Yashtimadhu – (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

 

Botanical Name : Glycyrrhiza Glabra
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Galegeae
Genus: Glycyrrhiza
Species: G. glabra
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Family name: Leguminosae

Sanskrit: Yashtimadhu
English: Liquorice

Hindi: Mulethi
Telugu: Athimadhuramu
Common names:Liquorice, or Licorice, Yashtimadhuka, Mitilakadi, Asailasoos, Erattimadhuram, Athimadhuram, Athimadhura, Jeshtamaddu,

The word liquorice is derived (via the Old French licoresse) from the Greek    (glukurrhiza), meaning “sweet root”,   from    (glukus), “sweet”  +  (rhiza), “root”,  the name provided by Dioscorides.  It is usually spelled liquorice in British usage, but licorice in the United States and Canada. It is called erk-soos   in Arabic, athimadhuram   in Telugu, jyeshthamadhu   in Kannada,   in Urdu, athimadhuram   in Tamil, irattimadhuram   in Malayalam, yastimadhu   in Sanskrit, mulethi   in Hindi, Vel Mee  in Sinhalese, jethimadh  in Gujarati, and jyeshthamadh  in Marathi.

Other Names: Licorice, Mithi-lakdi, Mulathi, Liquorice, sweetwood.

Parts used : Roots and runners, either unpeeled or peeled.
Habitat: Glycyrrhiza Glabra is  native to southern Europe, India, and parts of Asia. It is not botanically related to anise, star anise, or fennel, which are sources of similar flavouring compounds.It is a legume plant and grows as a shrub.This herb is found in many countries. It is believed to give contentment and harmony.

Origin: China. Licorice is a medical plant in China and India, and therefore cultivated.

Description:
The liquorice plant is a herbaceous perennial legume. It goows to 1 m in height, with pinnate leaves about 7–15 cm (2.8–5.9 in) long, with 9–17 leaflets. The flowers are 0.8–1.2 cm (1?3–1?2 in) long, purple to pale whitish blue, produced in a loose inflorescence. The fruit is an oblong pod, 2–3 cm (3?4–1 1?6 in) long, containing several seeds. The roots are stoloniferous.

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History:
Licorice is a traditional herbal remedy with an ancient history and world wide usage. Modern research has shown it to have effects upon, amongst other organs, the endocrine system and liver. The triterpenes of Glycyrrhiza are metabolized in the body to molecules that have a similar structure to the

Active Compounds:
*Triterpenes of the oleanane type, mainly glycyrrhizin (=glycyrrhizic or glycyrrhizinic acid), and its agylcone glycyrrhetinic acid (=glycyrrhitic acid), liquiritic acid, glycyrrhetol, glabrolide, isoglabrolide, licoric acid, & phytosterols.

* Flavonoids and isoflavonoids; liquiritigenin, liquiritin, rhamnoliquiritin, neoliquiritin, licoflavonol, licoisoflavones A and B, licoisoflavanone, formononetin, glabrol, glabrone, glyzarin, kumatakenin and others.

* Coumarins; liqcoumarin, umbelliferone, herniarin glycyrin.

*Chalcones; liquiritigenin, isoliquiritigenin, neosoliquiritin, rhamnoisoliquiritin, licuraside, licochalcones A and B, echinatin and others.

*Polysaccharides, mainly glucans.

*Volatile oil, containing fenchone, linalool, furfuryl alcohol, benzaldehyde.

* Miscellaneous; starch, sugars, amino acid etc

In Ayurveda Yashtimadhu is known as an aphrodisiac and a rejuvenating tonic. It is an excellent natural herb that is used for treating various ailments like throat congestions, coughs, respiratory disorders and tuberculosis. Yastimadhu also helps inincreasing the appetite by facilitating proper evacuation of stools. This herb has a specialaction on kapha, which helps in expectoration of the accumulated kapha.

Some recent scientific studies have shown that Yashtimadhu also acts as a memory enhancer and mental rejuvenator.

Reduces hyperacidity and is documented for preventing gastric and duodenal ulcers. It has spasmolytic effect and is useful in treating heartburn.

