Yastimadhu: Licorice Benefits, Usage, Research, Remedies, Side Effects

Licorice benefits have been known to Indians since thousands of years. Its Sanskrit name is Yashtimadhu.  It is one of the most commonly used Ayurvedic herbs. In almost every Indian household, you might find this herb chewed, whenever someone’s voice has gone down. 

licorice root sticks

Botanical name – Glycyrrhiza glabra Linn.
Family – Fabaceae (Simbi Kula)

Habitat: This herb is cultivated  in the Himalayas.

Vernacular names, Sanskrit synonyms

English name: Licorice / Liquorice
Hindi name – Mulethi, Jethimadhu
Tamil and Telugu name – Atimadhuram, Irattimadhuram, Adhimathuram, Athimadhuram 
Hindi name: Muleti, Jetimadhu
Kannada name: Atimadhura, Jeshtamadhu
Telugu name: Yashtimadhukam
Bengali name: Yashtimadhu
Marathi name: Jeshtimadh
Gujarati name: Jethimadh

Sanskrit Synonyms:
Yashtimadhu – has sweet root and stem
Madhuka – sweet

Klitaka – cure male infertility
Yashtyahva, Madhuyashti

Medicinal qualities

Glycyrrhiza glabra medicinal qualities:
Rasa (Taste)
– Madhura (Sweet)
Guna (Properties) – Guru (Heavy), Snigdha (Unctuous)
Vipaka (Post digestion effect): Madhura (Sweet)
Veerya (Potency)
– Sheeta (Cold)
Pharmacological actions – Hepatoprotective, Anti viral, Anti ulcer, Antipyretic, Antioxidant, Expectorant

Action on Dosha

Vata-Pittahara (Pacifies the aggravated / morbid Vata and Pitta). Being heavy and unctuous and possessing sweet taste and post-digestion effect, which are antagonistic to Vata, Yashtimadhu pacifies (controls) it. Similarly Yashtimadhu pacifies the aggravated Pitta due to its sweet taste and post-digestion effect and also its cold potency.

Yastimadhu classical categorization

Charaka Samhita –
Jeevaneeya – herbs that promote longevity
Sandhaneeya – herbs that help in bone fracture healing and wound healing
Varnya – herbs that improve skin complexion
Kanthya – herbs that improve voice
Kandughna – Herbs that relieve itching sensation (pruritus)
Chardinigraha – Herbs that relieve vomiting
Shonitasthapana – Herbs that check bleeding
Mutravirajaneeya – Herbs that restore proper colour of urine
Snehopaga – herbs that are used in Snehana – a preparatory procedure before Panchakarma treatment
Vamanopaga – herbs that are used in Vamana (emesis) Panchakarma treatment
Asthapanopaga – herbs that are used in Basti Panchakarma treatment (rectal enema with decoctions)
Charaka has mentioned it as a plant source for oil. (Reference)

Sushruta Samhita – Kakolyadi, Sarivadi and Anjanadi group of herbs.
Vagbhata – – Sarvadi and Anjanadi group of herbs.
Bh P. Ni – Haritakyadi varga


D. Ni and Raja Ni – 2 types – Yashtimadhu and Kllitanaka


Roots of Glycyrrhiza glabra and Abrus precatorius are often adulterated with liquorice. Even stem pieces of Glycyrrhiza glabra is used as an adulterant


Habit – Tall perennial plant
Stem -Erect
Leaves – Compound, elliptic lanceolate
Inflorescence – Raceme
Flowers – Bluish or violet colour
Fruit – Pod, oblong to linear
Useful part – Roots and stolen

Licorice benefits as per Ayurveda

Licorice benefits:

  • Good for eye and eyesight / vision
  • Provides good strength and immunity
  • Enhances color and complexion
  • Good aphrodisiac, increases the quantity and quality of semen
  • Good hair tonic
  • Excellent remedy for throat disorders, good for improving voice
  • Heals ulcers, wounds and swelling / inflammation associated with wounds
  • It neutralizes the bad effects of poisons and toxins. In Chinese medicine it was administered for treating food poisoning and its ill-effects
  • Antiemetic
  • Relieves thirst
  • Relieves tiredness / exhaustion, provides energy
  • Useful in relieving wasting disorders, degenerative diseases
  • Good expectorant, expels phlegm from lungs, heals respiratory diseases
  • Good for heart health, prevents damage from LDL cholesterol (Bad fat), Discourages clogging plaque formation which can damage heart
  • Enhances immunity by boosting levels of interferon which is the key chemical of the immune system that fights off viruses (Research)
  • Phyto-estrogens in Liquorice is said to have mild estrogenic effect and eases symptoms of Premenstrual syndrome like irritability, bloating, breast tenderness etc. (Research)
  • Has anti-allergic property and highly beneficial in allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis, bronchial asthma (Research)
  • Externally it has been effectively used in eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis
  • Mild laxative
  • It has powerful antioxidants, phyto-estrogens which are helpful during menopause
  • It has antidepressant compounds and helps in warding off depression
  • Good Brain Tonic
  • Blood-purifier, Increases quality and quantity of blood, useful in bleeding disorder
  • Relieves cough, chest congestion, sore-throat
  • Antipyretic
  • Relieves dysuria
  • Promotes longevity of life
  • Promotes fracture healing
  • Ulcerative colitis: Due to its heaviness and coldness properties, licorice is very useful to balance down Pitta Dosha and to detoxify blood tissue. Ulcerative colitis is a Pitta aggravated disorder, where licorice is very useful. In this treatment, licorice is used for oral consumption in the form of hot infusion, tablet or power. Its decoction is also used for enema treatment.

