Chemical Compounds in Mulhati
The chief constituent of Liquorice root is Glycyrrhizin (6 to 8 per cent), obtainable in the
form of a sweet, white crystalline powder, consisting of the calcium and potassium salts of
glycyrrhizin acid. The plant also contains sugar, starch (29 per cent), gum, protein, fat (0.8 per cent),
resin, asparagin (2 to 4 per cent), a trace of tannin in the outer bark of the root, yellow colouring matter, and 0.03 of volatile oil.
Chemical Compounds: Triterpenes of the oleanane type, mainly glycyrrhizin (glycyrrhizin acid), and its agylcone glycyrrhetinic acid, liquiritic acid,
glycyrrhetol, glabrolide, isoglabrolide, licoric acid, and 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
Uses of Mulhati
Liquorice is largely used by brewers, being added to porter and stout to give thickness and blackness.
Block Liquorice is employed in the manufacture of tobacco for smoking and chewing.
In the United States a new use for Liquorice Root has
been discovered, the waste root being now utilized for the manufacture of boards for making boxes. After extraction of the
Liquorice, the crushed root was formerly considered a waste product and destroyed by burning, but under a recently discovered process this refuse can now be
made into a chemical wood pulp and pressed into a board that is said to have satisfactory resisting qualities and strength.
The powdered root is useful in pill-making on account of its absorbent qualities, being used to impart stiffness
to pill masses and to prevent the adhesion of pills.
Liquorice is a popular and well-known remedy for coughs, consumption and chest complaints
generally, notably bronchitis, and is an ingredient in almost all popular cough medicines on account of its valuable soothing properties.
The Extract enters into the composition of cough lozenges and pastilles, with sedatives and expectorants.
Fluid Extract of Liquorice is employed for disguising the taste of nauseous medicines, having a remarkable power of converting the flavour of acrid or bitter drugs.
Liquorice was prescribed by early physicians in cases of dropsy, to prevent thirst.
The sugar of Liquorice may safely be taken by diabetic patients.
It is used in a variety of medicinal preparations
possessing tonic, alterative and expectorant properties, and also for the rejuvenating and highly nutritive qualities attributed to it.
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
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.
Liquorice also improves complexion, hair, and vision.
Some of the medicinal properties and uses of liquorice:
* Liquorice is a valuable remedy for relieving pain, discomfort and other symptoms caused by acrid matter in the stomach.
* Lubricating the throat with a decoction of liquorice mixed with honey brings relief in dry cough.
* It is an effective home remedy for sore throat. A small piece of raw liquorice if chewed or sucked provides relief by soothing the inflammation.
* Liquorice is useful in treating pain due to stomach ulcers, as it soothes the irritation caused by acids. Pieces of the dried root soaked
overnight in water and the infusion taken with rice gruel helps in the cure of ulcer.
* Liquorice alleviates muscular pains. Taking an infusion of the roots soaked overnight relieves any chronic joint problems.
* The powder of the herb mixed with butter or ghee and honey can be applied on cuts and wounds with good results. The leaves of the plant, applied as a poultice is a useful remedy in scalds of the head and body.
* It is used in the treatment of myopia. Half a teaspoon of the powder of the root, mixed with an equal amount of honey and half the quantity of ghee, can be given twice daily with milk on an empty stomach in this case.
* It heals corns which are just appearing. A paste of liquorice sticks mixed with sesame or mustard oil, if rubbed into the hardened skin at bed time softens the skin and the corn decreases in size.
* It is also used as a laxative in constipation. Its powder is taken with jaggery and water in this condition.
* The sticks of dried rhizomes are soaked in water and the infusion used as a gargle brings quick relief in oral inflammations. Tiny bits of the stick with sugar candy can also be sucked.
* Liquorice is beneficial in treating patchy baldness. Small pieces of the root are ground in milk with a pinch of saffron to a paste. When this
paste is applied over the bald patches at bedtime regularly, hair growth is seen within a few weeks. This
is very effective in the initial stages of baldness, excessive hair loss and dandruff
Liquorice, the Wonder
Herb Awarded 2012 Medicinal Plant of the Year
After a thorough and vivid selection from a panel of judges from the
University of Wurzburg, WWF Germany and Traffic, Liquorice was selected
as the “Medicinal plant of the year 2012” because of its supreme significant contribution to man.
Liquorice is a woody shrub that grows up to a metre tall and a member of
the Fabaceae or pea family. This shrub is widely cultivated for medical purposes. It is also used in beverages because of its possessed chemical
known as glycyrrhizin which is 50 times sweeter than sugarcane.
According to Prof. Johannes Mayer of the University of
Wurzburg, Liquorice is unique because of its ability to quickly soothe coughs and
sore throats. Further, centuries ago, Liquorice is used by Ancient Greek
and Egyptian medical experts to treat coughing, asthma and hoarseness. Mediaeval German nun likewise added that Liquorice
have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-spasmodic actions, and also protect the mucous membranes.
Traditional Chinese medicine
In traditional Chinese medicine, Liquorice is used as an important ingredient. While in Germany, around 500 tonnes of Liquorice are
imported annually for consumption and medical use. Also in Japan, Liquorice is used as an ingredient of cosmetics and medicinal studies.