses Anti-inflammatory properties. In fact liquorice anti-inflammatory abilities are so strong that they are used to heal all manner of irritated tissue be they inside or outside the body. The action is very much like that of a steroid such as cortisone. The good news with this steroid-like actions that it does not come packing the immuno-suppressing side effects of chemically synthesized steroids. People who are attempting to get the steroid may often used liquorice to help in their bodies off the drugs.
Ayurvedic literature describes liquorice as a Rasayana (Rejuvenating) herb for Rasayana for Pranavaha and Majjavaha srotas.
Effects on Reproductive System :Male reproductive system consists of eight sex related organs, viz testes, epididymides, deferent ducts, seminal vesicles, ejaculatory ducts, prostate gland, penis and urethra. These organs help in maintaining a good sexual life and also associates in fertilization process with the sex partner. Various herbs put a remarkable effect on this system. Liquorice root (Yastimadhu) is considered as one of the best herbal medicines in this regard.