Herbs & Plants

Bai Zhu

[amazon_link asins=’B0040HI24A,B012Y39KGK,B01HIJCXSM,B01HH850J8,B01N4L4O3B,B01GY28BMG,B01MZ6Z3G5,B01J8WZL9A,B01FLB6GVE’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b6a8964f-ab73-11e7-b01d-2344f1dc4f35′]

Botanical Name :Atractylodes macrocephala
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Atractylodes
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Parts Used : The rhizomes are collected in November when the lower leaves begin withering. They are stripped of the small roots and sun-dried or heat-dried.

Common Name : Bai Zhu

Habitats: E. Asia – China, Japan and Korea.   Pastures and waste ground. Grassland and forests at elevations of 600 – 2800 metres.

Descriptiopn :
Bai Zhu  is a  Perennial herbaceous plant, 40-60 cm. high. Stems cylindrical, much-branched in the upper part. Leaves alternate, toothed, the lower 3-lobed with long petiole, the upper entire, short-petioled. Inflorescence in terminal head; flowers small, lilac, all tubulous. Achene globose, with a coma of hairs.
It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist

Cultivation :
Succeeds in any well-drained soil in sun or partial shade. This species is probably hardy in most of Britain, it tolerates temperatures down to at least -15°c. Widely cultivated in China for its use as a medicinal herb. This species is dioecious. Both male and female plants need to be grown if seed is required.

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the following spring or early summer.

Chemical composition: The rhizomes contain essential oil 1.5%, atractylol, atractylon; glucoside, inulin, vitamin A, potassium atractylate.

Medicinal Uses:
Antibacterial;  DiureticSedativeStomachic;  Tonic.

Bai Zhu is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. The root contains an essential oil, glucoside and inulin. It is a bitter-sweet tonic herb that acts mainly upon the digestive system and strengthens the spleen. The root is antibacterial, diuretic, hypoglycaemic, sedative, stomachic and tonic. It is used in the treatment of poor appetite, dyspepsia, abdominal distension, chronic diarrhoea, oedema and spontaneous sweating. It is often used in conjunction with other herbs such as Codonopsis tangshen and Glycyrrhiza uralensis. Combined with Baical skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) it is used to prevent miscarriage. The roots are harvested in the autumn and baked for use in tonics

It has traditionally been used as a tonic for the digestive system, building qi and strengthening the spleen.  The rhizome has a sweet, pungent taste, and is used to relieve fluid retention, excessive sweating, and digestive problems such as diarrhea and vomiting.  It is also used in the treatment of poor appetite, dyspepsia, abdominal distension, and edema. It is often used in conjunction with other herbs such as Codonopsis tangshen and Glycyrrhiza uralensis. Combined with Baical skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) it is used to prevent miscarriage.

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.


Enhanced by Zemanta
Herbs & Plants


[amazon_link asins=’B007SXJZBW,B01M7UJ86S,B0060C84OQ,B004165GG2,B0001APXYW,B00PV09OD8′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’6388bfd4-d591-11e7-bc7e-8defe941a6a3′]

[amazon_link asins=’B005QLTN4M,B000633BUC,B000SE3YNS,B0060O09PQ,B003DI98D6,B00KLGE1QC’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’99116e37-d591-11e7-b92a-f30fbcdfdcb9′]

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

Vernacular namesSans Yasti madhu, Hind: Jethi madhu, Eng : Licorice

Therapeutic Catagory: Anti-inflammatory, Anti-ulcer

Ayurvedic Names:
Yashtimadhu, Madhuka

Botanical Name: Glycyrrhiza Glabra

Unani Name: Rub-ul-sus

Indian Names: Yashtimadhu, Jethimadhu, Mulethi,Calamus,  Sweet Liquorice, Sweet Wood

Habitat:  This plant can be cultivated in plains of India but the drug is mainly imported from
Afghanistan and Iran.

