Licorice (E), Jethimadh (H):
Yastimadhu means the 'sweet stick'. The sweetness of licorice is 50 times greater than sucrose. Its sweet flavour indicates its tonifying effects; it directly strengthens the kidneys, nourishes the nervous system, is a superb anti-inflammatory and balances all three dos.as.
Lungs Asthma, bronchitis, wheezing. Use with dry coughs with difficult-to-expectorate phlegm, sore throat, laryngitis and tonsillitis, as licorice liquefies mucus. Specific for vata-type cough due to aggravated pranavayu. It is a specific rasayana for vata by virtue of its sweet, heavy and unctuous properties. It is also useful in infections with yellow/green sputum indicating high pitta inflammations. At a high dose it is an emetic used in vamana therapy to clear kapha from the lungs and stomach. Digestion Specific for ulcers— peptic, gastric, duodenal, oral. Useful in all intestinal inflammations and spasms with pain. It is very useful in hyperacidity as licorice cools pacakapitta. It is often used for arresting bleeding in the intestines and lungs. Its demulcent nature moistens and relaxes the bowel and is helpful in vata–pitta types of constipation. At low dose it is antiemetic (if nausea is caused by heat) and in high doses it is an emetic. Liver Hepatoprotective action in hepatitis and chronic liver disease. Licorice works on ran˜jakapitta and soothes the heat that travels via the liver to the blood. Used for skin conditions, such as acne, with heat and inflammation . Its affinity for the blood and pitta help to soothe alocakapitta and any eye irritations. Kidneys and nerves As part of a formula for nervous exhaustion licorice is a strong adrenal tonic giving enduring energy. It is a rasayana for the s´ukra dhatu and the whole reproductive system. Its cortisol-like action is useful in Addison's disease. As it is used to tonify majja dhatu, it can nourish an exhausted and hyperactive vata and pitta in such conditions as ME and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The sattvika nature of licorice calms the mind . Urine Its cooling action and unctuous nature are beneficial in inflammations of the urinary tract and it should be used to treat cystitis and painful, burning urination. Skin It is a useful emolliating herb for preventing itching with dry skin. Its anti-inflammatory pitta-reducing effects are commonly employed to treat red, hot, inflamed skin disorders.