licorice

Licorice Stem – The Sweetest Root

Essential Facts about Licorice Stem

Names

  • Botanical: Glycyrrhiza glabra
  • Sanskrit: Yastimadhu
  • Hindi: Mulethi, Jethimadhu
  • English: Licorice (The etymology of the word licorice stems from the greek word glukurrhiza, which means sweet root. The French adapted this term to ‘licoresse,’ from which we have derived licorice).

Energetics

  • Rasa (taste): Sweet
  • Guna (qualities): Heavy, sticky
  • Virya (action): Cooling
  • Vipaka (post-digestive effects): Sweet
  • Dosha (constitution): Pacifies vata and pitta

Habitat

Licorice is native to parts of Europe and Asia.

Plant Description

The licorice plant is a perennial shrub that grows up to 6 feet in height and has lilac-colored flowers with bean-like pods containing three or four seeds. The roots are long, wrinkled and brown in color.

Parts Used 

The roots or stem.

Nutrients

Licorice stem contains a wide range of nutrients and flavonoids and phytonutrients. It is a good source of B vitamins and E vitamin. It also provides minerals such as phosphorous, calcium, choline, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, silicon and zinc.

Medicinal Uses of Licorice Stem

Licorice is primarily known for its aromatic and sweet flavor in the West, however, Eastern medicinal practitioners have long been aware of its numerous medicinal benefits.

Glycyrrhizin is the compound in licorice that gives it its particular sweetness. This substance is known to be many times more potent than sugar, and can actually be tremendously beneficial for your health.

Benefits of Licorice Stem

There are a number of benefits that have been attributed to licorice root.

Ayurvedics have used it for fighting inflammation, battling microbes, boosting immunity and memory, fighting ulcers, protecting the liver, enhancing digestion, and regulating hormones.

It has also been used to improve the health of the heart, as well as to manage depression, diabetes, and respiratory issues.

Some of the most well-studied and scientifically understood benefits of licorice root are:

  • Soothing the stomach. Licorice has long been used to help prevent nausea and soothe stomach pain. It has also been shown to prevent the growth of the Helicobacter Pylori bacteria which causes ulcers.
  • Enhancing respiratory health. Licorice can help promote the production of healthy mucus, keeping the circulation of mucus constant and ensuring that any unwanted particulate matter is flushed out of the lungs.
  • Reducing stress. Licorice has been shown to reduce stress on the adrenal gland, which can inhibit symptoms like anxiety, nervousness, and high blood pressure.

Usage and Dosage of Licorice Stem

There are many different ways that you can use licorice stem to receive its medicinal benefits.

If you want to use it to brush your teeth, simply chew the end of a dried licorice root until it becomes moist and soft. Use this to scrub your teeth. This will enhance the health of your gums and make your breath smell fantastic.

In fact, many of the medicinal benefits of licorice root can be had from simply chewing the root. This allows for some sublingual absorption of the active compounds, delivering them more directly to the blood.

You can also make a tea of licorice root, or purchase pre-made supplements or powders that contain licorice, like Chyawanprash.

In general, licorice stem is a fantastic Ayurvedic medicine with a number of interesting uses. Because of its delicious flavor, licorice is one of the easiest and most enjoyable medicines to use.

 

Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)