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Licorice - Beneficial Properties And Uses
Licorice - Beneficial Properties And Uses

Video: Licorice - Beneficial Properties And Uses

Video: Licorice - Beneficial Properties And Uses
Video: What is Licorice Root & Its Benefits? - Dr.Berg 2023, October

For what diseases is licorice root (licorice) used

licorice, licorice
licorice, licorice

The word "licorice" is familiar to many people, because syrup from its root can be bought at any pharmacy, it is widely used by adults and children for respiratory diseases - for acute and chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, tracheitis as a very good expectorant.

Moreover, this is a delicious, sweet medicine. The sweet taste of licorice is determined by the presence of glycerizin in the plant, which is much sweeter than sugar. But if you ask any person who has used this medicine, what are the roots of which the syrup is made, and where they come from, then very few people will be able to answer such a question.

And this medicine is made, and not only it, because the plant has many other healing properties, from licorice or licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), which belongs to the legume family. This is a rhizome perennial, reaching a height of 50-100 cm (under good conditions, up to 150 cm). The leaves of licorice naked are inconspicuous, grayish-green, unpaired-pinnate, oblong-ovoid, 10-60 mm long with pubescent cuttings, sticky.

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Naked licorice blooms in May-June. Its flowers, resembling moths, are whitish-purple, collected in axillary racemes. The fruit of licorice is an oblong, laterally compressed bean. These beans ripen in August-September.

But the roots and rhizomes are valuable in licorice and are used for medicinal needs. Its roots are very powerful, they can go into the soil to a depth of eight meters. In addition, there are also branched powerful rhizomes that go deep and horizontally in all directions. Therefore, in places of its distribution, licorice naked sometimes forms real thickets.

Alas, naked licorice grows not everywhere. It originates from the Mediterranean, Asia Minor and Central Asia. In ancient times, the plant came to China and Tibet and since then has been very actively used in local medicine.

In our country, licorice naked can be found in the steppes and in the floodplains of steppe rivers, in the semi-deserts of the southern part of the European territory of Russia - on the coast of the Azov Sea, in the middle and lower reaches of the Don and Volga rivers, in the North Caucasus. It also grows in the former republics of the USSR - Kazakhstan, in Central Asia. On the territory of our country (in the south of Western Siberia) another type of licorice grows, which got its name on a territorial basis - Ural licorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis). True, it is less sweet.

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Licorice launches its powerful roots deep into the soil to reach for water, so it is not afraid of drought. In different directions, it spreads its long underground lateral shoots, capturing more and more new areas, therefore sometimes it acts as a malicious weed. At the same time, licorice does not like the close standing of groundwater and acidic soils.

Licorice preparations are used in medicine as a mild laxative, expectorant, emollient and diuretic. In addition, licorice regulates water-salt metabolism and has a strong anti-inflammatory effect. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism, inflammation of the kidneys, adisson's disease, various forms of allergies, diabetes mellitus. It has a beneficial effect on the entire body.

And, apparently, it is not at all accidental that licorice is a very well-known and revered remedy in Chinese and Indian folk medicine. Traditional healers consider it almost equal to ginseng, which is probably why in some parts of China, licorice is used as an effective drug to prolong life.

In pharmacies, there are enough drugs from licorice naked. These are glycyram, pectoral elixir (licorice) - “drops of the Danish king”, licorice root extract, licorice root syrup. It is also included in the composition of diuretic tea.

licorice, licorice
licorice, licorice

If you get the roots or rhizomes of licorice naked at the pharmacy, you can prepare the infusion of licorice root yourself. To do this, one tablespoon of chopped licorice root (30 g) should be placed in an enamel bowl, pour 200 ml of hot boiled water, close the container with a lid and heat in boiling water (in a water bath) for 15-20 minutes.

Then the infusion is cooled at room temperature for 45 minutes, filtered, and the remaining raw materials are squeezed out. The resulting infusion must be diluted with boiled water to 200 ml. Store the infusion in a cool place for no more than two days.

Use it as an expectorant for 1 tbsp. spoon 3-4 times a day.

It is also known that a decoction from a mixture of chopped licorice root and horsetail herb (50 g of both raw materials per 3 liters of water) is used in the treatment of chronic alcoholism. 1 glass of broth is drunk 10-15 minutes before meals. At the same time, the attraction to alcoholic beverages is more easily tolerated.

However, it is impossible to get carried away with the use of licorice, since its prolonged use can lead to an increase in blood pressure, the development of edema, and a weakening of libido.

By the way, licorice roots are used not only as a medicine. This plant is used in the manufacture of sweets, for better foaming of beer, as well as for the formation of a foaming liquid in fire extinguishers …

You can try growing licorice plants from seeds in your garden, or planting root cuttings if you can get them somewhere. The seeds are sown in loose soil, and the roots are planted like horseradish, obliquely. The plant requires an open sunny place, shelter with snow for the winter from freezing. But is it worth it to do this, it's up to everyone to decide for himself, because you can get the first roots only 3-4 years after the start of growing.

E. Valentinov