Herbs

Licorice Root

Scientific Classification

Kingdom::   Plantae
(unranked):   Angiosperms
(unranked):   Eudicots
(unranked)::    Rosids
Order:    Fabales
Family:    Fabaceae
Subfamily:    Faboideae
Tribe:    Galegeae
Genus:    Glycyrrhiza
Species::    G. Glabra
Binomial Name::    Glycyrrhiza Glabra

Licorice root is a herbaceous perennial plant. It is the root of Glycyrrhiza Glabra., A sweet flavor is extracted from licorice. For rejuvenation, it has been used traditionally as a medicine in Ayurveda. Licorice is very sweet in taste and said to be 30-50 times sweeter than sugar, but also very different from sugar. Its sweetness is tart, less instant and long lasting. The fragrance of the licorice root comes from the combination variable and complex compounds. Most of its sweetness comes from an ingredient called Glycyrrhizin. It has anti allergic, antiviral, antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties.

History

The word licorice is derived from the Greek word meaning sweet root. This name was provided by Dioscorides. In Hindi it is known as multi. In the ancient times it was used by the Brahmans of India, Romans, Greeks, Chinese and the Babylonians. In Ayurvedic culture, it is known as “liquefier of the stomach”. In the middle times it was used to improve the negative effect of spicy food. For thousands of years, it was used to treat many conditions. In royal history, it was considered as a valuable herb.

Anatomy

The Licorice plant grows up to 1 meter in height. It has pinnate leaves. These leaves are 7 to 15 cm long and have 9 to 17 leaflets in each; its flowers are purple to pale whitish blue color. These flowers are 0.8 to 1.2 cm long. It is commonly used in India and traditional Chinese medicines.

Habitat

The Licorice plant is native to India, parts of Asia and Europe. The main producing countries of licorice root are Iraq, China, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. The world’s leading manufacturer of licorice is M&F worldwide. It produces more than 70% of the worldwide production. It produces licorice flavors for sale to end users

Soil

The Licorice plant is native to India, parts of Asia and Europe. The main producing countries of licorice root are Iraq, China, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. The world’s leading manufacturer of licorice is M&F worldwide. It produces more than 70% of the worldwide production. It produces licorice flavors for sale to end users

Planting

The planting season of the licorice root is either October or February and March. It grows from seeds in the early autumn or spring season. Its germination occurs in 7 days. It also grows by division by strong root system. This method saves time.

Water

This plant requires watering regularly. It grows well in moisture. During the growing season, it prefers regular watering. It grows well in warm and sunny climate. It requires full or partial sunlight.

Temperature and Humidity

This plant requires watering regularly. It grows well in moisture. During the growing season, it prefers regular watering. It grows well in warm and sunny climate. It requires full or partial sunlight.

Care

This plant requires watering regularly. It grows well in moisture. During the growing season, it prefers regular watering. It grows well in warm and sunny climate. It requires full or partial sunlight.

Harvest

The roots of the licorice root plant are dug up from 3 to 4 years old plants. After the leaves die, it is harvested in the autumn or winter season. This is a quite labor intensive work.

Pests and Disease

The licorice root plant is relatively pest and disease free plant. But white flies, leaf miners and Aphids affect the plant. Root rot is also a problem for the licorice plant, though a well drained soil reduces the root diseases.

Uses

The Licorice root is used to treat sore throats, for calming and upset stomach, bronchial conditions. It is used as an herb to treat skin disease, allergies, heartburn, digestive tract inflammation and diseases of the liver. The root of the licorice is washed and chewed as a mouth freshener. It is an important drug used frequently all over the world. In Europe it is used to treat congestion, cough, constipation, overall fatigue and chest pain. It is used to flavor tobacco and a foaming agent in beer. It is also used to make an herbal tea. This tea, they claim, aids in weight loss, thus helping to reduce body weight.

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