The plant does not grow in nature in Latvia, but it can be cultivated.

Liquorice- a perennial plant with upright, little branched stems, 50-100 cm tall (in rare cases, up to 200 cm). Under the ground, there are rod-shaped roots that penetrate to a depth of 6-8 meters and a short, multi-ended rhizome, from which the new shoots (5-20 pieces, 1-2 meters in length) extend further. On these shoots there are daughter buds, from which new seedlings are formed.

The plant has a developed root system that helps the plant to support its population.

The leaves are arranged alternately, complex, 5-20 cm long, 9-17 thick, elliptic or ovate, shiny, slightly sticky, with many veins, especially in the lower part. The edge of the page is bent down.

The leaves are collected in loose spike-like inflorescences, 5-12 cm long, on long peduncles (3-7 cm). Inflorescences are located in the axils of the upper leaves. Flowers pinkish-purple or pale-violet. Fruit - an elongated bean, slightly curved, brown. Liquorice blooms in June-July. Fruits are formed in August-September.

Liquorice roots are used for medicinal purposes. Roots can be dug at different times of the year. The collected roots are cleaned of sand and dried in fresh air or forced dryers at a temperature of 50-60C. The plant can be collected again in the same place after 6-8 years.

There are recommendations to roast the Liquorice rhizomes on a dry pan, similar to coffee beans, thus reducing the possibility of poisoning. Roasting takes place until the root turns yellow-brown. And the taste becomes sweet. However, dried rhizomes are used for industrial purposes, as roasting makes the product significantly more expensive. Therefore, to toast or not, everyone has to decide for himself.

The medicinal effect of Liquorice is related to the biologically active substances it contains.

Roots and rhizome contain saponin glycerin (up to 23%), bitter substances (up to 4%), remains of essential substances, resins (3-4%), vitamins, proteins, lipids (up to 4%), polysaccharides (4-6%), which consist of pectins and starch, monosugars and disugars (up to 20%), flavonoids (3-4%).

Medicinal significance

The surface part of Liquorice contains essential substances, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, polysaccharides and pigments.

A decoction of Liquorice root has an expectorant and anti-inflammatory effect.

The expectorant effect is associated with glycerin, which stimulates the activity of the ciliated epithelium in the trachea and bronchi, enhances the secretory activity of the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract. Glycerin is 50 times sweeter than sugar, it gives the root of Liquorice a very sweet taste.

The anti-inflammatory effect is ensured by the presence of glycyrrhizic acid, which also produces a peculiar anti-inflammatory reaction in the hydrolysis of glycyrrhizin.

Glyceric acid, subject to metabolic changes in the body, causing a corticosteroid-like effect. Preparations of Liquorice root are recommended for patients with chronic adrenal insufficiency, which contribute to the restoration of hormonal balance in the male body.

When using Liquorice roots, together with glucocorticoid replacement hormone therapy, it is possible to reduce the dose of hormonal agents by 4-5 times. This plant has been shown to have estrogenic activity.

However, long-term use of Liquorice is not recommended for men, as it reduces a man's sexual interest, enlarges the mammary glands, and reduces body hair.

The plant's flavonoid compounds have an antispasmodic effect on the body's smooth muscles. Glycoside liquiricin has a softening and antispasmodic effect, relieves spasms of the sphincters of the digestive tract, which contributes to a mild laxative effect, which is useful for the treatment of various digestive tract problems.

Ethereal and alcoholic extracts have an antimicrobial effect. Flavonoids have a diuretic effect. Beta sitosterol is an effective treatment for prostate adenoma.

The Liquorice root is included in many phyto-mixtures designed to influence the functioning of the endocrine system and metabolic functions, directly during the climax, in case of thyroid gland dysfunction, especially in case of its hyperfunction.

In folk medicine, Liquorice root is used to treat coughs, various pains, febrile conditions, and stomach ulcers. The plant is also used in bronchitis, tuberculosis and shortness of breath.

The plant is included in mixtures to treat rheumatism, impotence, nephritis, but for the elderly, it is like a life-prolonging agent! The plant is often found in various preparations intended for children.

Not recommended for use

Liquorice should not be used during pregnancy. People with a tendency to diarrhea should use with caution.

There is a belief that long-term use of Liquorice preparations, without breaks, can disrupt the body's electrolyte balance and cause edema. It is not recommended to use Liquorice preparations for more than 4-6 weeks without a break. With long-term use of Liquorice , arterial blood pressure increases, water output is delayed, up to the moment of edema. Disturbances in the sexual sphere occur - libido decreases, gynecomastia develops, hair may decrease or disappear altogether.


Decoction of Liquorice root: pour 200ml of boiling water over 10g of roots, cover, heat in a water bath for 20 minutes, let sit for 1-2 hours. Separate the thickets and squeeze them out, top up the decoction with hot water up to the original volume. Use 1 tablespoon 4-5 times a day.

To prepare the decoction, pour 6 grams of the drug with 1 glass of hot water, boil in a closed enameled container in a bath of water for 30 minutes, separate the thickness through several layers of cheesecloth and add boiled water to the original volume. Take 1 tablespoon, 3 times a day after meals. Store in the refrigerator.

Preparation of Liquorice: 1 tablespoon of drug, sprinkled with 0.5L of water. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes and separate the thickets. Take ½ cup 4 times a day, after meals.

At home, in case of diseases of the respiratory organs, a decoction can be prepared as an expectorant and softening agent: 15 grams of roots per 1 glass of water, use 1 tablespoon 4-5 times a day.

Liquorice root syrup: mix 4 grams of Liquorice root extract with 86 grams of sugar syrup and add 10 grams of alcohol to the mixture. A yellow-brown solution with a peculiar smell and taste comes out. It is not recommended to use the syrup with acidic liquids. It is used as an expectorant, emollient and anti-inflammatory agent.

A complex powder can be prepared that contains a complex of substances: 20 parts Liquorice root powder, 20 parts senna leaf powder, 10 parts dill fruit powder, 10 parts purified sulfur and 40 parts sugar. The result will be a green-yellow, green-brown powder with dill and an unpleasant bitter-salty smell.

Elixir: 60 parts Liquorice root extract, 1 part anise oil, 49 parts alcohol, 10 parts ammonia solution, 180 parts water. A transparent, brown-colored, sweet-tasting, ammonia-and-anise-smelling solution will be obtained. Used as an expectorant, 20-40 drops. Children are given as many drops as the child is one year old.