Mulethi (Licorice Root) Benefits: From Digestion to Immunity and More!

Some spices and herbs from our grandmothers’ trove are so precious that to date they continue to be used in everyday home remedies. One such age-old herb that has been used for its exceptional health-promoting properties is mulethi or licorice also spelled as licorice. A perennial herb that is found in various parts of Asia and Europe, mulethi has been used for centuries, especially in Ayurveda. Apart from medicines, it is widely used as a flavoring agent due to the natural sweetness the extract has. According to the book Healing Foods by DK Publishing, its anti-diabetic and anti-oxidant properties aid the treatment of the metabolic syndrome. It supports liver health and is an antiseptic that helps to calm the stomach. It is also an expectorant and decongestant that can help fight respiratory infections. There is some evidence that licorice in small amounts can be used to decrease sugar cravings. Moreover, it is also known to be beneficial in cases of low blood pressure.

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Here are some of the important benefits mulethi or liquor ice has to offer, especially in winter.

1. Keeps the respiratory tract healthy

Chewing on mulethi sticks is an age-old remedy for a sore throat. It is due to its expectorant and bronchodilator properties that it can cure conditions like cough, bronchitis and also reduce the effects of chronic asthma. If you want to avoid chewing on mulethi sticks, you can mix ginger juice to mulethi tea in order to soothe asthma and bronchial infection.

(Also Read: Black Cardamom For Asthma: Use This Spice To Reduce The Symptoms Of Respiratory Conditions

2. Boosts immunity

Regular use of mulethi is known to boost immunity, thanks to the enzymes present in the root plant; it helps the body produce lymphocytes and macrophages that protect the body from microbes, pollutants, allergens and cells that cause autoimmune diseases, further keeping you away from infections and allergies and in turn boosting your immunity.

3. Boosts digestion

Mulethi has active compounds glycyrrhizin and carbenoxolone that are known to relieve constipation, stomach discomfort, heartburn, acidity and other stomach problems. It also acts as a mild laxative, playing an effective role in stimulating bowel movements

4. Cures skin ailments

Mulethi is an emollient that helps maintain a healthy glowing skin. All you need to do is to add mulethi powder to rose water or milk depending on the type of your skin. This will help combat de-pigmentation and further soothe skin rashes.

5. Has anti-inflammatory properties

Liquor ice has anti-inflammatory properties that may be able to treat chronic inflammatory diseases like arthritis. Its anti-oxidant properties also reduce the effects of free radicals causing pain and inflammation in the body.

6. Eases menopausal symptoms

The photogenically compounds in this herb help correct hormonal imbalance in the body to ease menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, depression, mood swings, sweating, et al. A study published in the Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research highlights its positive effect on menopausal hot flashes.

How can you use mulethi (liquor-ice)?

All you need to do is to boil the root to make a tea if you are feeling nauseous or are coming down with a cold. Liquor ice tea is also good for maintaining dental health; try gargling with the cooled tea.

Benefits of Mulethi And Its Side Effects

Mulethi Nutritional Value of Mulethi Health Benefits of Mulethi Uses of Mulethi Side-Effects & Allergies of Mulethi Cultivation of Mulethi

Mulethi is ideal for digestive issues, respiratory infections, canker sores, liver protection, weight reduction, maintains oral health, etc. Additionally it also improves immunity, memory and assists in hormonal regulation.


Mulethi is commonly known as licorice. It is an herbal supplement which treats a lot of medical conditions. It is very popular in Middle Eastern and Asian cooking. It can have a lot of health benefit if used topically or taken orally. It also has a good taste, therefore this makes it a delicacy and a flavouring agent in most places. Mulethi is also used as flavourings in sweets and candies in Middle Eastern and European countries. Apart from this they are also used as folk and herbal medications. It grows to a height of about 1 meter with leaves about seven to fifteen centimetres longs with 9 to 17 leaflets. The flowers are whitish blue and are very pale, the fruit is usually an oblong pod containing several seeds.

Nutritional Value of Mulethi

Mulethi has an enticing scent, this comes from a variable and complex combination of compounds out of which anethole makes up 3% of the entire plant. Most of the sweetness comes from a substance called glycyrrhizin, it is generally 30 to 50 times more sweeter than sugar. Isoflavane glabridin is found in the roots of the liquor-ice.

Combats digestive issues

The root of Mulethi is very helpful in curing digestive problems like acid reflex, 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.

Combats respiratory infections

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.

Treats Canker Sores

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.

Protects the liver

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.

Helps in weight reduction

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.

