Licorice smooth (common licorice)

Name: Licorice smooth (common licorice)

LIQORICE (common licorice) 

Perennial herbaceous plant up to 1-1.5 m tall. Rhizome many-headed, powerful. The leaves are alternate, compound, unpaired, sticky, with deciduous stipules. The flowers are small, axillary, in spicate racemes, pale purple or lilac. The fruit is a bean smooth or glandular-hairy, squeezed from the sides. Blooms in June-July.

Licorice is a rather traditional plant in the South-East in the steppe regions, on the left bank of the Ural River. Distributed in the North Caucasus. Grows along river floodplains, along canals and steppe depressions.

When harvesting, it should not be mixed with licorice, in which the flowers are collected in capitate inflorescences and short subulate beans.

Medicinal raw materials are roots and underground shoots peeled from the outer bark, 25-40 cm long and 8-12 mm thick, dug out in early spring, in March-April (or in autumn, with the beginning of the withering of the aerial parts of plants), before the development of new stems. There is no smell, the taste is burning, sugary-sweet, slightly irritating. Storage period 10 years.

The raw material contains glycosides – liquiritoside and glycerrisin, sucrose, glucose mannitol, bitterness, gum, as-paragine, starch, proteins, traces of essential oil, mineral salts, pectin substances.

The presence of a large amount of mucous substances and gums makes it possible to use licorice as a laxative and expectorant and include it in the composition of the breast elixir and breast collection.

There are indications of the ability of licorice root to influence water-salt metabolism. The effectiveness of licorice root extract and juice in gastric and duodenal ulcers is associated with the presence of glycerrisic acid in the product.

Due to gum, licorice has a laxative effect and is part of a complex licorice powder.

With the introduction of a 5% solution of licorice root into the stomach, the secretion of hydrochloric acid and general acidity increase.

Licorice root preparations are used for pulmonary tuberculosis and dry bronchitis, as an expectorant emollient, as an antidote for meat and mushroom poisoning, as a diuretic, for chronic constipation, diseases associated with impaired water and mineral metabolism, hemorrhoids, gastric and duodenal ulcers, and cancer .

In Chinese medicine, it is believed that licorice root is not inferior in value to ginseng and is used as an anti-febrile, analgesic, enveloping, expectorant, mild laxative and for eczema, lupus erythematosus, psoriasis, which is obviously associated with the presence of glycyrrhizin in licorice.

Licorice root, according to Chinese doctors, rejuvenates the body. In Tibetan medicine, licorice roots are used in the treatment of patients with pulmonary tuberculosis, diseases of the cardiovascular system and as an anti-inflammatory agent for adrenal tuberculosis.

There is evidence of the successful use of the root of the plant in Addison-Birmer disease.

Licorice preparations (elixir, extract, syrup and complex powder) are used in small doses intermittently, since it has been noted that with prolonged use, glycerrisin can cause electrolyte-water imbalance and lead to the formation of edema.

In the food industry, licorice roots are used to sweeten beer, soft drinks, kvass, and when urinating apples.


Decoction: 15 g of crushed root per 1 glass of water, boil for 20 minutes, take 1 tbsp. spoon 4-5 times every day.

It has been established that licorice has anti-cancer (delays tumor growth), bactericidal and protist-stic action.

Licorice is contraindicated in hypertension, obesity, heart failure and pregnancy.

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