Licorice/liquorice widely used as a sweetener in various desserts and confectioneries is a wonder root known for its amazing medicinal properties for several centuries.
The root native to Asia and Europe is known as Mulethi in Hindi or Athimadhuram in various parts of India, meaning ‘very sweet’.
Botanically named as Glycyrrhiza glabra or Glyceria Glabra, licorice root, leaves or powder is a must-have in the monsoon for treating cold and dry cough.
Our traditional Ayurvedic medicine lists out various uses of licorice in treating different ailments. It is widely used in treating epilepsy, leprosy, ulcers, blood impurity, ulcers etc. The root, powder or leaves serve as excellent diuretics, aphrodisiacs and even as an alexteric for treating the effects of poisoning.
Uses of Licorice:
- The root of licorice is known for its antihistamine properties and gives instant relief to asthmatic patients
- Its natural expectorant properties help in loosening the thick mucus and getting relief from membrane
- Several research papers worldwide vouch by its antioxidant, antiulcer properties that help in reducing inflammations
- The essential oil of licorice root exhibits anti-fungal, anti-cancerous properties
- It is a wonder root for those suffering from severe constipation. The powder is quite muco-protective and helps in healing fissures and acts as a laxative
- Stressed out? Consume licorice root or leaf extracts to stimulate your adrenaline gland for healthy levels of cortisol in your body
- Athimadhuram offers several beauty benefits too. The powder aids in good hair growth and treats dandruff. Just add 1 tsp of licorice root powder to your hair pack and wash it after an hour for that luscious hair
- The leaves of licorice provide instant relief from itchy, scaly skin. Grind the leaves of licorice into a paste and apply it on the affected area. Wash it after 15 minutes for relief from itchy skin
- The skin pigmentation gradually reduces with regular use of licorice leaves paste on the affected area
- The beauty industry also uses licorice in manufacturing of face packs, face masks. Licorice works as an amazing facial cleanser and it antibacterial and moisturizing properties leaves the skin smooth and shiny
How to use Licorice:
Licorice is available in various forms. The root is available in the powder form and can be easily bought online or from various stores. The root is very hard to grind in a mixer.
Crush it in a mortar and pestle or dry it before grinding it in a mixer.
Effect On Doshas:
Licorice, known as Yashtimadhu or Athimadhuram in Sanskrit as per the ancient Ayurvedic scriptures, possesses an intrinsically sweet taste i.e. Madhura Rasa. Displaying Guru Guna – heavy in weight and Snigdha Guna – a viscous or sticky quality, licorice portrays a rather beneficial Sheeta Veerya i.e. cold potency, helping in lowering body heat. Thanks to its Madhura Vipaka – sweet aftertaste post digestion, licorice or Athimadhuram mollifies agitated Vata and Pitta doshas, thereby restoring tridoshic harmony of Vata, Pitta, Kapha in the body.
Like all other plant-based products, Licorice too has its own side effects.
One has to be vigilant with the amount of licorice to be consumed on a daily basis. The adults should not consume more than 15 grams per day and for kids, it should be confined to only 2 grams, not exceeding six weeks.
Overuse of licorice can spike blood pressure levels, cardiac arrest, retention of salt and water and loss of potassium.