Liquorice, commonly called as mulethi in India, is a popular condiment that not only acts as a good flavouring agent but is also widely used home remedy because of its widespread medical properties. It has been in use since ancient times in Indian Ayurveda as well as in Chinese medicine. This medicinal herb has wide reaching health benefits and thus, is of great value in naturally treating sore throat, chest congestion, strengthening of bones and muscles, kidney problems, bronchitis, mouth ulcers, hair loss, etc to name a few.
The medicinal property of mulethi is mainly because of the presence of powerful phytochemicals namely flavonoids, chalcones, saponins and xenoestrogens. Glycyrrhizin (salts of glycyrrhizic acid) is a popular saponin found in roots of mulethi that is responsible for the characteristic sweet taste (50 times more sweet than sugar) flavor. Liquiritin, lico avonol, liquiritigenin, etc are the common chalcones that provide the distinct yellowish color to mulethi; while, the aroma of its root is mainly because of anethole.
The root of Mulethi is very helpful in curing digestive problems like acid reflux, inflammation of the stomach, stomach ulcers, heartburn, acidity and constipation. It also acts as a mild laxative and regulates bowel movements.
Mulethi has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which is why it helps reduce inflammation in the lining of the stomach. In most cases, peptic ulcers are also treated by consuming this herb on a regular basis.
Mulethi herb can treat asthma, cough, cold, sore throat and other respiratory ailments. Its antioxidant properties help to reduce inflammation specifically in the bronchial tubes. Mulethi thins and loosens the mucus inside the airways, this eases coughing and congestion.
Many times, microbes are responsible for the overproduction of mucus which results to coughs and cold, Mulethi can easily clear these microbes due to its anti bacterial properties.
Mulethi also aids in curing canker sores because of its mucosa healing and anti-inflammatory properties. According to studies, Mulethi has successfully healed herpes virus to a certain extent. Chewing Mulethi herb can easily fight the virus in our body and strengthen our immune system to a certain extent.
Mulethi helps to treat certain disorders such as liver damage, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatitis and jaundice. Additionally, it also has anti-inflammatory properties which help to soothe the liver during hepatitis. Mixing Mulethi in a cup of warm tea twice a day for a couple of weeks can purify the liver and make it immune to diseases.
Obesity is a serious condition and is very difficult to reverse. Mulethi contains flavonoids that help to reduce excessive fats accumulated in the body. According to studies, Mulethi oil helps to reduce visceral fat and body fat to a great extent in overweight people.
People who consume Mulethi supplements can experience low density lipoprotein and a reduction in body mass index (BMI). However Mulethi or licorice candies should be avoided by an obese person because it contains copious amounts of sugar along with Mulethi.
The anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties of Mulethi can also reduce the growth of bacteria which causes cavities, combats bad breath, reduces plaque and keeps the gums and teeth healthy and strong. Dried Mulethi powder can be used to brush our teeth and mouthwash which contains Mulethi can also be used to take care of oral health.
In most cases, Mulethi is used to improve immunity which is due to the increase in the production of macrophage and lymphocytes. These help to prevent microbial infections and improve the defence mechanism of the body. It also aids in reducing immune related allergy reactions and immunity complications to a certain extent.
Consuming the roots of Mulethi can render a supportive effect to the adrenal gland thereby aiding brain stimulation. It not only improves learning but also decreases the effects of amnesia. However, Mulethi should be used under a doctor’s guidance for memory improvement.
Mulethi roots contain phytoestrogenic compounds which are beneficial for women suffering from moods swings, exhaustion, hot flashes, menopause symptoms and hormonal imbalance problems. It also provides relief from menstrual cramps and regulates the flow during menstruation. This is due to the cortisol production of Mulethi which affects the brain.