Yashti Madhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Yashti Madhu (Glycyrrhiza Glabra)

Latin Name Glycyrrhiza glabra
Sanskrit Name Yastimadhuka, Yastika, Madhuka, Madhuyasti, Yatyahva
English Name Liquorice root
Common Name Jethimard, Jethimadh, Mulethi, Muleti, Jethimadhu, Jesthamadh, Jatimadhu, Jastimadhu, Atimadhuramu
Ayurvedic Properties and Action:
Rasa Madhura
Guna Guru, Snigdha
Virya Sita
Vipaka Madhura
Karma Balya, Caksusya, Vrsya, Varnya, Vatapittajit, Raktaprasadana

Phytochemistry:

The principal constituent of liquorice is glycyrrhizin (its characteristic sweet taste). Other constituents present in liquorice are: glucose, sucrose, mannite, starch, and asparagine, bitter principles, resins and a volatile oil. The yellow color is due to the anthoxanthin glycoside, iso liquiritin which undergoes partial conversion to liquiritin during drying and storage of roots. Iso liquiritin gives on hydrolysis iso liquiritigenin, while liquiritin gives liquiritigenin as a glucone. Both iso liquiritin and liquiritin are bitter with a sweet after-taste and stimulate the salivary glands. A phytosteroid estrogen, possibly estriol, is also reported to be present in liquorice. The plant contains phytoestrogens in the form of isoflavones such as formononetin; glabrone, neoliquiritin and hispaglabridin A & B.
Roots contain glycyrrhizin, asparagin, sugar, starch, acid resin, gum, mucilage, phosphoric, sulfuric & malic acids. Bark contains a small quantity of tannins.

Pharmacological Actions:

It is a tonic, sweet, antioxidant, expectorant, antitussive, demulcent, spasmolytic, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, anti-nociceptive, memory stimulant (being MAO inhibitor), antimicrobial, antiviral, demulcent, antibacterial, spasmolytic, tonic, diuretic and intellect promoting, also has antistress, antiulcer, liver protective, estrogenic, emmenagogue, antidiabetic and antidepressive actions.
It has hypolipidaemic, antiatherosclerotic, antioxidant and hypotensive properties.

Medicinal Use:

It is used in bronchitis, dry cough, respiratory infections, catarrh, tuberculosis; genitourinary diseases, urinary tract infections; abdominal pain, gastric and duodenal ulcers, inflamed stomach, mouth ulcer and in catarrh of the upper respiratory tract. Also used for adrenocorticoid insufficiency.

It is useful in epilepsy, as a general tonic in debility and as a rejuvenator.

It is used in healing of peptic ulcer and warm sensation on mucus membrane, It has spasmolytic antiulcer properties, and useful in gastralgia, gastric ulcer, hypo and hyper acidity, and peptic ulcer .

It is used to relieve oral inflammations, irritable condition of bronchial tubes, hoarseness, dry coughs, bronchitis, asthma, sore throats and in viral infections.

It is used for allaying coughs and catarrhal affections. Liquorice extract is a constituent of cough syrups, it is useful in clears and sooths sore throat and it resolves infection of respiratory tract.

It is useful in falling and graying of hair.
Clinical / experimental study:

Memory stimulant

Glycyrrhizic acid has neuroprotective effects and may be use to prevent cerebral damage elicited by the glutamate.
It has neuroprotective effects against ischemic damage by maintaining the SOD1 level.

Glabridin has a neuroprotective effect via modulation of multiple pathways associated with apoptosis (Glabridin significantly attenuated the level of brain malonyldialdehyde, while it elevate the level of two endogenous antioxidants in the brain, i.e. superoxide dismutase and reduced glutathione , it also inhibit the staurosporine-induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis of cortical neurons, and reduce the DNA laddering caused by staurosporine, etc.). It is useful in cerebral ischemia.
A controlled clinical trial on 92 randomly selected cases of post operative traumatic inflammation following tonsillectomy with powdered G. glabra given in a dose of 3g t.d.s in 28 cases. In another series of 24 cases, oxyphenbutazone 2 tabs t.d.s were given. On sequential analysis, the anti-inflammatory response of G. glabra was found to be equivalent to that of oxyphenbutazone. G. glabra appeared to possess a more potent antipyretic and anti-exudative activity in comparison to oxyphenbutazone.
In clinical study, licorice root fluidextract was used to treat 100 patients with early peptic ulcer, of which 86 cases had been unresponsive to conventional treatment, at a dose of 15 ml four times daily for six weeks. Positive effects were reported in 90% of the cases, in 22 of which ulcer craters disappeared by X-ray examination and 28 others showed improvement. In subsequent studies, researchers reported that licorice powder at a dosage of 2.5–5.0 g three times daily was more effective than the fluidextract.
DGL (deglycyrrhizinated liquorice) has shown success in treating duodenal gastric ulcers in clinical trials. Licorice preparations have been studied for possible benefits in treating digestive tract ulcers. In one clinical study, licorice root fluidextract was used to treat 100 patients with early peptic ulcer, of which 86 cases had been unresponsive to conventional treatment, at a dose of 15 ml four times daily for six weeks. Positive effects were reported in 90% of the cases, in 22 of which ulcer craters disappeared by X-ray examination and 28 others showed improvement. In subsequent studies, researchers reported that licorice powder at a dosage of 2.5–5.0 g three times daily was more effective than the fluidextract.