Promotes oral health

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.

Improves immunity

In most cases, Mulethi is used to improve immunity which is due to the increase in the production of macrophages and lymphocytes. These help to prevent microbial infections and improve the de fence mechanism of the body. It also aids in reducing immune related allergy reactions and immunity complications to a certain extent.

Memory improvement

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.

Hormonal regulation

Mulethi roots contain photogenically 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.

Uses of Mulethi

Mulethi provides skin brightening effect, diminishes blemishes, heals acne, treats eczema and dermatitis, acts as a natural sunscreen and protects your immune system. It also has wonderful effects on the scalp and hair which involves preventing hair loss, treating dandruff, boosting hair growth and combating premature balding.

Side-Effects & Allergies of Mulethi

Mulethi can also have certain side effects to people who are allergic to peas or legumes. Hence it should not be consumed by them. Sometimes, excessive consumption of mulethi might also cause blurred vision or temporary loss of vision in rare cases. Potassium and sodium imbalance in the body can also be cause due to electrolyte imbalance after consuming Mulethi.

Cultivation of Mulethi

Mulethi or licorice grows perfectly in well drained soil which is situated in the deep valleys experiencing complete sunlight. It is usually harvested in Autumn, 2 to 3 years after harvesting. Mulethi is grown abundantly in Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Pakistan, China, Iran, Afghanistan, Italy and India.

Mulethi: A Powerful Herb With 6 Health Benefits

One such herb is Mulethi or licorice. As per Ayurveda, this medicinal herb has numerous health benefits and thus, is of great value in naturally treating sore throat, chest congestion, strengthening of bones and muscles, kidney problems and many more! Read on and you’ll surely include this herb in your diet!

Keeps the Respiratory Tract Healthy

Chewing mulethi sticks is an age-old remedy for a sore throat. Due to its expectorant and bronchodilator properties, it can cure cough, bronchitis and also reduce the effects of chronic asthma. It even loosens and thins the mucus that clogs the airways and helps facilitate its expulsion through coughing to relieve congestion.

When suffering from respiratory problems, drink a few cups of licorice (mulethi) root tea until you get relief from the symptoms. You can also mix a ½ teaspoon of mulethi powder with a little honey and have it twice a day.

Anti-Ulcer Activity

Mulethi has anti-inflammatory effects and anti-ulcer properties. It decreases the inflammation of stomach linings, intestine, and mouth. The compound carbonaceous synthesized from glycyrrhizin plays a key role in healing mouth and gastric ulcers along with reducing gastric secretions and promoting the development of intestinal mucus lining.

Cures Skin Ailments

Mulethi is an emollient that helps maintain healthy glowing skin. All you need to do is to add mulethi powder to milk or rose water, depending on your skin type. This will help combat de-pigmentation and further soothe skin rashes or itchiness.

Liver Protection

Mulethi is one of our ‘daadi ke nuskha’ to treat jaundice. Due to its antioxidant property, it prevents your liver from the action of free radicals and toxic materials. This herb also protects your body against encyclopedic-induced toxicity and liver damage.

Drink a cup of mulethi tea once a day, to promote liver health. To make the tea, add a ½ teaspoon of mulethi root to 1 cup of hot water. Cover and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, and strain it. 

Boosts Heart Health

According to research, mulethi helps in controlling cholesterol levels by increasing the body’s flow of bile and also reducing high blood cholesterol levels. The anti-oxidant property of mulethi acts in increasing the blood capillary health, reducing inflammation, prevents blood vessel damage and block development of arterial plaque.

As a heart aid, add 1 teaspoon of mulethi powder to a cup of hot water. Cover and let it sit for 10 minutes, and strain it. Drink this tea 2-3 times a day for a week.

Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are the author’s own and MSN does not endorse them in any way. Neither can MSN independently verify any claims made in the article.

Mulethi (Yashtimadhu) Benefits & Medicinal Uses

The main beneficial effects of Mulethi (Yashtimadhu) are on digestive system and respiratory system. It helps in relieving gastric symptoms such as heartburn, burning sensation in the abdomen, peptic and duodenal ulcer, abdominal colic, GERD and chronic gastritis.

Mulethi contains Glycerine, which is sweet in taste and reduces inflammation of gastrointestinal tract. It benefits in following diseases related to digestive system.

Hyper acidity and Gastritis

Mulethi acts as an antacid and reduces free and total H CL levels in the stomach. It decreases acidic irritation to peptic mucosa. It is effective in acute as well as chronic gastritis.

