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Chemical constituants of yashtimadhu - Glycyrrhiza glabra Linn.

yashtimadhu :

yashtimadhu  : Glycyrrhiza glabra Linn.


The principal constituent of liquorice to which it owes its characteristic sweet taste is glycyrrhizin, which is present in different varieties in a concentration of 2-14%.

This principle is not found in the aerial parts of the plant.

Other constituents present in liquorice are:

·         glucose (up to 3.8%),

·         sucrose (2.4-6.5%),

·         mannite, starch ( 30% ),

·         asparagine,

·         bitter principles,

·         resins (2-4%),

·         a volatile oil (0.03-0.035%) and

·         coloring matter.


v  The yellow color is due to the anthoxanthin glycoside, iso liquiritin which, undergoes partial conversion to liquiritin during drying and storage of roots.

v  Iso liquiritin gives on hydrolysis iso liquiritigenin,

v  while liquiritin gives liquiritigenin as a glucone.

v  Both iso liquiritin and liquiritin are bitter with a sweet after-taste and stimulate the salivary glands.

v  Commercial samples contain c. 2.2% of iso liquiritin.

v  A steroid estrogen, possibly estriol, is also reported to be present in liquorice.

v  The presence in the inner bark of a hemolytically active saponin has been reported1.

v  The plant contains phytoestrogens in the form of isoflavones such as formononetin; glabrone, neoliquiritin and hispaglabridin A & B.


Glycyrrhizin, a glycoside obtained from G. glabra was studied for its anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory effect on formaldehyde induced rat-paw edema in adrenalectomised rats.

It was found to potentiate the anti-arthritic action of hydrocortisone in rats

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