Yashtimadhu is an excellent natural herb for treating throat congestions, coughs, respiratory disorders and tuberculosis. Yashtimadhu is known in Ayurvedic as an aphrodisiac and a rejuvenating tonic, it also helps in relieving hyperacidity, soothing peptic ulcers, liver diseases and abdominal aches.

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.
Edible Uses:………..CLICK & SEE
Food and candy:
Liquorice flavour is found in a wide variety of candies or sweets. In most of these candies, the taste is reinforced by aniseed oil so the actual content of liquorice is very low. Liquorice confections are primarily purchased by consumers in the European Union.

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In the Netherlands, where liquorice candy (drop) is one of the most popular forms of sweets, only a few of the many forms that are sold contain aniseed, although mixing it with mint, menthol, or with laurel is quite popular. Mixing it with ammonium chloride (salmiak) is also popular. The most popular liquorice, known in the Netherlands as zoute drop (salty liquorice), actually contains very little salt, i.e., sodium chloride. The salty taste is probably due to ammonium chloride and the blood pressure-raising effect is due to glycyrrhizin. Strong, salty sweets are popular in Nordic countries.

Pontefract in Yorkshire was the first place where liquorice mixed with sugar began to be used as a sweet in the same way it is in the modern day.[20] Pontefract cakes were originally made there. In County Durham, Yorkshire, and Lancashire, it is colloquially known as ‘Spanish’, supposedly because Spanish monks grew liquorice root at Rievaulx Abbey near Thirsk.
Liquorice root chips:

Dried sticks of liquorice root:
In Italy (particularly in the south), Spain, and France, liquorice is popular in its natural form. The root of the plant is simply dug up, washed, dried, and chewed as a mouth freshener. Throughout Italy, unsweetened liquorice is consumed in the form of small black pieces made only from 100% pure liquorice extract; the taste is bitter and intense. In Calabria a popular liqueur is made from pure liquorice extract.

Liquorice is also very popular in Syria and Egypt, where it is sold as a drink, in shops as well as street vendors. It is used for its expectorant qualities in folk medicine in Egypt.

Dried liquorice root can be chewed as a sweet. Black liquorice contains about 100 calories[dubious – discuss] per ounce (15 kJ/g).

Liquorice is used by brewers to flavour and colour porter classes of beers, and the enzymes in the root also stabilize the foam heads produced by beers brewed with it

Medicinal Uses:anti-inflammatory, anti-hepatotoxic, anti-spasmodic, demulcent, emetic, expectorant, laxative, rejuvenative, sedative, tonic.

Uses in:
abdominal pain
bronchitis
colds
cough
debility (general)
heart tonic
hyperacidity
inflammation
laryngitis
laxative
mucus membrane toner and soother
muscle spasms
sore throat
ulcers
painful urination

Yashtimadhu is an excellent natural herb for treating throat congestions, coughs, respiratory disorders and tuberculosis. Yashtimadhu is known in Ayurvedic as an aphrodisiac and a rejuvenating tonic, it also helps in relieving hyperacidity, soothing peptic ulcers, liver diseases and abdominal aches.

Various scientific studies suggest that Yashtimadhu also acts as a memory enhancer and mental rejuvenator.
As an anti-hepatotoxic licorice is effective in the treatment of chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis, for which it is been widely used in Japan. Much of the liver orientated research has focused upon the triterpene glycyrrhizin. This inhibits hepatocyte injury caused by carbon tetrachloride, benzene hexachloride and PCB. Antibody production is enhanced by glycyrrhizin, possibly through the production of interleukin.

Glycyrrhizin inhibits the growth of several DNA and RNA viruses, inactivating Herpes simplex virus particles irreversibly. It has a variety of uses in bronchial problems such as catarrh, bronchitis and coughs in general. Liquorice is used in allopathic medicine as a treatment for peptic ulceration, a similar use to its herbal use in gastritis and ulcers. It can be used in the relief of abdominal colic.

It nourishes the brain-increasing cranial and cerebrospinal fluid. Also improves complexion, hair, and vision.

It is used for:Sore throat with hoarseness of voice and cough.Acid peptic disease.Chronic liver diseases General tonic.