In Indian Medicine, Mulethi (Yashtimadhu) is used with amla powder (Indian Gooseberry), coriander seed powder, giloy and nut grass powder for relieving gastritis and hyper acidity.

Stomach ulcers

Mulethi has anti-inflammatory effects and anti-ulcer properties. It decreases the inflammation of stomach linings. Various studies have shown its significant anti-ulcer and anti-inflammatory properties.  

It has protective effects against stomach ulcer. It reduces the chances of gastric ulceration induced by aspirin and other NSAIDs.

In duodenal ulcer, deglycyrrhizinized licorice (Yashtimadhu) has ulcer healing properties. It corrects the gastric mucosa and reduces ulcerations.

Helicobacter pylori infection induced peptic ulcer

Mulethi extract has some flavonoids, which act as Anti-Helicobacter pylori. The flavonoids such as glabridin and glabrene found in Yashtimadhu have inhibitory effects against H. pylori. Therefore, Yashtimadhu can be used against H. pylori infection and peptic ulcer caused due to H. pylori.

Aphthous ulcers or Mouth ulcers or Canker sores

Mulethi can provide 50 to 75% relief from Aphthous ulcers within one day and complete remission of ulcers within three days.

Canker sores are a common type of mouth ulcers characterized by pain and tenderness. These are white or yellow in appearance surrounded by red area. Yashtimadhu water or tea reduces the pain and tenderness. Its gargle is also effective in reducing the size of canker sores.

Ulcerative colitis

Mulethi contains a Glabridin compound, which reduces colonic inflammation. It can speed up healing process in inflamed mucosa and prevent ulceration of mucosa of the intestines.

In Ayurveda, It is used with Indian gooseberry, Bamboo Manna (vanshlochan) and Giloy satva for ulcerative colitis treatment.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Mulethi can help in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. It reduces elevated liver enzymes.

According to Ayurveda, yashtimadhu is not a potent remedy for liver diseases, but it can help in this condition when taken with other hepatic protective herbs such as Punarnava, Bhringraj, Giloy, Patha etc.

Use of Mulethi in Cough

Mulethi is therapeutically helpful in sore throat, throat irritation, cough and bronchitis.

Yashtimadhu has expectorant properties. It also eases in coughing up the thick yellow sputum accumulated in the lungs. Due to antibacterial properties, it also reduces infection of upper respiratory tract. It reduces throat irritation and helps in chronic cough.

Bronchitis & Asthma

Mulethi attenuates the inflammation of bronchi and and soothes respiratory tract, thus it helps in bronchitis. Due to anti-inflammatory effects, it is effective in many inflammatory diseases including bronchitis and arthritis. It can also be beneficial in allergic asthma, according to studies

High cholesterol

Mulethi has potency to reduce serum cholesterol levels and hepatic cholesterol. The possible action of Yashtimadhu might be associated with conversion of cholesterol into the bile.


Mulethi root or mulethi has anti-atherosclerotic characteristics. The effects can be due to reduction of serum cholesterol and plaque formation in the blood vessels. Another antioxidant property can also potentiate its effects in preventing cardiovascular disease


Mulethi is known for its effects on adrenal gland. It improves the adrenal gland functions. It can be helpful in people who take steroid drugs, because steroids suppress important adrenal gland functions and result in adrenal insufficiency. It assists adrenal gland to recover its natural functions and stimulates adrenal hormones.


Chinese licorice roots contain a compound named as LICOCHALCONE. It inhibits the falciparum strain and its effects are similar to chloroquine. The studies have concluded that a new isolated licorice compound has potent anti-malarial properties.


LICOCHALCONE found in Chinese licorice roots has inhibitory effects against my co-bacterial species. However, further studies are required to investigate the results of licorice in tuberculosis, although it can help in bacterial lung infections. (26)

Sore throat

Gargle with yashtimadhu water or decoction reduces throat inflammation, irritation and pain. The studies have shown that yashtimadhu gargle reduces incidence of sore throat by 50% in post-extenuation coughing and attenuates postoperative sore throat

In Ayurveda, mulethi root powder is used in sore throat with honey and sitopaldi churna.

High potassium levels

Some research studies conclude that there are certain compounds found in mulethi, that decrease potassium levels in the blood. Hence, it might be effective in cases of high serum potassium in people with kidney diseases and diabetes.

