Yashtimadhu, Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Yastimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a 6-foot-tall perennial shrub with spikes of lilac-colored flowers and bean-like pods carrying three or four seeds. The roots are lengthy, wrinkled, and brown. When the outer skin of the shrub is removed, a scaly yellow texture appears on the inside. Secondary and tertiary roots develop from the basic root. The leaves are 70-150 mm long and have 10-17 leaflets. Flowers range in size from 8 to 12mm and are pink to purple in color. Fruits are 20-30 mm oblong pods that contain 2-3 kidney-shaped beans.

General Information

Yastimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is also known as mulethi and is widely seen in Indian cuisine. Many years ago, Ayurveda described the health advantages of Yastimadhu. Because this herb has a soothing effect on the throat and pharynx, it is useful for the hoarseness of voice.  Anti-cancer, analgesic, anti-Alzheimer, immunological modulator, anti-asthmatic, anti-arthritic, anti-bacterial, and aphrodisiac effects are found in this herb. This herb's roots include 3.6% glycyrrhizin, a yellow amorphous powder-asparagine, 2.2% isoliquirtin glycoside, 3.8% glucose, starch, mucilage, amorphous, gum, sulphuric acid, and metallic acids, calcium and magnesium salts. All of these components have therapeutic qualities for the human body.


  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Fabales
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • Genus: Glycyrrhiza


Yastimadhu is native to Southeastern Europe and is widely planted throughout the continent. It grows best in hot, dry, sunny areas with low annual rainfall. Whereas sufficient soil moisture is required for its growth and development.


  • Latin Name - Glycyrrhiza glabra
  • English name - Licorice/Liquorice
  • Hindi name - Mulethi, Jethimadhu
  • Tamil and Telugu names -  Irattimadhuram, Atimadhuram
  • Hindi name - Muleti, Jetimadhu
  • Kannada name - Jeshtamadhu, Atimadhura
  • Telugu name - Yashtimadhukam
  • Bengali name - Yashtimadhu
  • Marathi name - Jeshtimadh
  • Gujarati name - Jethimadh

Ayurvedic Properties


Hindi / Sanskrit


Rasa (Taste)



Guna (Physical Property)

Guru, Pichilam

Sticky, Heavy

Virya (Potency)



Vipaka (Post-Digestive Taste)



Effects on Doshas

It balances both the vata and pitta doshas.

Charak Samhita

Sushrut Samhita

Sushrut Samhita

  • Jeevaneeya - Herbs that help you live longer
  • Sandhaneeya - Herbs that help in the healing of bone fractures and wounds
  • Varnya - Herbs that improve the appearance of the skin
  • Kanthya - Voice Enhancing Herbs
  • Kandughna - Herbs that cure itching (pruritus).
  • Chardinigraha - Herbs that reduce vomiting
  • Shonitasthapana - Herbs used to stop bleeding
  • Mutravirajaneeya - Herbs that help urine return to its natural color
  • Snehopaga - Herbs used in Snehana, the cleansing ritual performed before Panchakarma therapy
  • Vamanopaga -Herbs used in Panchakarma treatment for Vamana (emesis)
  • Asthapanopaga - Medicinal herbs used in Basti Panchakarma (rectal enema with decoctions) treatments
  • Kakolyadi,
  • Sarivadi and Anjanadi group of herbs.
  • Sarvadi and Anjanadi group of herbs.

Practical uses

  • It is well known that this plant works well to treat respiratory issues. It functions as an excellent emollient and possesses pharyngeal and throat-soothing properties. Therefore, using this herb to cure a cough, hoarseness, chest congestion, sore throat, bronchitis, chronic bronchitis, and whooping cough is highly effective. This herb is useful in treating asthma and other allergic reactions in the body, as well as immune system stimulation.
  • This herb's roots help to maintain a healthy digestive system. This plant aids in reducing the amount of acid in the intestines. It works pretty well for treating heartburn and indigestion. Because of this, using this herb to treat gastrointestinal conditions such as gastritis, duodenal ulcers, peptic ulcers, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is highly successful.
  • This herb stimulates the secretion of bile and maintains the health of the liver. Additionally, this herb supports the body's efforts to decrease cholesterol levels.
  • Treatment for hypothyroidism with this herb is effective. It facilitates an increase in thyroid hormone output. This herb also aids in the management of hormonal abnormalities.
  • A compound found in the root of this herb stops testosterone from into dihydrotestosterone. The hormone in the male prostate gland that promotes cell division is dihydrotestosterone. Therefore, this herb works well to shrink the prostate gland and aids in the treatment of symptoms related to benign prostatic enlargement.
  • There are numerous antimicrobial properties in this herb. Thus, it strengthens the immunological system of the body. It also strengthens the body's defenses against many bacterial and viral infections. These herbs' antifungal qualities make them effective in treating athlete's foot.

Parts Used



1 to 4 grams.

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