Yashtimadhu or Licorice is one of the greatest herbs known to mankind. Egyptian hieroglyphics record the use of Licorice in a popular beverage. Alexander the Great, the Scything armies, Roman Emperor Caesar, and even India’s great prophet, Brahma, are on record endorsing the beneficial properties contained in Licorice. Warriors used it for its ability to quench thirst while on the march, while others recognized Licorice’s valuable healing properties. A very important quality of licorice continues to be its use as a flavoring agent. Glycyrrhiza is Greek meaning ‘sweet root’.

click to see…>……(01)....(1)…....(2).…...(3).…...(4).

Liquorice/ Licorice, a perennial herb of the genus Glycyrrhiza, in the family Leguminosae is a tall shrub (4  to  5 feet). This tender, twining plant, woody at the base is native of Asia and Mediterranean region and grows in subtropical climates. Glycyrrhiza glabra is its scientific name
A perennial shrub up to 1m high, violet flowers in racemes, dried roots are the source of liquorice. It is a herb or a small shrub up to 1m high with pinnate leaves having 9-17 leaflets. The leaflets ovate and obtuse. flowers pale blue, arranged in a raceme. Caylx glandular, pubescent. The pods glabrous, red to brown having 3-4 seeds. The root light brown, sweet in taste.

Principle constituent of liquorice is the sweet tasting Triterpenoid saponin glyccrrhizin
(2-9%), a mixture of potassium and calcium salts of glycyrrhizinic acid. Include other
triterpenoid saponins like glabranin A&B, glycyrrhetol, glabrolide, isoglabrolide, isoflavones, coumarins, triterpene sterols.

The medicinally active sweet juice contained in its root, abounds with a constituent, much used in demulcent compositions. The inspissated juice is used as a confection and for medicinal purposes. Acrid resins, however, render the root irritant and poisonous. The word licorice derives from Greek glykeia rhiza “sweet root” – glykys the modern Greek name means sweet and rhiza means root. This herb known in Malayalam as At(t)i madhuram, Iratti madhuram, can be purchased from angadikkada, the shop in the street Ati madhuram/ Iratti madhuram which means excessively sweet (or extremely charming/ beautiful) is a sugar ally.

Eratti/ iratti means doubling. But Eratti/ iratti madhuram, doesn’t  mean doubling of the sweetness. Iratti is transformed into eratti. The characteristic sweet taste of liquorice is also reflected in the Indian names. In Sanskrit, madhu means sweet, pleasant. This element is found in names for licorice not only in Sanskrit (madhuka and yashtimadhu from yashti “stem, stalk”, but also in modern names of both South and North India, e.g., jestamadha (Marathi), yashthimodhu (Bengali), yashti madhukam, madhu yashti(ka), madhukam, yashti madhuram, yashti, yashtee madhu, madhusrava, yashteekam, kleethakam (Sanskrit), jathi-madh, jethi-madh, mulathi (Hindi), ati-madhura, yashti-madhuka (Kannada), ati-maduram (Tamil), ati-madhuramu, yashti-madhukam (Telugu).

The drug posses potent demulcent, expectorant and anti-inflamattory properties, attributed to the presence of glycyrrhizin, which is about 50 times sweeter than sucrose. Besides these, glyrrhizin is also credited with anti-hepatotoxic, anti-viral and anti-bacterial activites. The drug is also beneficial to peptic ulcer.

In India, the crude as well as its dried aqueous extract is mainly used in bronchial
troubles along with Viola pilosa, Adiantum lunulatum and Justicia adhatoda in the form of
decoction or in lozenges, but in Allopathy, its additional use along with anise oil is as
mild laxative and for masking the bad taste of some herbal preparations of senna aloe,
hyoscyamus, etc.

In Ayurveda, Glycyrrhiza glabra is used in “Yastyadi Churna”, “Yastyadi Kwath” and “Yastimadhavadi Taila”. In Unani system, it is an ingredient of “Banadiq-ul-bazur” used as a diuretic in urinary troubles, of lozenges “Hab Awaz Kusha” and “Hab Maqhas Badam” of “Dawa-i-sandal” a cooling agent for such diseases as syphilis, of “Sufuflodh” for threatened abortion, of “Sharbat Aijaz” a cough syrup and of “Laooq Bihdana” and “Laooq Badama” used as cough linctus.