The antiulcer activity of Glycyrrhizae has been demonstrated both experimentally and clinically. Intraperitoneal, intraduodenal, or oral administration of aqueous or alcoholic extracts of Radix Glycyrrhizae reduced gastric secretions in rats, and it inhibited the formation of gastric ulcers induced by pyloric ligation, aspirin, and ibuprofen.
Glycyrrhizin and its agly-cone (glycyrrhetic acid, enoxolone), two of the active constituents of Radix Glycyrrhizae, both have antiphlogistic activity and increase the rate of mucus secretion by the gastric mucosa. Deglycyrrhizinated liquorice (97% of glycyrrhizin is removed) effectively treated stress-induced ulcers in animal models. The mechanism of antiulcer activity involves acceleration of mucin excretion through increasing the synthesis of glycoprotein at the gastric mucosa, prolonging the life of the epithelial cells, and antipepsin activity.
The spasmolytic activity of Glycyrrhizae has been demonstrated in vivo (guinea-pig, rabbit, & dog), & appears to be due to the flavonoids liquiritigenin & isoliquiritigenin.
Oral administration of Glycyrrhizae to 15 patients with peptic ulcer reduced symptoms and improved healing in 75% of the cases. Glycyrrhetic acid (enoxolone), the active constituent, produced its antiulcer activity by inhibiting 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase and Δ13-prostaglandin reductase. Inhibition of these two enzymes stimulated an increase in the concentration of prostaglandins E and F2α in the stomach, which promoted the healing of peptic ulcers owing to a cytoprotective effect on the gastric mucosa.
Carbenoxolone, a derivative of glycyrrhetic acid, has been used clinically for years in the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers.
Oral administration of deglycyrrhizinated liquorice (380 mg, 3 times daily) to 169 patients with chronic duodenal ulcers was as effective as antacid or cimetidine treatments. These results indicate that, in addition to glycyrrhetic acid, other unidentified constituents of Glycyrrhizae contribute to its antiulcer activity.
The flavonoids have been shown to kill Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that causes most ulcers and stomach inflammation.
Glycyrrhiza Glabra strengthens the gastric mucosal defense system, neutralizes gastric acid, increases the concentration of dissolved mucosubstances and helps in healing of gastric and duodenal ulcers.
Antitussive effects
In animal studies licorice produces a persistence antitussive effect, which is mediated by liquiritin apoiside in the earlier phase and liquiritin and liquiritigenicn (a metabolite of liquiritin apoiside) in the later phase.

Antiallergic activity

G. glabra (glycyrrhizin, 18 beta-glycyrrhetinic acid and liquiritigenin) have Antiallergic activity, which can relive IgE-induced allergic diseases such as dermatitis and asthma.

Cardiac
Hypocholesterolaemic and Antioxidant effects of Glycyrrhiza glabra appeared to be mediated via (I) accelerated cholesterol, neutral sterol and bile acid elimination through fecal matter with an increased hepatic bile acid production and (II) improving the activities of hepatic SOD, catalase and increasing the ascorbic acid content. It significantly decline in plasma lipid profiles and an increase in HDL-cholesterol content. During treatment the status of antioxidant was improved.

It has estrogen like activity and useful in female hormonal replacement therapy support and also aid in depression associated with PMS or menopause.

Gynaecological action

Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) has been touted as a “natural” source of estrogen and has been suggested as a treatment for symptoms of menopause. The estrogen action may be due to its isoflavone content, and these compounds tend to act as estrogen agonists in a low estrogen setting, and as estrogen antagonists in a setting of high estrogen levels.
It has estrogen like activity and useful in female hormonal replacement therapy support and also aid in depression associated with PMS or menopause.

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2 responses to “Yashti Madhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

  1. Pingback: Discover a cholesterol-lowering diet for significantly improved lipid test results

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