Mulethi is an age old remedy, most trusted by grandmothers in India. It is also commonly known as Licorice. It is believed to be a natural expectorant. The herb extracts are sold commercially as capsules to treat various other internal diseases and disorders. The herb can also be consumed in the form of tea.
Overview of Mulethi:
Mulethi is an herb that is grown in parts of Europe and Asia. It is a perennial herb and it has been used in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicines for centuries. In Western countries, licorice extract is mainly used as a flavoring agent and also as a natural sweetener.
Apart from cough, Mulethi is also used to treat certain skin aliments, digestive disorders and other respiratory ailments.
Composition and Nature of Mulethi:
Mulethi has an intricate composition of many natural compounds. Anethole makes up 3% of the whole plant. Glycyrrhizin is a prominent compound which makes the plant naturally sweet. Another compound Isoflavane glabridin is found in the roots of the plant.
Uses and Benefits of Mulethi:
The various parts of the Mulethi plant are used to treat various diseases. The capsule is used to treat various diseases such as:
- Treatment of Digestive disorders : Mulethi extract capsules are used to treat various problems arising out of a faulty digestive system like acid reflux, ulcers in the stomach, acidity, constipation, heart burn and stomach inflammation. Mulethi has several beneficial properties. It is a laxative with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
- Treats infections in the respiratory system : Mulethi capsules are used to treat various respiratory sicknesses apart from cough. Due to its anti-oxidant properties, the herb can effectively fight against cold, asthma, sore throat and chest congestion.
- Treatment against various disorders affecting the liver : The anti-inflammatory properties of Mulethi can heal and soothe the liver in case of a hepatitis infection. Apart from purifying liver, it can also treat jaundice, fatty liver disease (non-alcoholic kind) and liver damage.
- Regulation of hormones : The presence of phytoestrogen compounds in Mulethi is useful in treating hormonal imbalance especially during menopause. It can help soothe the mind during mood swings and exhaustion. It can also act effectively against hot flashes and menstrual cramps.
- Boost immunity : Mulethi can aid in the synthesis of immune cells like macrophages and lymphocytes. The anti-microbial properties help fight antigens and improve the body’s defense mechanism. The natural compounds in the herb help can act effectively against allergies of the system.
- Improving oral health : The anti-bacterial properties of the herb can help fight the growth of bacteria in the mouth, thereby providing relief and acting against bad breath, cavities and accumulation of plaque.
- Enhanced memory : The compounds in the roots of the herb aid the adrenal gland in a positive way. This aids brain stimulation and improves memory. It can also act effectively against amnesia.
- Treatment of skin ailments : Mulethi’s anti-inflammatory properties and anti-microbial properties help fight skin rashes and other allergic reactions in the skin.
Side Effects of Mulethi:
Mulethi can at times induce allergic reactions in the body. People who are allergic to peas and other legumes are especially vulnerable to Mulethi induced allergic reactions. Therefore, people with such allergies should completely avoid Mulethi.
In rare cases, excessive intake of Mulethi can cause the following side-effects:
- Blurred vision
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Potassium and Sodium imbalance
In rarest cases, there might be a temporary loss of vision.
If consumed in the form of tea, Mulethi should be limited to a maximum of two cups a day. Mulethi pills that are herbal extracts are mainly used as supplements. The right dosage for pill is 2 milligrams per kilogram of your body weight per day. This measurement is for supplements that are Deglycyrrhizinated (DGL) Mulethi.
If you use the other form of the supplement, that is not Deglycyrrhizinated, the correct dosage is not more than 100 mg per day, irrespective of your body weight.
How Mulethi Works?
Mulethi is rich in several natural compounds. These compounds act on various systems in the body including the digestive system and endocrine system. There are no studies to indicate the specific compounds that act against the disorders and ailments in the body. However, from ancient times this herb has been used in treating various disorders both internally and externally.
The compounds in the herb are said to boost overall health by killing free radicals with oxidative properties.
Precaution and Warning Related to Mulethi:
The side effects of Mulethi herb are limited. However, it should be avoided by certain people like:
- People who are allergic to legumes
- Regular intake of the herb is not advanced for people with liver disorders and diabetes
- It should be avoided by pregnant women and nursing mothers
- People with hypertension must stay away from the herb
- People with heart disease, especially those on medication should take a physician’s advice before consumption.
- Women who are on birth control pills should take the herbal supplement with caution
Substitutes of Mulethi:
There is no substitute for licorice as a whole. However, for each ailment that Meluthi treats, there are other herbs that can be consumed. For example, herbs in the Kandughna class treat allergic reactions in the skin and herbs in the Shonitasthapana class help check bleeding and aids easy menstruation.
Licorice being a natural compound does not interact with most drugs. However, to ensure caution, you must discuss your licorice dosage with our physician.
Mulethi can interact in the following ways:
- It can react with birth control pills
- Mulethi can moderately interact with drugs used for hypertension and hence should be avoided by people with high blood pressure
- Mulethi can alter the sodium-potassium balance in the body and hence should be avoided by people with low potassium levels.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs):
1) Can Mulethi be applied externally?
Ans: Yes . Mulethi can be used in external applications to treat skin ailments. It is either used separately or in combination with other herbs.
2) Can Mulethi lead to addiction?
Ans: No. There are no cases of addiction to Mulethi that have been reported.
3) Can I consume Mulethi tea for non-remedial purposes?
Ans: Yes. Mulethi is a good antioxidant and it can be consumed everyday even for non-remedial purposes.