Cough remedy

Reference: Astanga Hrudayam, Kasa Chikitsita Adhyaya, 3/118-119.
During chronic cough, chest injury, chronic bronchitis, tuberculosis etc. conditions, 48 ml of juice of fresh licorice (or its decoction) is consumed daily along with milk. The dose is increased by 6 ml, everyday. This continued for one month.
During this period, the patient should drink only milk and abstain from eating solid foods.
This recipe is best to promote nourishment, lifespan, strength, skin health and immunity.
Shloka reference:

पिबेन्नागबलामूलस्यार्धकर्षाभिवर्धितम् ॥ ११८ ॥
पलं क्षीरयुतं मासं क्षीरवृत्तिरनन्नभुक् ।
एष प्रयोगः पुष्ट्यायुर्बलवर्णकरः परम् ॥ ११९ ॥
मण्डूकपर्ण्याः कल्पोऽयं यष्ट्या विश्वौषधस्य च ।
pibennāgabalāmūlasyārdhakarṣābhivardhitam || 118 ||
palaṃ kṣīrayutaṃ māsaṃ kṣīravṛttiranannabhuk |
eṣa prayogaḥ puṣṭyāyurbalavarṇakaraḥ param || 119 ||
maṇḍūkaparṇyāḥ kalpo’yaṃ yaṣṭyā viśvauṣadhasya ca |

Anti-aging therapy

Licorice for anti aging treatment:
As per Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 1.3, regular intake of 2 grams of licorice powder, along with half a cup of warm milk is explained as an excellent brain tonic and rejuvenator – Medhya Rasayana.

Liquorice is used in anti aging therapy since ancient times
Chakshushya – Good for eyes
Balakrut – Improves strength and immunity
Varnakrut – improves skin complexion
Shukrala – increases sperm count and semen quality
Keshya – good for hair. Improves hair quality. Hence it is used in many herbal hair oils.
Svarya – improves voice quality

Face pack

How to apply Licorice on your face?
Licorice, if applied on the face, can improve complexion, useful in acne, blemishes, acne scars, white heads and black heads.
If you have an oily face, then make a paste of fine powder of licorice with water and apply it on your face, leave it for 5 – 15 minutes, then wash off with hot water.
You can add red sandalwood powder – equal proportion to the above paste, to make it more effective.If you have dry face –
Then mix 5 grams of licorice with 10-15 drops of kumkumadi taila. Apply it evenly as a face pack.
Leave it on your face for 5 – 15 minutes, wash off with lukewarm water.
Do this once or twice  a day.

Voice improvement

Small licorice sticks of 2 – 3 cm length are chewed and the juice is swallowed slowly to relieve hoarseness of voice. Even singers use this for the purpose of improving singing voice.
Half a teaspoon of licorice is swallowed mixed with ghee or honey, for the same purpose.
Pittanilajit – Balances Vata and Pitta
Asrajit – detoxifies blood
Vranashothajit – useful in wound and inflammation
Vishahara – useful in poisoning
Chardihara – in small quantities, it relieves vomiting.
Trushnahara – relieves excessive thirst
Kshayahara – relieves emaciation and tiredness.

High blood pressure

A very high dose of 30 grams per day of licorice, for many weeks may cause an increase in blood pressure. But usually, as per Ayurveda, its daily dose is not more than 3 grams per day.

Headache, shoulder, back pain

External application
Paste prepared with licorice along with Tagara, dill seeds, Kushta, sandalwood and ghee is used to apply externally to relieve headache, shoulder and back pain. Reference: Charaka Samhita Rajayakshma Chikitsa.


Licorice powder – 1 – 3 grams once or twice a day.
Licorice decoction – 1 teaspoon of powder is added to 2 cups of water, boiled and reduced to half a cup. Filtered. This is advised in a dose of 15 – 30 ml, once or twice a day.
The dose of Yastimadhu capsule or tablet is 1 tablet / capsule once or twice a day, or as directed by an Ayurvedic physician.
Because of its coolant properties, it has protective action on the stomach mucosa. It is not an irritant. Hence, it can be administered before food or even on an empty stomach.
For Pitta imbalance disorders, it can be administered with cow milk.
It can be taken by people with diabetes.
Because of its coolant nature, it is not very useful in the treatment of Asthma.

Licorice with herbs, spices

Different ways to use licorice for digestive disorders
Yashtimadhu is a versatile Ayurvedic herb used extensively in digestive disorders.
Ayurveda explains that liquorice has heaviness, unctuousness, sweet taste and cold potency.
Usually herbs that have these properties balance down Pitta Dosha very well. Licorice is no exception.

Whenever you have taken a very spicy meal and feeling burning sensation in the stomach, when there is stomach mucosa erosion, when there are stomach and duodenal ulcers, when there is erosion of food pipe (esophagitis), in all these conditions, licorice is very helpful.

If you start feeling a burning sensation or if you cannot tolerate chilli, black pepper, ginger etc. spices, the licorice is very helpful. It relieves burning sensation, decreases hotness, and heals the wounds effectively.

For these purposes, licorice can be used in the form of an herbal ghee – called Yashtimadhu ghrita. Ghee is again Vata and Pitta balancing. So, it enhances the calming effect of licorice. Usual dose is 1 teaspoon of licorice ghee, once or twice a day, usually advised before food.

With milk

Yashtimadhu can also be taken in the form of licorice milk. For this purpose, 1 teaspoon of licorice is added with half a cup of milk and 2 cups of water. This is boiled in a low flame till half a cup of milk remains. It is filtered and consumed, usually before food. Milk is a natural coolant and hence it enhances the cooling effects of licorice on the stomach.

