Licorice: medicinal properties, method of use and benefits
Licorice, scientific name Glycyrrhiza glabra L., belongs to the family of Fabaceae and it is a plant known to all as a flavoring plant but it is also surprisingly a plant with numerous medicinal properties. It is typical of the Mediterranean regions up to 1000 m of altitude.
It is a perennial shrubby plant with an erect stem provided with numerous longitudinal streaks, hollow inside. It has a woody rhizome. The leaves are imparipinnate, provided with petioles, composed of 9 to 15 oval leaflets, of a beautiful intense green, viscous to the touch. The flowers are blue-lilac gathered in spikelets arranged at the axil of the leaves. It blooms from June to July. The fruit is a flattened legume that contains 3 - 4 dark colored seeds.
The liquor contains: tannins, carbohydrates, flavonoids, glycerrizin, glycyrrhizic acid, estrogens.
Its properties are: emollient, expectorant, refreshing, tonic and diuretic.
USED PARTS OF THE PLANT
The root and stolons of at least three years of age are used from the licorice, cleaned of the bark and dried.
HOW TO USE IT
Licorice decoction and infusion for coughs, bronchitis, water retention, digestive disorders.
The juice is excellent in the case of gastric ulcers.
The packs of decoctions in cases of conjunctivitis and gargling for inflammations of the oral passages.
Licorice is widely used in the confectionery and beverage industry.
Licorice is also known as regolith or glycyrrhiza and is one of the most widely used plants in Chinese medicine.
You should not abuse the use of licorice as taken in excessive doses can cause arterial hypertension and neuropsochic disorders.