It is madhura, slightly tikta, sheetala, used in opthalmia, deranged pitta, anorexia, emaciation, allays thirst and cures ulcer.

Therapeutic Uses:
Root (powder) : prescribed in coughs, hoarseness and in respiratory troubles; mixed with citrus juice efficacious in catarrhal affections and with honey in jaundice; in combination with ginger and milk, acts as a good tonic during convalescence; infusion,

Decoction or extract is laxative and an useful medicine in urinary diseases, bronchial and gastric troubles. alterative, galactagogue; good for the eyes, in incipient loss of sight, in diseases of the eyelid; removes biliousness, ear diseases due to biliousness; improves taste; lessens thirst, hiccough, vomiting, fatigue; heals ulcers, wounds; improves the voice; cures” vata “, inflammation, consumption, purifies the blood; useful in leprosy, anremia; hemicrania, haemoptysis, abdominal pains, epilepsy
The root is hot, dry, sweet; diuretic, emmenagogue, demulcent; relieves thirst, cough, vomiting, asthma, bronchitis, abdominal colic, headache; good in eye troubles; cures unhealthy humours, ulcers.-

The branches are bitter.-
The leaves are used for scalds of the head, and in foul perspiration of the armpits
The root is demulcent, pectoral, and emollient.used for coughs, consumption, and chest complaints..
The root is. said to be good for sore throats

Licorice root contains triterpenoid saponins (4-24%), mostly glycrrhizin, a mixture of potassium and calcium salts of glycyrrhizic acid; falvonoids (1%), mainly liquiritin and liquiritigenin, chalcones isoliquiritin, isoliquiritigenin, and isoflavonoids (formononetin) ; amines (1-2%) asparagine, betaine, and choline; amino acids; 3-15% glucose and sucrose; starch (2-30%); polysaccharides (arabinogalactans); sterols (beta-sitosterol); coumarins (glycerin); resin; and volatile oils (0.047%). Also Vitamins E, B-complex, phosphorous, biotin, niacin, pantothenic acid, lecithin, manganese, iodine, chromium, and zinc have been found.

Liquorice is used both in the Western and Oriental medicines. In western medicine, liquorice has been used since the ancient Grecian age as an expectorant and antitussive agent and as ad additive for sweetening. In old Chinese Materia Medica “Shin Nung Pen T Sao Chung”, liquorice was described as a drug for strengthening muscle and bone, and curing wounds.

Since liquorice extracts were effective clinically for treatment of gastric ulcer, but
caused oedema and hypertension in nearly 20% patients treated. The physiological and
pharmacolgical studies on glycyrrhizin, the main saponin of liquorice have advanced
remarkably. The side effect of liquorice extracts was regarded as a mineral corticoid like
action of glycyrrhizin. It has been reported that glycyrrhizin caused retention of Na+and Cl and excretion of K+.

Glycyrrhizetic acid has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory activity, in 1/8th potency of hydrocortisone by the cotton-pellet method. The activity is potentiated to 1/5th of hydrocortisone when carbenoxolone (Sodium salt of hemisuccinate of glycyrrhetic acid) is used. Glycyrrhizin ointment is employed clinically for aphtha and other inflammatory skin diseases.

In these cases, glycyrrhizin or its sapogenin glycyrrhetic acid potentiates the
action of glucocorticoid. Glycyrrhizin has been shown to inhibit ulcers in rats and cures
experimental gastric ulcers caused by acetic acid administration. To avoid side effects in
glycyrrhizin in liquorice preparation, such as oedema and hypertension, a glycyrrhizin free
fraction was studied. Later it has been whon that the fraction named FM 100 was found
effective for gastric ulcers and it contains several iso-flavones and chalcones. De-glycyrrhized liquorice extract is now an important substance for treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers.