Apart from these, licorice is also available in the form of powder, tablets and capsules. The general dose of powder is 3 – 5 grams, once or twice a day, tablet or capsule is 2 per day.

With Triphala

When there is GERD – gastro esophageal reflux disorder, licorice alone might not be useful. In GERD, the food in the stomach moves upwards, causing heartburn.

You need something which makes the stomach and intestines move the food content in the downward direction. For this purpose, ideally licorice is made into a combination with Triphala. Triphala promotes downward movement of food in the stomach and the intestines.
Triphala with licorice is also useful when there is a burning sensation associated with mild constipation.
Read more about Triphala Churna

Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala manufactures Triphaladi Churna which is a combination of Triphala with licorice. Its dose is similar to the licorice powder dose mentioned above.

With Trikatu

It is an uncanny combination. Trikatu is a combination powder of black pepper, long pepper fruit and ginger. Trikatu is hot, licorice is cold. Why would you mix them up?

Well, some people will have decreasing digestion strength + burning sensation / mucosa (inner lining of stomach) erosion / ulcers, together.
There, based on the need, based on the tolerance capacity, higher proportion of licorice with lower quantities of Trikatu, or vice versa is administered.
Read more about Trikatu

With bitter herbs

Bitter herbs such as pointed gourd (Patola), neem, Adhatoda vasica, even turmeric have excellent wound healing, ulcer healing actions. Bitter herbs, like licorice, balance Pitta Dosha. But bitter herbs can potentially improve the digestive fire.

So, in case of mucosa erosion with weak digestion strength, where the person cannot tolerate spices such as Trikatu, especially when the inner lining erosion / ulcer needs quicker healing, licorice is administered with bitter herbs.

Ayurvedic medicines

Ayurvedic medicines with Glycyrrhiza glabra ingredient –
Yashtimadhu Phanta – a water infusion of licorice is used in Vamana Panchakarma procedure.
Ghee prepared with licorice – Yashtimadhu Ghrita is used extensively in treating peptic ulcers and gastritis.
Yashtimadhu oil – is used for nasya therapy (nasal instillation) and hair application to prevent baldness, greying and to reduce hair fall.
Because of its skin glow enhancing quality, it is an ingredient of the famous Kumkumadi Tailam

Licorice side effects

Licorice during pregnancy There are many reports suggesting that licorice taken during pregnancy may cause lower IQ in the child. It is also reported that licorice may cause preterm labor. Hence it is not advised to consume during pregnancy.
It is usually not prescribed in a patient with high BP and low potassium levels.
Licorice in excessive dosage causes nausea and vomiting, increases Blood Pressure. It has variable degrees of intolerance and hence should not be used without medical advice or supervision.
But licorice is used extensively in Ayurvedic treatment during pregnancy. Majority of Ayurveda textbooks mention licorice usage. If the dose is kept minimal, it is fine to use licorice during pregnancy, for a shorter period of time.

Should be taken with caution by

  • Women on birth control pills
  • Patients with Blood Pressure
  • Pregnant women
  • Nursing mothers

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.


Anti obesity and antioxidant effect of Glycyrrhiza glabra:
As per the research conducted in the Department of Natural Products, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, 12 flavonoids (1–12), isolated from Glycyrrhiza glabra roots were evaluated, in vitro for their pancreatic lipase (PL) inhibitory activity. Amongst all the compounds 7, 8, 10 and 11 showed strong inhibition against PL with IC50 values of 7.3 ?M, 35.5 ?M, 14.9 ?M and 37.6 ?M, respectively. Further, investigations were carried out to determine the anti obesity and lipid lowering effects of 7 and 10 in a high fat diet fed male SD rats. The results indicate the potential of the chalcone scaffold as a source of PL inhibitors for preventing obesity.

Newborn care

After the child is born, the umbilical cord is cut. If there is suppuration in the umbilical area of the newborn, the area should be applied with an oil prepared with Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa), Yashtimadhu (Indian licorice), Devadaru (Cedrus deodara) and Haridra (turmeric). If the navel has already been supurated, the powder prepared from the same herbs mentioned above (in the preparation of oil) should be dusted.

Read related: Ayurvedic Care Of The Newborn Baby: Jatamatra Paricharya

Is it warm or is it a coolant?
It is a coolant.

Licorice with triphala

Under what circumstances Triphala can be administered with licorice?
Answer by Dr JV Hebbar
Triphala and licorice compliment each other very well. When they are used together, they fill the mutual void.
They are useful together,
a. To target common organs of both the herbs, more efficiently – eyes, hair, stomach, intestines, heart, cholesterol, anti aging rejuvenation.
 b. To counter the slightly hot net effect of triphala with the coldness of yashtimadhu.
c. Licorice is described as unctuous by Bhavaprakasha. Net effect of triphala is slightly drying, mainly due to the astringent taste of Triphala.
d. Triphala is tridoshahara bor more targeted on kapha and Pitta. Licorice being sweet, brings in the vatahara effect to the equation.
e. Triphala with licorice is especially good for eyes. These two, along with Iron calx (Loha bhasma), honey and ghee are made into a medicine called Saptamrita lauha, which is used for the treatment of a variety of eye disorders.

Patanjali Divya Mulethi Churna – manufactured by Patanjali Ayurved Limited

Comment by Corey:
Just wanted to quickly say thank you for spreading the knowledge and it’s good to see someone else understands the errors of modern research into herbs toxicity. I had recommended to someone online to take a small dosage of calamus root everyday for about 2 weeks to help restore their consciousness after abusing weed. Everyone online was linking to a study saying it was cancerous, they were so alarmed. I was shocked to see they couldn’t read the study correctly, just like you had mentioned, the toxicity was tested at about 30 grams per day for 2 years straight… Whereas the dosage is supposed to be around 2g for only a small period of time. It’s a shame because that herb is really powerful!

