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Liquorice  is the common name of Glycyrrhiza glabra, a flowering plant of the bean family Fabaceae, from the root of which a sweet, aromatic flavouring can be extracted.  The liquorice plant is an herbaceous perennial legume native to Western Asia, North Africa, and Southern Europe.  The root is perennial, round, long and straight, tough and fibrous. It is grayish outside and yellowish within. And its most desirable virtues lie inside of the cortical.  Liquorice is used as a flavouring in candies and tobacco, particularly in some European and West Asian countries.  Liquorice extracts have been used in herbalism and traditional medicine.  Liquorice, which grows best in well-drained soils in deep valleys with full sun, is harvested in the autumn two to three years after planting. Excessive consumption of liquorice (more than 2 mg/kg per day of pure glycyrrhizinic acid, a liquorice component) may result in adverse effects, such as hypokalemia, increased blood pressure, muscle weakness, and death. Countries producing liquorice include Iran, India, Italy, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Turkey.

Scientific name

Glycyrrhiza glabra

Ayurvedic name

Mulethi, Jethimadhu

Chinese name

Gan cao

Plant type


Harvested parts


Main producer

China, India

Main use

Flavoring, Beverage, Medicinal



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