Click to see    :Liquorice

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



Herbs & Plants


Botanical Name: Glycyrrhiza glabra
G. glabra

Common Names: The word liquorice / licorice is derived (via the Old French licoresse) from the Greek   name  glukurrhiza, meaning “sweet root”,  glukus means “sweet”   and rhiza   means “root”.   It is called as adhimadhuram  in Tamil, irattimadhuram  in Malayalam, yastimadhu  in Sanskrit and in Bengali, mulethi  in Hindi, Vel Mee  in Sinhalese and jethimadh  in Gujarati language.

Habitat :
The liquorice plant is a legume native to southern Europe, India, and parts of Asia.

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

click to see the picture

click to  see

Other herbs and spices of similar flavour include Anise, star anise, tarragon, and fennel.The taste of licorice is similar to that of aniseed and fennel, and thus licorice can be considered to be a spice. However, it has a long history as being of value as an herbal remedy, and it is therefore often considered to be an herb rather than a spice. The licorice plant is a member of the bean family, but its seed pods are hair free in contrast to similar plants. Its roots contain the very sweet, characteristic juice, and as a tribute to this, the plant is named Glycyrrhiza glabra   meaning the sweet root with hairless seed pods. Corruption of the Greek name glyrrhiza led to the other official name, Liquiritra officinalis; the medieval name was gliquiricia from which the name licorice or liquorice is obtained. The sweetest sources of licorice come from plants growing in Spain and Italy, although it is probable that the original plant came from Russia or China. Spanish licorice was brought to England, and it became an important product in the town of Pontefract.
Cultivation and uses
Liquorice is grown as a root crop mainly in southern Europe. Very little commercial liquorice is grown in North America, where it is replaced by a related native species, American Licorice (G. lepidota), which has similar uses.

Liquorice extract is produced by boiling liquorice root and subsequently evaporating most of the water (in fact, the word ‘liquorice’ is derived from the Ancient Greek words for ‘sweet root’). Liquorice extract is traded both in solid and syrup form. Its active principle is glycyrrhizin, a sweetener more than 50 times as sweet as sucrose which also has pharmaceutical effects. The related Chinese Liquorice (G. uralensis), which is used extensively in traditional Chinese medicine, contains this chemical in much greater concentration.
The pleasant quality of true licorice led to it being incorporated into many traditional Chinese remedies, where it was credited with harmonizing the body’s response when it was exposed to the contrasting actions of other herbs in the formula. It has also been utilized in Chinese spice mixtures, and is often incorporated in desserts, confectionaries, candies and alcoholic drinks. Further uses include its addition to tobaccos and snuff. Currently, it is included in many simple medications, especially for pharyngitis and cough. Traditionally, the list of indications is very extensive, and includes infections, aphthous ulcers, skin disorders, rheumatic and other inflammatory diseases, asthma, hepatic and gastroduodenal diseases.

There is no doubt that glycyrrhizin has an aldosterone like effect, and excessive intake of licorice can cause hypokalemia and hypertension. However, the claimed value of licorice products in treating hypo-adrenal states is disputed. Other hormonal effects have been suggested, including impairment of gonadal function.

Thus, this ancient herbal spice has dubious medical values that are complemented by its undoubted toxic potential. It may surprise many people in the U.S. to know that familiar licorice candy is usually not true licorice, since the flavor is generally provided by aniseed, molasses and corn syrup. Eaters of typical U.S. licorice products may put on weight, but this will not be explainable by the hormonal effects of the compounds found in true licorice.
Liquorice flavour is found in a wide variety of liquorice candies. The most popular in the United Kingdom are Liquorice allsorts. In continental Europe, however, far stronger, saltier candies are preferred. It should be noted, though, that in most of these candies the taste is reinforced by aniseed oil, and the actual content of liquorice is quite low. Additionally, liquorice is found in some soft drinks (such as root beer), and is in some herbal teas where it provides a sweet aftertaste. The flavour is common in medicines to disguise unpleasant flavours.

