8 Top Medicinal Uses & Side Effects Of Mulethi (Yashtimadhu) | Licorice For Skin, Hair & Health

Licorice | Mulethi | Yashtimadhu is a very very important ancient herb that occupies a very important position in Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine and also in traditional home remedies. Licorice usage dates back centuries and was used in many countries including India, Rome, China, UK and Japan from ancient times. It is a wonderful herb that has amazing health benefits and medicinal uses. It is one of my favorite herbs and I always have licorice at home. I use both the licorice root and the powder so I stock them both always.

Botanical & Common Names Of Mulethi:

The botanical name of licorice is Glycyrrhiza Glabra, the word glycyrrhiza means sweet wood.  Licorice | Liquorice is the English name and Mulethi | Jethimadhu is the Hindi name of licorice root. Mulethi is called as Athimadhuram in Tamil, Jeshthamadh in Marathi, Jethimadh in Gujarati, Yastimadhu in Bengali, Atimadhura in Kannada, Atimaduramu in Telugu, Irattimadhuram in Malayalam and Yashtimadhu in Sanskrit.

Mulethi Plant Description:

Mulethi  plant is actually a legume, it is a perennial plant growing up to 1 to 1.5 meter tall. The plant is mainly cultivated for it roots, the root grows up to 3 to 4 feet. The leaves are pinnate and is dark green colored and the plant produces purple, yellow or violet colored flowers. Licorice plant grows wild, you can find the wild plants near streams. Now licorice is also cultivated in many countries, here in India it is cultivated in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and in certain lower Himalayan regions. They grow best in fertile sandy soils and prefer warm climates with moderate rainfall.

licorice benefitsNutritive Value & Chemical Composition:

The major constituent of licorice are triterpenoids (licorice root is very sweet, in fact sweeter than sucrose by 50 times, the sweetness is due to glycyrrhizin which is a triterpenoid) and flavonoids which gives it yellow color. Licorice also contains up to 3.8 % of glucose, 3 to 6 % of sucrose, 2 to 4% asparagine along with tiny amounts of fat.

Mulethi Medicinal Uses:

The medicinal uses of licorice root is very very impressive, it has anti ulcer, anti allergy, anti inflammatory, antioxidant, anti convulsant, anti bacterial, anti dyslipidaemeic, aphrodisiac, anti obesity, anti microbial, memory enhancing, hepatoprotective, anti microbial, anti viral, anti oxidant, demulcent, expectorant and laxative properties.

Licorice is very well known as a sore throat and cough medicine. In our home it is the first herb I resort to for treating sore throat, I make a tea out of the roots for treating sore throat. Since the tea is very sweet children drink it readily, my son has never complained consuming licorice tea :).

We also use licorice tea for treating stomach problems including ulcers, gastritis and burning sensation in the stomach. Licorice also aids in weight loss as it has anti obesity properties, you can read the study that supports this claim here, it is also a laxative. Licorice also has anti androgenic properties and will greatly help women suffering from pcos and will help women suffering from menopausal hot flashes too.

Not only medicinal uses, licorice has wonderful beauty uses too. When used as a face pack, it lightens the skin tone and when used as hair pack it is the best remedy for dandruff and other scalp infections. Since it has a very sweet taste, it is used as a flavoring in candies. It is also added to cigarette blends since it dilates the bronchitis and helps inhale the smoke easier.

Where To Buy Licorice?

We get licorice in the form of dried roots, powder, extract and tablets. Dried roots can be got in most herb shops. Since licorice powder is very famous, it is sold everywhere, in India it is sold as mulethi powder | yashtimadhu powder. We also get it as an extract but try to choose one that is alcohol free (it will be made with pure vegetable glycerine).

If you don’t want to use the powder, you can also try the supplements or tablets. In tablets there are 2 forms, one is made with regular licorice root powder and the other is called DGL (Diglycyrrhizinated Licorice) in which large part of glycyrrhizin is removed which makes it safe for consuming for longer duration’s. For people suffering from acid reflux and ulcers DGL is recommended.

licorice side effects

Licorice Dosage:

Usually for children 2.5 mg to 1 gram is suggested, for adults the general dosage is around 1 tsp of mulethi powder (5 grams).

Licorice Side Effects:

Though licorice is a very popular herb used in home remedies, it is never used for longer duration’s and the dosage is also important. Usually licorice is never recommended for more than month for anyone and it should be always taken in the recommended dosage. Overdosing of licorice can lead to weakness, high blood pressure, brain damage, headache, water retention and there will be changes in menstrual flow in women.

a. Licorice During Pregnancy:

Though licorice can be had as a remedy once in a while by pregnant women, I would suggest not consuming licorice at all during pregnancy as overdosing can lead to preterm birth, you can read the study that confirms here. It can also affect the child in a very negative way, you can read about it here.

b. Licorice During Breast Feeding:

It is best not to consume licorice during breast feeding. If at all you want to consume licorice during breast feeding, I would suggest you do it after consulting your physician and never take it in large quantities for long duration’s of time.

c. Licorice For Blood Pressure Patients:

People suffering from blood pressure should avoid licorice as it tends to increase blood pressure, you can read the study that confirms it here. If at all you want to consume mulethi consider taking it in the form of DGL after consulting with a physician.

d. Licorice For Diabetic Patients:

Diabetic patients can consume licorice safely as a remedy in the proper dosage as it has anti diabetic properties, you can read the research that proves this claim here.  But I would suggest consuming licorice after consulting with your physician as consuming both liquorice and diabetic medication at the same time can reduce the blood sugar levels drastically.

licorice powder benefits

How To Make Yashtimadhu Powder | Mulethi Powder At Home?