Remedy For Bleeding, Fever, Heart Care

Licorice is one of the most versatile Ayurvedic herbs. Its use is seen in gastritis, aphrodisiac therapy, fever and bleeding disorders. Let us learn an effective home remedy for bleeding disorders, fever and atherosclerosis.

Home remedy video


What do you need

1. Licorice powder (Yashtimadhu – Glycyrrhiza glabra) – 10 grams
2. Katuki powder (Picrorhiza kurroa) – 10 grams
3. Lukewarm water.

Method of preparation

How to make it?
Mix equal quantities of Licorice powder and Katuki powder into a homogeneous powder.
This powder mixes in a dose of 500 mg to 1 gram two times a day, after food is administered along with a cup of lukewarm water.


1. It is useful in preventing fever. Both Kutki and Licorice stimulate the liver, calm Pitta and have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects.
2. It is useful in bleeding disorders of Pitta origin, like nasal bleeding, heavy periods, etc.
3. Both Katuki and Licorice are known for anti-atherosclerotic activity. That means, they help to reduce the collection of cholesterol and clots in the inner side of blood pipes of the heart. Hence it is a good home remedy for atherosclerosis.

How long will it take?
It can be taken for 2 – 3 months, based on the doctor’s advice.

Side effects

People who are sensitive to the said ingredients should avoid it.
It is best to avoid this home remedy in children, pregnant and lactating mothers.
It is best to take this home remedy under strict medical supervision.

Licorice Milk For Heartburn, Stomach Ulcers

Article by Dr Raghuram
Licorice milk is a very easy to prepare remedy for gastritis. It is explained in Ayurveda As Yastimadhu Ksheerapaka. Kseerapaka is a formulation prepared using milk (ksheera). The herb is processed (paka) in the milk and the resultant preparation is called Kseerapaka.

licorice root sticks

Ingredients of licorice milk remedy:

  • Yastimadhu – Coarse powder of Liquorice – 3 grams
  • Ksheera (Milk) – 25ml
  • Jala (Water) – 100ml

Method of preparation

How to prepare?
In this context we shall discuss the quantity of Ksheerapaka to be prepared, enough for single dose consumption.

  • Coarse powder of Glycyrrhiza glabra bark is taken in the quantity of 3 grams ( approximately half a teaspoon) in a vessel
  • To this, milk is added in a quantity of 25 ml or approximately 8 times the quantity of Yashtimadhu churna (powder)
  • Now water is added in a quantity of 100 ml i.e. approximately 32 times the quantity of Yashtimadhu powder (or 4 times the quantity of Milk). Before adding water to the vessel roughly note down the level of milk
  • Now the vessel with the required ingredients is kept on a stove and processed in moderate heat.
  • The contents are heated until only the milk remains. This means to tell that the process is carried on until all the water which has been added at the beginning of the preparation evaporates leaving behind the milk which we had taken i.e. 100ml of water evaporates during this processing and finally 25 ml of milk remains
  • This procedure enables the medicinal qualities of Yashtimadhu to get imbibed into the milk. This also reduces the irritating and nauseating property of Yashtimadhu and enables easy consumption of the medicament
  • Next the contents are filtered to separate the coarse powder of Yashtimadhu from the milk
  • The resultant milk is consumed hot or warm
  • This preparation is called Yashtimadhu Ksheerapaka


  • 25ml in the morning (depends on the severity) – should be decided by the doctor.
  • In children below 12 years of age, 5 – 10 ml, once or twice a day is the dose.
  • In conditions of Gastritis and Stomach related ailments it is preferred to be consumed before food. This formulation can also be given after food. The decision should be taken by a qualified Ayurvedic physician after thoroughly examining the disease and the diseased.

How long will it take?
It can be taken safely for a period of 2 – 8 weeks, based on doctor’s advice.

Shelf life

  • Every time the preparation shall be made fresh.
  • It should neither be preserved nor refrigerated nor reused after a long time following its preparation, because by then it would have lost its medicinal properties.                    

Benefits, research

Benefits of Liquorice milk recipe: 

  • Useful remedy for Gastritis and other stomach ailments, Reduces stomach acid levels, Prevents ulcer formation
  • Heals Gastric Erosions and Peptic Ulcers (Gastric and Duodenal ulcers)

Research studies have shown that the chemicals in Liquorice decreases swelling of the mucous membrane in inflammatory stomach conditions (and in lung congestions), thins down mucus secretions and increases chemicals in our body that heal ulcers. It is also useful in relieving H Pylori infection.

  • Aids digestion, cures indigestion
  • Good remedy for GERD / Reflux esophagitis / Acid Reflux / Heartburn
  • Relieves spasm of digestive tract and thus relieves colic / tummy pain
  • Heals Liver damages, It enhances bile flow, aids digestion, decreases cholesterol levels
  • It acts as a nutrient and helps in lowering stress
  • Milk and Liquorice – both are good rejuvenators and geriatric medicines, the compound is even more wholesome

Use of Licorice after Chemotherapy in cancer patients

Mode of action

Probable mode of action in healing Gastric ailments – An Ayurvedic perspective:

Milk is said to be a Nitya-Rasayana (Rejuvenator which can be consumed on a daily basis) and Yashtimadhu is of course a good Rasayana.
Read more about cow milk benefits
Rasayana means that which is highly beneficial for all the tissues in the body, the mind and senses, provides good health and immunity apart from healing and curing the diseases. Thus Yashtimadhu Ksheerapaka provides a double dose of Rasayana.

