Glycyrrhiza glabra

COMMON NAME

licorice, other: Russian licorice, Spanish licorice, Turkish licorice.

 

INTRODUCTION

Licorice root is one of the most widely used medicinal herbs worldwide. It was used by the Egyptians as a flavoring for a drink called Mai-sus. Dioscides, when traveling with Alexander the Great, recommended that his troops carry and use licorice to help with stamina for long marches, as well as for thirst in areas of drought. In the Middle Ages it was taken to alleviate the negative effects of highly spicy or overcooked food. It was also used for flavoring tobacco, and as a foaming agent in fire extinguishers and beer. In a recent survey of Western medical herbalists, licorice ranked as the 10th most important herb used in clinical practice.

 

CONSTITUENTS

Glycyrrhizin, complex immune-stimulant sugars.

Herbions’ Specification

Scientific Name: Glycyrrhiza glabra

Active:     Glycyrrhizin

Part used: Roots

Assay: NLT 1.5% by HPTLC and 4.0% by HPLC

Biological Activity

Anti-inflammatory, GIT protective agent, sweetening agent.

 

Glycyrrhizin has also demonstrated antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, and blood pressure-increasing effects in vitro and in vivo, as is supported by the finding that intravenous glycyrrhizin (as if it is given orally very little of the original drug makes it into circulation) slows  the Liquorice has also demonstrated efficacy in treating inflammation-induced skin hyperpigmentation. Liquorice may also be useful in preventing neurodegenerative disorders and dental caries.