If you don’t want to buy yashtimadhu powder from the shops, you can also make it at home. To make it, sun dry the licorice roots till crisp, break it into small pieces by pounding in a mortar and pestle and then dry grind in a mixer, sieve the powder and store…..

8 Top Medicinal Uses Of Mulethi (Yashtimadhu) Powder:

Licoric (Mulethi Powder) For Health:

1. Mulethi | Licorice Tea For Pcos, Weight loss, Arthritic Pain & Cough :

mulethi tea health benefits

Licorice Tea is good for treating many problems including anxiety, , it is also a laxative. For making the tea, pound 3 to 5  grams of licorice root in a mortar and pestle and boil it in a cup of water till it reduces in half and strain. Drink it warm…

2. Mulethi | Licorice Powder & Honey For Dry Cough: 

yashtimadhu powder medicinal uses

 Licorice powder mixed with honey is a good remedy for dry cough. For the remedy, take 1/4 tsp licorice powder in a bowl, mix with honey and consume when suffering from cough

3. Mulethi | Licorice Root For Good Voice:

yashtimadhu medicinal uses

 Some singers usually suck on a piece of licorice root before singing as it helps clear the voice. If you feel your voice is sounding hoarse, try sucking on a small piece of licorice root.

4.  Mulethi | Licorice & Trikatu Decoction For Cold & Cough:

licorice medicinal uses & side effects

  Trikatu also called as thirikadugam in Tamil is a mixture of equal quantities of long pepper, dry ginger, pepper, it is a very popular mixture. When we add athimadhuram to it, it makes it very very effective in treating even persistent cough. For the remedy take equal quantities of the long pepper, pepper and dry ginger along with licorice root and pound it coarsely. Boil the pounded mixture in water till it reduces in half and strain…

5. Mulethi | Licorice Brushes For Dental Problems:

mulethi herb benefits

Like neem sticks, licorice sticks also make good tooth brushes. They have anti microbial properties and will greatly prevent many dental problems like canker sores and mouth odor if used as tooth brushes. To use, take a long licorice root, pound the end and brush the teeth with it.

Licoric (Mulethi Powder) For Skin:

6. Fairness Cream Using Mulethi | Licorice Extract:

mulethi for skin

 I make a wonderful fairness cream at home using licorice extract. Since licorice has skin lightening properties, it is a good remedy for lightening the skin tone naturally. You can find the link to the recipe here.

7. Mulethi | Licorice Face Pack For Acne & Dark Circles:

mulethi face pack

 This face pack made with licorice powder and red sandal powder brightens the skin tone, reduces dark circles and treats acne really really well. You can find the link for the recipe here.

Licoric (Mulethi Powder) For Hair:

8. Mulethi | Licorice Hair Mask:

licorice for hair

 Mulethi powder when used as a hair mask treats all the scalp problems really well. To make the mask, take required amount of mulethi powder and add yogurt to mix along with a teaspoon of any unrefined oil of choice and use as hair mask…



    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      October 21, 2016 / 6:52 am

      I saw the product you mentioned, it says licorice sticks on the label but I couldn't view it properly and in the comment section a buyer had posted a picture in which it looked almost black in color! Not sure what those are…

    • Anonymous
      November 23, 2016 / 10:34 am

      Those black sticks are candy made from licorice powder.

  1. Nils Mitt
    November 7, 2016 / 8:38 pm

    Hi mam! Does licorice helps in rejuvenate the hair follicles? Can you suggest the recipe

  2. Madhi
    January 12, 2017 / 5:10 pm

    Mam can we use the kitchen mixie instead of hand mixer for fairness cream..how long does the cream last ?

  3. Anonymous
    January 13, 2017 / 6:02 pm

    Can I buy Mulethi and crush to get Mulethi powder? Or Mulethi powder is different medicine?

  4. Sakshi Arora
    April 12, 2017 / 11:46 am

    Hi ,can I take it on daily bases , till how many days I can take it?

  5. Anonymous
    April 19, 2017 / 6:17 pm

    How long should we drink the licorice tea for pcos?

  6. Digitalmayanka
    February 9, 2018 / 10:33 am

    As we all know that mulethi helps in building endurance to the body and is the best for fever prevention. But due to its bitter taste, its difficult to consume it and hence it scan be taken in the form of tea, organic india tulsi mulethi is the best tea for improving endurance and making the fever free.

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