Being a rejuvenator the combination also covers the healing process in the entire body (and mind) but since we are discussing the role of Ksheerapaka in Gastric ailments and digestive disorders we will just have a look at the probable mode of action of Yashtimadhu Ksheerapaka in the mentioned conditions.

Yashtimadhu – Glycyrrhiza glabra is a known Rasayana herb of Ayurveda, used since the time of Charaka and Sushruta.

Read more about Licorice benefits, side effects

Milk has taken the properties and qualities of Yashtimadhu after the processing and it will be Yashtimadhu which will be predominantly acting in these conditions. Milk is a media and a conveyor of medicinal properties of Yashtimadhu to the cells. Also the processing with milk nullifies the irritant and nauseating nature of Yashtimadhu.

The stomach and its functions are predominantly monitored by Pachaka Pitta, Kledaka Kapha and Samana Vayu. Though they will get help from other sub-types of Doshas it would be irrelevant to discuss that in this context. When the mentioned subtypes of Doshas are in equilibrium the activities pertaining to digestion take place in an undisturbed way.

The imbalance between these sub-types of Doshas, especially the hyperactivity of Pachaka Pitta supported by disturbed Samana Vayu will lead to production of excessive Pitta (acids?) which in due course of time will damage the Shleshmadhara Kala (Gastric mucosa) of the stomach causing inflammation in its layers. The local Kapha which acts as a buffer or protective layer in the stomach is thus imbalanced. This inflammation in due course of time will lead to conditions like Ajeerna (indigestion), Amlapitta (Gastritis, GERD etc) etc.

In the later stages this excess Pitta will further damage and burn the Shleshmadhara Kala and Mamsadhara Kala (Gastric musculature) leading to Gastric erosions and ulcers (Annadrava Shoola and Parinama Shoola). This condition is a painful one. The pain is associated with nausea, hyperacidity, sour belching, heartburn, vomiting and many other symptoms.

Yashtimadhu Ksheerapaka by the virtue of its properties like Madhura Rasa and Vipaka, Sheeta Guna, Snigdha Guru Gunas will buffer the excess Pitta and balance it. This happens due to the antagonistic action of Yashtimadhu Ksheerapaka on Pitta and Vata – which are the prime culprits in the causation of Gastric ailments.

The medicine also helps in healing the erosions and ulcers, prevents excess acid formation and being a mild laxative owing to its Snigdha and Guru Gunas will flush the excess Pitta out of the stomach and intestines. It also corrects the metabolism and aids in proper digestion and absorption of food. This further energies the cells and restores strength and immunity of the body. The medicine also allows the recovery of gastric mucosa and musculature in quick time.

Does Licorice decrease immunity?

Side effects

There are no known side effects with this remedy.
However, people with high blood pressure should seek medical advice before taking it.
It is best to avoid this during pregnancy.

Click to consult Dr Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu)

Sthanika Karma (Systemic Action)

External Application – Indicated in inflammatory wounds to reduce pain. Reduce burning sensation, Promote hair growth (Decoction can be used for hair wash)
Internal administration –
Nervous System – Strengthen nervous system, Promote intellect, Indicated in Rheumatic joint pain, Good for proper functioning of brain
Digestive System – Indicated in vomiting, excessive thirst, Constipation etc. Facilitate proper movement of vata dosha. Can be given along with other purgative medicines o facilitate the purgative action. indicated in abdominal cramps, Hyper acidity, Peptic ulcer. It is good for ulcer healing
Circulatory System – Indicated in Anemia, And other blood related disorders
Excretory System – It has diuretic action. Indicated in dysuria, Pus in urine and in Pittaja prameha.
Reproductive system – Increases semen production, Aphrodisiac
Satmikarana – Promote body strength, Wound / Fracture healing, and Rejuvenative.
Tvak (Skin) – Indicated in skin diseases, itching. Improve complexion
Tapakrama – Reduce fever, Indicated in Jirnajvara
Netrya – Improve eyesight

Licorice with honey

Can licorice be consumed with honey? 
Dr JV Hebbar 
Licorice is famous as Yashtimadhu in Ayurveda. 
It is sweet, cold, heavy and unctuous. It balances Vata and Pitta dosha and nurtures Kapha dosha. 
Honey is astringent, sweet and balances Kapha dosha. 
When licorice is used along with honey, it balances all three doshas equally. 
Wherever Vata and Pitta dosha are aggravated, causing a disease in a Kapha body type person, licorice is advised with honey.
Example: A Kapha prakriti person suffering with severe emaciation and tissue loss due to reckless fasting, hoarse voice, vision problems, dry hair, nasal bleeding, vascular headache, gastritis, gout, non healing wounds etc. 
Practical challenge: 
Licorice is sweet and so also is honey. Some might find it difficult to swallow and feel a bit nauseated. For them, it can be advised with a very low dose of licorice such as 500 mg to 1 gram with a teaspoon of honey, make a paste and swallow with water or the client can be advised to take yashtimadhu capsule or tablet instead of powder.
Read: Honey Qualities, Usage, Remedies, Ayurvedic Benefits 

87 comments on “Yastimadhu: Licorice Benefits, Usage, Research, Remedies, Side Effects

  • amrutha

    18/06/2013 - 12:53 pm

    Atimaduram. Can take internally. Without any ayurvedic dr. Advice.

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      18/06/2013 - 8:57 pm

      It needs doctors advice. It might not be safe to take during pregnancy and in high BP patients.

      Reply to comment
  • Gaurav

    21/06/2013 - 6:44 am

    Is Licorice helpful in some form in dry cough (with fever)? It was acquired due to some sort of reaction to raw green mango (with cilantro) chutney.