Liquorice is popular in Italy, particularly in the South, in its natural form. The root of the plant is simply dug up, washed and chewed as 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. Liquorice is also very popular in Syria where it is sold as a drink. Dried liquorice root can be chewed as a sweet. According to the US Department of Agriculture Food Database, black licorice contains approximately 100 calories per ounce Chinese cuisine uses liquorice as a culinary spice for savoury foods. It is often employed to flavour broths and foods simmered in soy sauce.

Useful Parts :The roots and rhizomes are the important source for the flavor.

Medicinal Properties:Licorice contains several active phytomedicines. The main one is the saponin-like triterpene glycoside, glycyrrhizin (also called glycyrrhizic acid and glycyrrhizinic acid), which is much sweeter than sugar. This compound is hydrolyzed in the bowel to glycyrrhetic (or glycyrrhetinic) acid, which is also called enoxolone. The latter has been marketed as a succinate derivative, carbenoxolone, which is prescribed in Europe and Japan as a treatment for gastric ulcers, although its value is uncertain. Licorice flavonoids are believed to have antioxidant properties. Additional effects of glycyrrhizin include the surprising finding in Japan that this agents helps improve liver function in hepatitis C. Similarly, some reports demonstrate improvement in AIDS. All such studies raise unanswered questions as to the true value of licorice in the modern era.
Liquorice plays an important part in unani as well as Ayurvedic system of medicines. It is mentioned as one of principal drugs by ‘Sushruta’ one of the prominent Sage physician of Vedic times. Liquorice has been used for its rejuvenating properties especially for longer periods. In earlier times, it was used to quench thirst, alleviate feverishness, pain, cough & distress of breathing. Liquorice is also a popular flavouring agent. It is tall erect herb growing upto about 1.5 metres in height. It has compound leaves lilac or violet flowers flat fruit & and is densely covered with small apineous out growths. The dried roots & under ground stems or rhizomes of the plant constitute the drug. Liquorice is cultivated in southern Europe, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Greece & Russia. In India, it is cultivated in northwest parts of the country and large quantities are imported for medicinal purposes.

The root of the plant is a laxative & expectorant. When externally used it has a soothing effect on the skin. Powdered liquorice is very popular in allopathic medicine.

Liquorice is an excellent remedy for relieving pain discomfort & other symptoms caused by acrid matter in the stomach. It should be taken in powder form.


The herb is a recognised home remedy for sore throat. A small piece of raw liquorice if chewed or sucked provides relief by soothing the inflammation.
Historical View : Liquorice root possesses demulcent properties: and hence is useful to allay cough, and in catarrhal affections. It has also been found serviceable in irritable conditions of the mucous membrane of the urinary organs, etc.”

Other Uses:
Most liquorice is used as a flavouring agent for tobacco. For example, M&F Worldwide reported in 2011 that about 63% of its liquorice product sales are to the worldwide tobacco industry for use as tobacco flavour enhancing and moistening agents in the manufacture of American blend cigarettes, moist snuff, chewing tobacco, and pipe tobacco  American blend cigarettes made up a larger portion of worldwide tobacco consumption in earlier years,  and the percentage of liquorice products used by the tobacco industry was higher in the past. M&F Worldwide sold approximately 73% of its liquorice products to the tobacco industry in 2005.  A consultant to M&F Worldwide’s predecessor company stated in 1975 that it was believed that well over 90% of the total production of liquorice extract and its derivatives found its way into tobacco products.

Liquorice provides tobacco products with a natural sweetness and a distinctive flavour that blends readily with the natural and imitation flavouring components employed in the tobacco industry. It represses harshness and is not detectable as liquorice by the consumer. Tobacco flavourings such as liquorice also make it easier to inhale the smoke by creating bronchodilators, which open up the lungs.  Chewing tobacco requires substantially higher levels of liquorice extract as emphasis on the sweet flavour appears highly desirable

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.

Help taken from:Medicinal Spices Exhibit and and

Enhanced by Zemanta