Since Hippocrates’ day licorice has been prescribed for dropsy because it does, indeed, prevent thirst–probably the only sweet thing that does. The chief medicinal action of licorice is as a demulcent and emollient. Its soothing properties make it excellent in throat and chest complaints and it is a very common ingredient in throat pastilles and cough mixtures. It is also widely used in other medicines to counteract bitter tastes and make them more palatable. Recent research has shown that it has a pain-killing effect on stomach ulcers and prolonged use raises the blood pressure. Medicinally the dried peeled root has been decocted to allay coughs, sore throat, laryngitis, and urinary and intestinal irritations. The root is expectorant, diuretic, demulcent, antitussive, anti-inflammatory, and mildly laxative. It has proven helpful in inflammatory upper respiratory disease, Addison’s disease, and gastric and duodenal ulcers. Side effects may develop in ulcer treatment. Licorice may increase venous and systolic arterial pressure causing some people to experience edema, and hypertension. In some countries, licorice has been used to treat cancers. Licorice stick, the sweet earthy flavored stolons, are chewed. Licorice chew sticks blackened Napoleon’s teeth. In the 1940s Dutch physicians tested licorice’s reputation as an aid for indigestion. They came up with a derivative drug, carbenoxolone, that promised to help peptic ulcer patients by either increasing the life span of epithelial cells in the stomach or inhibiting digestive activity in general. Many cures were achieved in the experiments, but negative side effects–the patients’ faces and limbs swelled uncomfortably–outweighed the cures.

Certain agents in licorice have recently been credited with antibacterial and mild antiviral effects; licorice may be useful in treating dermatitis, colds, and infections. It also has been used in a medicinal dandruff shampoo. Other modern-day research found that the herb can reduce arthritic activity.

An extract of licorice is made by crushing the fresh or stored roots, then boiling or passing steam through them and evaporating the liquid, leaving a thick paste or solid black glossy substance with a sharp fracture. The active ingredient Glycyrrhizin may cause hypertension from potassium loss, sodium retention, and in increase of extracellular fluid and plasma volume. It is fifty times sweeter than sugar. Licorice also reportedly contains steroid hormones, but their relation to licorice’s biological activity is yet to be determined, though extracts have been shown to be estrogenic in laboratory animals. Perhaps the most common medicinal use is in cough syrups and cough drops; licorice soothes the chest and helps bring up phlegm. Licorice has also been used to treat ulcers, to relieve rheumatism and arthritis, and to induce menstruation. In this country it was used in powder form as a laxative.

Licorice root is being used today in France and China in eye drops that relieve inflammation. Sodium salts of glycyrrhinic acid are extracted from the root and added to the eye drop formula. The cortisone like action of the licorice root extract is responsible for its healing effects.

Safety:
Caution : There is a small possibility of effecting electrolyte balance with extended use of large doses of licorice. It has an ACTH like effect causing retention of sodium thus raising BP. The whole herb has constituents that counter this but it is best to avoid Licorice if the patient has hypertension, kidney disease or during pregnancy.

It may interfere with the calcium and potassium absorption. Do not use if you are suffering from osteoporosis, hypertension (increases water around heart). Take with boiled milk.

No other information about the safety of this herb is available. Use caution. Ayurvedic herbs are often taken in combination with others to neutralize the toxicity one herb with the opposing effect of other. Do not take except under the supervision of a qualified professional.
Its major dose-limiting toxicities are corticosteroid in nature, due to the inhibitory effect its chief active constituents, glycyrrhizin and enoxolone, have on cortisol degradation and include oedema, hypokalaemia, weight gain or loss, and hypertension.

The United States Food and Drug Administration believes that foods containing liquorice and its derivatives (including glycyrrhizin) are safe if not consumed excessively. Other jurisdictions have suggested no more than 100 mg to 200 mg of glycyrrhizin per day, the equivalent of about 70 to 150 g (2.5 to 5.3 oz) of liquorice.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

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Resources:
http://www.allayurveda.com/herbalcure5.htm
http://www.india-shopping.net/india-ayurveda-products/Glycyrrhiza%20glabra-yashtimadhu.htm
http://www.herbzonline.com/safeherbs/natural-antacid.htm
http://www.holisticonline.com/Herbal-Med/_Herbs/h204.htm
http://www.ayurveda-recipes.com/yashtimadhuka.html
http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Glyc_gla.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquorice

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

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