– Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch., Glycyrrhiza inflata Bat. and Glycyrrhiza glabra L are perennial plants of the Leguminosae family.
– Liquorice root is mainly produced in Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Xinjiang, and western region of Northeast China.
Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch.(Chin. : 甘草)
– The word “licorice” actually refers to the root of a plant called Glycyrrhiza glabra.
– The early Egyptians loved licorice root and used it in tea as a cure-all concoction.
– Licorice was later imported to the Chinese and also became an important herb in their medicinal tradition.
– Liquorice root is sweet in flavor, neutral in nature.
– You are probably most familiar with it as a flavoring in foods, beverages, and tobacco.
– Licorice root contains many anti-depressant compounds.
– Licorice is sometimes used along with the herbs Panax ginseng and Bupleurum falcatum to improve the function of the adrenal glands which produce important hormones that regulate the body’s response to stress, especially in people who have taken steroid drugs long-term.
– Licorice is used for various digestive system complaints including stomach ulcers, heartburn, colic, and ongoing inflammation of the lining of the stomach (chronic gastritis)
– Recent studies have found that by limiting the damage from LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, licorice may discourage artery-clogging plaque formation and contribute to the healthy functioning of the heart
– Licorice also appears to enhance immunity by boosting levels of interferon, a key immune system chemical that fights off attacking viruses.
– Glycyrrhizinic acid also seems to stop the growth of many bacteria and of viruses such as influenza A.
– Some people use licorice for sore throat, bronchitis, cough, and infections caused by bacteria or viruses.
– Licorice is also used for osteoarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), liver disorders, malaria, tuberculosis, food poisoning, and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
– It has an aspirin-like action and is helpful in relieving fevers and soothing pain such as headaches. Its anti-allergenic effect is very useful for hay fever, allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis and bronchial asthma.
– Licorice is also used in an herbal form called Shakuyaku-kanzo-to to increase fertility in women with a hormonal disorder called polycystic ovary syndrome.
– It also contains powerful antioxidants as well as certain phytoestrogens that can perform some of the functions of the body’s natural estrogens; making the herb potentially useful in easing certain symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome)such as irritability, bloating and breast tenderness.
– There is some evidence that applying licorice to the skin can improve symptoms of eczema. Applying a gel containing licorice three times daily for 2 weeks seems to reduce redness, swelling, and itching.
– licorice is used as a shampoo to reduce oiliness in their hair.