The main warning is that it should not used in cases with low potassium levels and high sodium levels. Otherwise, it may result in sever myopathy due to hypoglycemia. (30)


Mulethi paste, oil or gel application helps in eczema as well as inflamed and itchy skin. Some herbal creams and gel used for eczema treatment contain licorice extract. It reduces itchiness, redness and swelling. (31)

Hair fall & premature graying of hairs

In Ayurveda, Mulethi is used for preventing hair fall. It is useful orally as well as in herbal shampoos. According to Ayurveda, vitiation in PITTA and VATA humor results in hair fall and premature graying of hairs. Mulethi has effects on both these humors and helps in pacification of these aggravated humor’s activities in the body.

Blemishes and dark spots

Generally, blemishes and dark spots are found in PITTA type people or in PITTA aggravation. Mulethi with Indian gooseberry shows promising results in decreasing blemishes and dark spots. According to our experience, it can take up to 3 to 6 months for complete fading of blemishes and dark spots. However, this herbal combination is more effective in blemishes than dark spots.

Muscle cramps

Mulethi has antispasmodic and muscle relaxant characteristics. It reduces muscle cramps and tenderness in patients with fibromyalgia.

Its effects have been mainly noticed in abdominal spasm that occurs during menstruation in women, but it cannot be so potent that it can work alone, so patient may require other medications too.

It can also help preventing muscle cramps in patients on hemodialysis. (32)


In ayurvedic medicine, Mulethi is used with Ashwagandha for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Many ayurvedic analgesic preparations contain yashtimadhu and ashwagandha as main ingredient.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

Mulethi can help patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. This action might be due to strengthening and antioxidant activities. (33)

Menopausal Hot Flashes

Studies suggest that Mulethi can decrease the severity and frequency of hot flashes during menopause. It is also well acceptable and tolerable in most of the women. (34)

In Ayurveda, Yashtimadhu is used for reducing menopausal symptoms along with SARASWATARISHTA and MUKTA PISHTI.


Mulethi has cooling effect on the body, according to Ayurveda. It also has great strengthening and rejuvenation effects. It is used with other herbs to boost spermatogenesis and quality of sperm.

Seminal Weakness

However, Mulethi is not recommended in people with loss of libido, but it can help in men suffering with early discharge or seminal weakness . Generally, hyper-excitement or hypersensitivity is a cause of early discharge in men. It reduces excessive excitement and thus helps in treating early discharge problems in men. Sometimes, mind plays a role in early discharge in which yashtimadhu is also effective.

Prostate hypertrophy or cancer

Mulethi is also used in prostate hypertrophy and prostate cancer, but its relevant studies are not yet available on this subject.

Abdominal fat

Mulethi contains some flavonoids, which reduce abdominal fat accumulation. The research suggests that it also has hypoglycemic effects, so mulethi can benefit in diabetes too.

It can also help obese people with elevated serum cholesterol levels. We have already discussed the effects of yashtimadhu on cholesterol in heart health section above.

Mulethi/Licorice Powder: Benefits, Uses, Ingredients, Method, Dosage and Side Effects

Mulethi, also known as mulethi churna is one such classical ayurvedic remedy that has a centuries-long repute of being the ultimate grandma’s remedy for cough and sore throat.

This traditional herb exhibits manifold benefits and is extensively used in several folk remedies and classical ayurvedic formulations to treat respiratory problems, obesity, skin infection, liver disorders, gastric problem, hormonal regulation, general debility, joint pain and many more. Also Read: Licorice, Sweet Deal for Various Ailments

The holistic science of Ayurveda terms this root powder as Yashtimadhu. Time and again this herbal root powder has been mentioned in several ayurvedic scriptures and journals for various indications which include Deena (enhances stomach fire), Panache (helps in digestion), Rocha (stimulates appetite), Anomalous (improves breathing), Maharashtra (Relieves cough), Vanna (prevents nausea and vomiting), Vayasthapana (prevents ageing), Dahahara (relieves burning sensation), Mehahara (treats urinary tract disorders), Prameha (manages diabetes), Trutahara (relieves excessive thirst), Rasayani (rejuvenates the whole body), Balya (improves muscle strength), Shonitasthapana (prevents bleeding), Pandu (treats anaemia), Sangrahini (treats diarrhoea), Kustha (treats skin disorders), Kamala (prevents jaundice), Varnya (improves complexion), Amahara (treats indigestion), Krimihara (relieves intestinal worms), Jvara (useful in fever), Vrushya (acts as an aphrodisiac), Hridaya (treats heart problems), Chakushya (treats vision problems), Kanthya (improves voice), Shwasha (relieves breathing difficulties), Arsha (treats piles), and Krichra (treats painful micturition).

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