    Thank you,

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    30/07/2013 - 11:44 am

    There are many licorice tablets in the market. General dose for just health maintenance is 500 mg per day, for 4 – 12 weeks.
    If the dose of a herb is mentioned as 3 g/ day, it is the dose of the powder.
    For health maintenance, usually 1 teaspoon of herb is added with two cups of water, boiled and reduced to one cup. Filtered. It is taken in a dose of half a cup two times a day.

    Reply to comment
  • Veena

    29/08/2013 - 8:57 am

    I have heard of an ayurvedic hair pack that promotes hair growth.i.e mixing equal amount of bhringaraj and yashtimadhu powder with some water into a fine paste and applying to the hair n scalp.Leave to dry and rinse. Does this really work? If so, how many times should this be done per week? Kindly reply.

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      04/09/2013 - 11:02 am

      Hi, this should work. It should be applied at lease once or twice per week.
      While applying this, do not wait till it is totally dry. Wash off when it is still moist.
      You can also add Amla powder to the above combination (in equal quantities).

      Reply to comment
  • latha

    23/02/2014 - 9:17 pm

    in which quantity an it be consumed daily for good health and immunity?

    Reply to comment
  • Padmapriya

    21/03/2014 - 10:15 am

    Will licorice powder help for acid reflux

    Reply to comment
  • radha

    25/04/2014 - 9:36 pm

    how to use liquorice for hair fall and greying hair? should we powder it and then apply?

    Reply to comment
  • NPS Rawat

    24/05/2014 - 6:50 pm

    Is it good to take licorice powder/ capsule or ashwagandha to improve CORTISOLE level?

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    31/07/2014 - 11:21 am

    It can be administered to children in low dose. But for your daughter’s cough problem, better to consult an Ayurveda doctor in person.

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    12/08/2014 - 9:27 pm

    Dear Runjith,
    You will have to observe very carefully while evaluating such articles. Either the researcher would have done the side effect study on a concentrate / particular chemical ingredient (not on the whole herb), or researcher might have taken the case of very high dose.
    Consider this report in a medline plus article.

    In the section “are there any safety concern?
    They write –
    Consuming 30 grams or more of licorice daily for several weeks can cause severe side effects including high blood pressure, low potassium in the blood, weakness, paralysis, and occasionally brain damage in otherwise healthy people.

    If you ask me, no sane doctor would advice 30 grams of licorice continuously for a few days, let alone several weeks

    Reply to comment
  • Raji

    28/08/2014 - 4:29 pm

    Recently i read out one article, it mentioned collect Licorice root, Dandelion root and Burdock Root and grind these 3 roots until became fine paste. Apply these paste on scalp and wash it off. Does it really work? I’m facing severe hair fall problem. Please reply me.

    Reply to comment
  • Sudhakar A

    18/09/2014 - 1:18 pm

    I heard that Ash guard juice with 2 teaspoon Liquorice powder (but I am going to try only 3 grams) is a home remedy for Epilepsy. Is this true ? . Can you please suggest home remedies for epilepsy ( I am sorry for diverting the topic) .

    Reply to comment
  • sadia

    24/09/2014 - 2:27 am

    As licorice when applied topically improves skin tone ,can intake also have the same benefits…
    Actually I’m vata type so wants to know which herb is good to improve complexion when taken internally .

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      16/10/2014 - 2:15 pm

      Oral intake of licorice also has skin tone improvement effect.
      Other substances to improve skin tone are – sesame seeds, Bhringaraj, Vitamin E containing substances etc.

      Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    15/10/2014 - 8:58 pm

    You can chew a very small piece of Yastimadhu, or take half a teaspoon of yastimadhu powder, once in the morning, and swallow honey with it. – for a period of one month only.

    Reply to comment
  • afzal

    04/02/2015 - 4:26 pm

    i read some where that Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) helps in reduction of abdominal fat. ie it helps in decreasing waist line. Please let me know if its true and what concentration should be taken and can you suggest a combination of Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) with guggulu.

    Reply to comment
  • vishnu

    02/03/2015 - 10:59 am

    Sir, a reputed digestive tonic is containing 0.5 grams of yashtimadhu per 100 ml of serving , as you are suggesting that yashtimadhu cant be taken per prolonged period of time. For how many days this tonic can be taken safely.

    Reply to comment
  • Lalitheswara Raju Valluru

    30/04/2015 - 10:49 pm

    It seems to have been working to treat sore throat and reflux as I was advised to administer the powder with honey twice a day.

    Reply to comment
  • Radhika

    01/07/2015 - 9:34 pm

    Great site. I do come often to learn more about Ayurveda. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us. What would be the best substitute for Licorice? It works very well but I have noticed that it increases BP even with a minimum dose of 500 mg/day. I need something which will help with both Vata and Pitta, helping to improve digestion, hyperacidity. Any suggestion?

    Reply to comment
  • Subrahmanya Kapoor

    13/08/2015 - 12:51 am

    Hi, is this Drug helpful for reducing involuntary nocturnal loss of semina or can you recommend some other Drug for that purpose.

    Reply to comment
  • Hemant

    02/10/2015 - 9:52 pm

    Hi Dr.

    you mentioned that this herb should not be used during pregnancy but this herb is used in phal ghrit/phal kalyan ghrit and brihat phal ghrit.

    If I am not wrong then all those ghrit can be used during pregnancy.

    isn’t it contradictory ?


