Glycyrrhiza glabra

Background Information

It was one of the most widely known medicines in ancient history, and records of its use include Assyrian tablets of around 2000 BC and Chinese herbals of the same period. Theophrastos of Lesbos, writing in the fourth century BC wrote that 'it has the property of quenching thirst if one holds it in the mouth'. Dioscorides gave the plant its botanical name (Greek glukos = sweet, riza = root). Its 13th century English name was Lycorys, a corruption of glycyrrhiza.. Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) has long been used for both culinary and medical purposes. Used for flavoring and sweetening candies and medical remedies, licorice also has potent effects of its own, particularly for ulcers and adrenal insufficiencies. Whole. It is also used for asthmatic coughs, as an antispasmodic and ulcer remedy, and to cool 'hot' conditions.

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Medical Use of plant

Glycyrrhiza is widely used in bronchial problems such as catarrh, bronchitis, cold, flu and coughs. It reduces irritation of the throat and yet has an expectorant action. It produces its demulcent and expectorant effects. It is used in relieving stress. It is a potent healing agent for tuberculosis, where its effects have been compared to hydrocortisone. Glycyrrhiza is also effective in helping to reduce fevers (glycyrretinic acid has an effect like aspirin), and it may have an antibacterial action as well. Its use in the treatment of chronic inflammations such as arthritis and rheumatic diseases, Anti-inflammatory, chronic skin conditions, and autoimmune diseases in general.

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How to Identify

It is a herbaceous plant perrenial, growing to 1m in height, with pinnate leaves about 7-15 centimeters long, with 9-17 leaflets. The flowers are about 1/2 inch long, and are purple to pale whitish blue. The fruit is an oblong pod that that is about an inch long. It has alternate branching and has fibrous rooting.

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