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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

The fibrous root is used as a sweetener for foods[1]. It is boiled in water to extract the sugars etc and used as a liquorice substitute in sweets, medicines, drinks etc[2][3][4]. The root contains glycyrrhizin, which is 50 times sweeter than sugar[5].

Unknown part

Material uses

Liquorice root, after the medicinal and flavouring compounds have been removed, is used in fire extinguishing agents, to insulate fibreboards and as a compost for growing mushrooms[5].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Gan Cao is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs[5]. It is considered to be second in importance only to Ginseng (Panax spp)[5]. Used in excess, however, it can cause cardiac dysfunction and severe hypertension[5].

The root is a sweet tonic herb that stimulates the corticosteroidal hormones, neutralizes toxins and balances blood sugar levels[6]. It is also antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, antitussive, cholagogue, demulcent, emollient, expectorant and laxative[7][8][5][6]. It is used internally in the treatment of Addison's disease, asthma, coughs and peptic ulcers[6]. Externally, it is used to treat acne, boils and sore throats[6]. It is included in almost all Chinese herbal formulae, where it is said to harmonize and direct the effects of the various ingredients[6]. It precipitates many compounds and is therefore considered to be unsuitable for use with some herbs such as Daphne genkwa, Euphorbia pekinensis and Corydalis solida[6]. It increases the toxicity of some compounds such as ephedrine, salicylates, adrenaline and cortisone[6]. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women or for people with high blood pressure, kidney disease or anyone taking digoxin-based medications[6]. Excessive doses cause water retention and high blood pressure[6]. It can cause impotence in some people[6]. The roots are harvested in early autumn, preferably from plants 3- 4 years old, and is dried for later use[6].

The flowers are alterative and expectorant[5].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nitrogen fixer

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow spring or autumn in a greenhouse[9]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and grow them on for their first winter in a greenhouse. Plant out in late spring or early summer when in active growth. Plants are rather slow to grow from seed[6]. Division of the root in spring or autumn. Each division must have at least one growth bud. Autumn divisions can either be replanted immediately or stored in clamps until the spring and then be planted out[9]. It is best to pt up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a cold frame until they are established before planting them out in the spring or summer.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Glycyrrhiza uralensis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Requires a deep well cultivated fertile moisture-retentive soil for good root production[9]. Prefers a sandy soil with abundant moisture[6]. Slightly alkaline conditions produce the best plants[6].

Plants are hardy to at least -15°c[6]. This species is widely cultivated in China as a medicinal plant. Unless seed is required, the plant is usually prevented from flowering so that it puts more energy into producing good quality roots[6]. A very deep-rooted plant, it can be difficult to eradicate once it is established[6].

This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[9].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Glycyrrhiza uralensis. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Glycyrrhiza uralensis.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Glycyrrhiza uralensis
Genus
Glycyrrhiza
Family
Leguminosae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
6
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    ?
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type











    References

    1. ? 1.01.1 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.2 Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR. Israel Program for Scientific Translation (1968-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Kariyone. T. Atlas of Medicinal Plants. ()
    4. ? 4.04.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.45.55.65.75.85.9 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    6. ? 6.006.016.026.036.046.056.066.076.086.096.106.116.126.136.146.156.166.17 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Yeung. Him-Che. Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas. Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles (1985-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.3 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)