    Reply to comment
  • priyanka

    11/10/2015 - 11:05 am

    sir i m facing severe hair problem i heard using green tea to scalp reduces hair fall is it true??if not please give me suggestion to reduce hair fall

    Reply to comment
    • Dr Malini Bhat

      09/11/2015 - 9:26 am

      Dear Madam,
      These might be some of the causes of the hair fall:
      > Stress
      > Weakness
      > Vitamin B6 and folic acid deficiency
      > Hereditary factors.

      In the diet do include lots of fruits and veggies. And drink atleast 2 litres of water everyday.

      The home remedies which you can use are:

      > Take Bhringaraj powder + Amalaki powder + Dried methi powder add 4 tsp of this mixture into warm water and apply the paste onto your scalp for 20 minutes and then wash off. Doing this for a regular basis can increase hair growth.

      > Include Radish in your diet. A bowl of radish with black pepper powder and rock salt in your diet twice a day.

      Reply to comment
  • Harish

    27/10/2015 - 11:08 am

    i have a acid reflux and heart burn so how would i take yasthimadhu and and in which form?

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      27/10/2015 - 11:39 am

      It can be made into a milk remedy and taken. Read about how to make it here – easyayurveda.com/2015/10/16/licorice-milk-recipe-for-gastritis-stomach-ulcers-heartburn/

      Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    01/11/2015 - 10:31 pm

    Eladi choornam is better.

    Reply to comment
  • sujata

    12/11/2015 - 3:19 pm

    Sir mujhe chickenpox hua ta one month phle usk marks rah gye h to inse kaise chutkara pau????or kitna time legega tik hone me ??

    Reply to comment
    • Dr Malini Bhat

      12/11/2015 - 6:30 pm

      Dear madam,

      These are the remedies you can use:

      > Apply aloe vera gel to the scars. You can obtain the gel from aloe vera plants by snipping off the tips of the leaves and squeezing out the gel.
      > Rub honey on the scars
      > Dab coconut water on the water.

      Reply to comment
  • Likhitha

    14/02/2016 - 2:04 pm

    Sir is this powder improves skin completion tooo.

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    25/03/2016 - 1:45 pm

    Please consult an Ayurveda doctor directly. Licorice – 500 mg, once or twice a day, for 1 month might be useful.

    Reply to comment
  • Monisha

    05/04/2016 - 8:23 am

    Sir,I am a nursing mother. So is it safe to use licorice topically for skin blemishes now ?

    Reply to comment
  • sangeetha

    05/04/2016 - 1:32 pm

    Please suggest whether this licorice powder is beneficial in patients with cancer after chemo for reducing the toxicity of medicines

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    05/04/2016 - 3:00 pm

    Hi, Licorice stem itself can be added while making oil. THe preparation can be made similar to amla hair oil shown here – easyayurveda.com/2012/04/18/how-to-make-hair-oil-at-home-with-amla/

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    11/04/2016 - 11:58 pm

    One of the problems with modern research is they compare the entire herb to just one or two of its chemical compounds. The way licorice works is different than glycyrrhizin. In Ayurveda, whole herb with its chemical compounds in entirety is used.

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    24/04/2016 - 12:28 am

    Hi, such a person can chew just 1 inch of licorice per day and suck its juice slowly for 2 – 3 minutes time. It may take a year time to improve.

    Reply to comment
  • Rajeush Ballamwar

    06/09/2016 - 11:13 pm

    Does Excessive consumption of Jeshthamadh (5gms per day) on regular basis lead to reduction of Haemohlobin in d blood?

    Reply to comment
  • Gaurav Bhavsar

    18/09/2016 - 12:19 am

    I heared that Licorice & milk boiled together is a remedy for hair fall & improves hair density. Is it true? Please help.

    Reply to comment
  • Anitha

    06/12/2016 - 12:08 pm

    My kids (4 yrs nd 1.2 yr)are having cough and throat congestion. Is it good to give them this yastimadhu powder along with palm sugar powder and honey. Please advise.

    Reply to comment
  • Hafa

    11/01/2017 - 2:47 pm

    Hello sir ..if I apply licorice root powder to my skin will it lighten my skin color?
    Please tel me sir

    Reply to comment
  • john eckles

    21/01/2017 - 7:18 pm

    Dear Dr J V Hebbar MD (AYU) can you find for a herbal ountment which will Destroys the hair root of the white hair on the face or will this three per crent drug cidofovir gel will do l want something really permanent really do as l am really feb up with all this waxing on the face every day now really feb up with it all l badly need your help l really do thankyou.

    Reply to comment
  • Zareena

    21/01/2017 - 10:50 pm

    Hello there,
    My daughter has lots of lice, due to which every time we need bald her hair. She is growing and not feeling balding her head. Do you have help with the above herbs?
    Thank you.

    Reply to comment
  • Mita

    22/01/2017 - 10:40 am

    Is it safe to use liquorice powder in face pack or hair pack? If so, what is the quantity to be used?

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    08/03/2017 - 11:13 pm

    No need.
    Just be strict with diet, exercise regularly. Take care to avoid putting on weight. Have a healthy lifestyle. Avoid junk, do Yoga and Pranayama.
    These are sufficient.

    Reply to comment
  • Manu

    10/04/2017 - 1:45 pm

    Hi Doctor,

    What is Indian (Hindi) name of Burdock Root?
    From where we can get Burdock Root?

    Thanks & Regards

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    21/05/2017 - 4:17 pm

    Dear sir, I do not know of any natural relief for umbilical hernia.

    Reply to comment
  • Jayashankar

    25/05/2017 - 7:46 pm

    Hi! What is Burdock root in Hindi and where do i get that? what are its benefits?

    Reply to comment
  • Charmy

    28/07/2017 - 12:10 am

    Hi doctor how can we use licorice powder or any other method or remedy you suggest externally for better brighter and equal complexion and getting rid of acne scars ?

