By Syed AkbarGlycyrrhiza glabra or sweet root, as its name suggests, is indeed very sweet to taste. Itis almost 50 times sweeter than cane sugar. Also popular as licorice, Glycyrrhiza has anumber of medicinal properties, the important being its ability to fight ulcers in themouth, intestines and stomach, and provide relief from eczema and cough, asthma and otherrespiratory issues. The root of licorice is used in medicinal preparations. Root decoction, extract, infusion and powder can be consumed. They are readily available inherbal shops or can be prepared at home from fresh licorice roots. Sweet root controlsdigestive acid levels in the stomach and fights acidity and GERD. Sweet root has been in use in traditional systems of medicine for almost 2000 years. Itis quite popular with Ayurveda and Unani physicians as also with other herbalists aroundthe world. Since it contains high content of sweetness, it is not recommended forpatients of diabetes. It has certain chemicals which are not good for people sufferingfrom heart, kidney and liver problems. Pregnant women and lactating mothers should avoid this herb. For others, sweet root works wonders. This herb is prescribed in a little quantity and for the maximum period of 30 days. Sweetroot should not be taken beyond a month consecutively. Apart from its medicinal value,sweet root provides flavours to soft drinks and other food items. Licorice is prescribed for common cold as an expectorant to remove the mucous and providea soothing effect to the sore throat. ------------------- Home remedies ------------------- Those suffering from eczema may apply a little quantity of licorice root extract to theaffected portion for relief. Repeat it twice a day. Before applying the herbal extract,clean the affected portion with warm water. Licorice gel, available in the market, canalso be applied externally. Chewing a little quantity (two grams) of licorice root every day for a week will help infighting peptic ulcers. If you are suffering from mouth ulcers, you may try licorice extract for relief frompain. Take a little quantity of licorice root extract available in market, mix it in warmwater and gargle three times a day. Sweet root has been found to be highly effective in fighting indigestion. You may trylicorice tea from an herbal shop. Licorice has also been found to control cholesterol. Licorice root powder mixed with warmwater will help in controlling the cholesterol level. Ayurveda and Unani doctors often prescribe licorice for control of inflammation, allergyand joint pains.