Home Herbs A to Z Yastimadhu (Glycyrrhiza Glabra)

Yastimadhu (Glycyrrhiza Glabra)

Yastimadhu - Glycyrrhiza Glabra

Yastimadhu is a tall perennial plant commonly known as Liquorice or Sweet wood. The whole herb is said to have high medicinal value. The name Yastimadhu indicates that its stem is sweet in taste. Glycyrrhiza glabra is named so because “Glykas”means sweet, “rhiza” means root and “glabra” means smooth and hairless. 


Dr. Gupta’s IAFA have conducted various studies on Yashtimadhu to confirm the Ayurvedic action of this herb.Glycyrrhiza glabra helps to pacify Vata and Pitta dosha due to its sweet taste and cold potency respectively. So it is effectively used in various diseases like chronic cough, breathing difficulties, burning sensation, headache etc. Glycyrrhiza glabra or Yastimadhu has contains different chemical constituents like glycyrrhine, prenylated biaurone, licoagrone, isoflavone etc. So it can be used as an antimicrobial, antiviral, anti inflammatory etc. Due to these properties of this drug, it is effectively used as an antiallergic drug. Due to it’s cold potency, it’s paste can be applied effectively on skin allergic conditions. As it helps in alleviating pitta dosha, Skin diseases like paittika Kushta canbe treated effectively by using Yastimadhu.

Action of Glycyrrhiza glabra or Yastimadhu in Allergies

Glycyrrhiza glabra or Yastimadhu contain various chemical constituents in its root or stolon powder. The major constituents are glycyrrhine, prenylated biaurone, licoagrone, isoflavone, liqcomarin, glyzaglabrin, quercitin, kaempferol, stragaion, liquiritigennin, isoliquiritigenis, licuraside, liquiritoside, liquoric acid, glabrotide, deoxoglabrotide, glycyrrhizic acid, liconicone, blabridin, liqurazid, liquiritin, glabranine and glabrene. The above mentioned constituents help Yastimadhu to act as a Hepatoprotective, Antimicrobial, Antiviral, Spasmolytic, Antiulcer, Antimutagenic, Anti pyretic, Antioxidant, Anti inflammatory and expectorant drug. The photochemical that show anti inflammatory and anti allergic activity are found to be effective against cutaneous allergic reactions and can effectively be used in skin allergies. 

Vernacular Names and Botanical Classification

Botanical nameGlycyrrhiza glabra Linn.
Vernacular Names
Hindi name Mulethi, Jethimadhu
Sanskrit nameYashtimadhu, Madhuka, Kulikitaka, Madhuyashti, Yashtyahva
English name Licorice, Liquorice
Tamil nameAthimadhuram, Irattimadhuram
Bengali nameYashtimadhu
Marathi nameJestamadhu
Kannada nameAtimadhura, Jeshtamadhu
Telgu nameYashtimadhukam
Gujrati nameJethimadh

Ayurvedic Reference of Yastimadhu

Parts Used of Glycyrrhiza glabra or Yastimadhu

Cyperus rotundus also called as “Nut Sedge”. Its tubers are used for medicinal purpose which resemble like nuts although botanically nothing to do with nuts.

Preparation and dosage of Glycyrrhiza glabra or Yastimadhu

  • Powder (choornam) – 3-6 gm per day
  • Decoction– 30-90 divided doses in a day

Medicinal Properties and Uses of Glycyrrhiza glabra or Yastimadhu

  • Food allergy: In indigestion, vomiting, nausea, anorexia and stomach irritability. 
  • Chest and nasal allergy: found very effective in breathing problems, cough and cold, TB, asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis and bronchitis in children.
  • Skin allergy: pacifies vata and kapha vitiated skin diseases; useful in skin ailments.
  • Fever: helps to calm down viral fevers.

Contraindication of Glycyrrhiza glabra or Yastimadhu

  • In Pregnancy 
  • Nursing mother
  • Hypertensive patients

Home remedies of Glycyrrhiza glabra or Yastimadhu

Glycyrrhiza glabra or Yastimadhu is a potent Ayurvedic drug which can be used against many diseases. 

  • In Hoarseness of voice (Swarabheda) – Intake of ricemilk with powder of Yastimadhu and ghee is very useful in case of hoarseness of voice. It can be taken orally twice a day after food 
  • In Hiccup (Hidma) – Pressed snuff of Yastimadhu powder with honey is effective in Hiccough. 10g of the mixture is taken orally.
  • In Anemia (Pandu)- Decoction of Yastimadhu is useful to relieve Anaemia. The root of Yastimadhu collected and crushed. It is added with 4 times water and boiled. Then it is reduced to ¼ parts and taken orally.
  • In Cough (Kasa)- Powder of Yastimadhu is used with honey. 6 g of the mixture is taken on daily basis early in the morning. Taking this mixture for a period of 7 days will reduce Cough immensely.
  • In Anorexia (Aruchi) – Intake of powder of Yastimadhu with honey is very effective in Anorexic conditions. 4-6 g of this mixture taken twice daily will improve anorexic condition.
  • In Excessive thirst (Thrishna)- Decoction of Yastimadhu can effectively be used for reducing thirst. Adequate quantity of the decoction can be drunk.
  • In Burning sensation (Daha)- Intake of decoction of Yastimadhu can be used in case of Burning sensation. 60 ml decoction can be taken orally twice a day.

Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta, Ayurvedic Allergist

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