    Reply to comment
  • Manasvi

    13/08/2017 - 10:08 am

    Thank u for your reply. I also wanted to know if I can use Vetiver and Manjishtha topically during pregnancy

    Reply to comment
  • mohamed asif

    14/08/2017 - 7:08 pm

    when we want to drink the mixture of liquorice at morning or night and before or after eating

    Reply to comment
  • Shreyash

    31/08/2017 - 11:58 pm

    Sir i want to increase my weight and also strenghten my immune system… please advice me which ayurvedic medicine i take

    Reply to comment
  • Lokesh sahay

    04/10/2017 - 7:00 pm

    Hi Doctor M listen about licorice tht the best tonic for health mantinece & its used with worm milk twice a day . Its how % fact.

    Reply to comment
  • Suzaina.kn

    30/11/2017 - 3:19 pm

    Thank you doctor..what can be done for body excess hair.because of hormonal imbalance problem non of the home remedies are helpful in removing/reducing excess body hair n hair fall thinning????

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    05/12/2017 - 10:36 pm

    You can take the remedy. It will not affect the milk production.

    Reply to comment
    • Harikaphani

      11/12/2017 - 4:14 pm

      Sir…i m having open pores on my face. .is there permanent solution for this. ….pls tell me

      Reply to comment
      • Alekhy

        21/12/2017 - 12:27 pm

        Hello Doctor, can you please list the names of the oils used as a remedy for
        Hairfall and greying hair
        And how to use them. Thank you

        Reply to comment
  • Chaitali

    06/12/2017 - 11:38 pm

    Is licorice powder & licorice root powder the same?

    Reply to comment
  • Veena

    24/12/2017 - 6:03 pm

    Thanks.. i don’t have access to fresh bringaraj leaves. I only have dried bringaraj powder and dried yashtimadhu powder,so do I soak them in water overnight or for few hours before applying to head as a mask for hair growth? Please suggest

    Reply to comment
    • Harikaphani

      16/01/2018 - 7:30 pm

      SIr my brother pinched me on my cheeks when I was small..those scratches reflects my face ugly…please tell me a remedy to erase them…

      Reply to comment
  • mohan

    09/01/2018 - 8:37 am

    sir am having gastritis along with gallbladder pain.( no gallstones) for 2 yrs.not able to digest anything …sweet or even less oily not tolerated. licorice helps for burning sensation but i feel pain in gallbladder taking yashtimadhu.pls suggest what alternate. pr licorice ok for longer iam taking for more than 1yrs..

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    22/01/2018 - 5:17 pm

    It can be taken quarter a taespoon at night, after food with a cup of milk or water for 2 months time.

    Reply to comment
  • v

    09/02/2018 - 10:53 pm

    Is Kumkumadi thailam same as Kumkuma pushadi thailam – Mix 1/2 cup extra virgin oil,1/2 almond oil, a pinch of saffron in a bowl.Heat the oil using a double boiling method.i.e bring some water to a boil,place this bowl in the hot boiling water.The oil gets heated and the colour changes to golden.Remove and store in a glass jar.

    Reply to comment
  • swati sinha

    23/03/2018 - 5:49 am

    DoctorD pls tell me the quantity that can be taken. Thanks

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      25/03/2018 - 12:37 am

      2 grams of powder, 2 times a day after food.

      Reply to comment
  • Prathap kalyan

    25/03/2018 - 12:17 am

    Dr liquorice powder with green tea combination does any harm or over dose to the body

    Reply to comment
  • Mrs Mary George

    06/06/2018 - 12:56 pm

    Got 2bottles of Yastimadhu powder but its written on the bottle good for throat infection.
    I bought it for application for skin, is this the one for applying on skin or some other specific bottle is there for application on skin.
    Kindly let me know if this is good for skin for teenagers and how to apply.
    Hope you would reply soon. Any side effects for young skin later

    Reply to comment
  • Sagar Kulkarni

    27/06/2018 - 10:56 am

    I have too much heat in the body. Pustules on the back and shoulders and I feel hungry every 2 hours. I keep drinking milk with licorice powder. Please suggest a remedy and medicines. As I take swarna Sootashekhar ras & kaamdudha ras. I have severe vertigo aswell.

    Reply to comment
  • Devendra Varma

    24/08/2018 - 1:13 pm

    Sir can we use aswagandha and tribulus along with other english medicine?? Will there be any problem ?

    Reply to comment
  • Lakshya

    27/08/2020 - 1:05 pm

    Is it safe to add both licorice and ashwagandha to warm milk and drink at bed time?

    Reply to comment
  • Sangeetha

    29/05/2021 - 2:29 pm

    Sir I am currently 5 months pregnant, can I use licorice powder and saffron as facepack once a week? Is it safe to use it externally while pregnant.

    Reply to comment
  • Ashish

    21/09/2021 - 2:04 pm

    I am suffering from esophagitis grade B. Would licorice help in healing it? If yes, how should I take it? Currently I am taking it in hot water in the morning empty stomach.

    Thanks in advance,

    Reply to comment
  • Debbue

    21/12/2021 - 1:27 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this information.

    I think it has saved me a lot of suffering.

    With joy and gratitude

    Reply to comment
  • Bharat

    20/09/2022 - 6:50 pm

    I am drinking licorice tea by mixing 1 teaspoon of licorice powder with water and boiling. I am drinking this every evening.
    Is it a good practice? I have severe gastric disorders. Please advise

    Reply to comment

    28/09/2022 - 12:23 am

    Is it true that licorice lowers male testostrone levels?
    Is it harmful for male sexual health?

    Reply to comment

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