In Oriental medicine, licorice is considered a precious medicinal herb that can be used to treat many diseases. However, few people know what licorice is, how to distinguish the types and how to use or use it?
Licorice is a medium-sized, sweet, non-toxic drug, which is referred to in the three main sutras as Heart, Waste and Pi Vi. The uses of licorice have been verified through remedies in traditional medicine as well as modern scientific studies.
What is licorice?
Licorice is a flowering plant native to Asia, legume (Butterfly family) scientifically known as Glycyrrhiza uralensis. In Vietnam, depending on the region, there will be different names such as licorice birth, national elder, …
How to prepare licorice
Usually people will use the stem and roots to make medicine. Depending on the type of processing, the method will be different. Herbs: Wash the roots, then cut them into slices and then dry or dry them.
Licorice powder: Scrape off the outer skin and cut into pieces, dry and then grind into powder
Licorice powder: This method also shaves off all the outer skin, then soak in wine for about 1 hour, then incubate for 12 hours, then cut it thinly and dry it.
Licorice injection: Infused with honey for dried licorice (According to the ratio of 1kg of licorice, 200mg of honey + 200ml of boiling water). Then let it dry until the licorice smells good.
How to distinguish the types of licorice?
Ground licorice (male licorice): Grows a lot in the northern midland and mountainous provinces or the southern plains, usually 0.4 – 0.7 m high from the ground. Licorice roots are quite large and will often grow in bunches, if the plant is old, the stem will turn to wood at the base.
The leaves of male licorice have the characteristic of growing singly, symmetrically or in 3-leaf rings. In the summer, flowers will grow from the interstitial leaves, white, and the fruit will be spherical, containing many small seeds inside.
This variety can be harvested all year round, will usually give off a light aroma and a slightly bitter taste then turn sweet. People will often use male licorice to clear heat, detoxify, diuretic, …
Northern licorice: This type will focus on developing underground roots, which can penetrate up to 2m across. The upper stem is a rather weak herbaceous plant, unlike the male licorice, the leaves of this type are compound leaves, oval in shape.
Licorice rope (lime limb): Licorice rope belongs to the vine, quite fibrous and small branches. The leaves are shaped like feathers, growing in beautiful ruby clusters.
Uses of licorice
- For health
Some uses of licorice in Oriental medicine such as being used as a conduction drug, treating sore throats, coughs, lots of phlegm, … or digestive diseases, ulcers of the stomach and duodenum.
Besides, licorice also has the effect of detoxifying, regulating the effects of drugs.
In licorice also contains the active ingredient staphylococcus aureus, a substance with antibacterial ability to help improve impetigo, folliculitis, …
2. For beauty
Not only helps to treat skin problems, but licorice is also used by many women as a mask to treat acne because it contains glabridin.
According to a clinical study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, glabridin has the ability to inhibit the enzyme tyrosinase, an enzyme that produces melanin that causes skin pigmentation, by up to 50% without harming the skin. .
Therefore, licorice extract can effectively treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and repair post-acne damage.
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