Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Benefits of Assaleusoos in Unani Medicine

Botanical Name : Glycyrrhiza galba
English Name :     Liquorice, Licorice
Hindi Name :       Jethimadh, Mulhathi
Sanskrit Name :   Madhuuka, Yashtimadhu

    Assaleusoos (Licorice )  is known to be 50 times sweeter than sugar and hence its name has been derived from a Greek(Unan) word that means “sweet root”. It's botanical name is Glycyrrhiza galba. This plant is found in Southern Europe and Central Asia. Though its smell closely resembles that of anise, it is not related to it. Licorice plant is widely used in commercial products such  as candies and food flavorings. Assaleusoos is being used by theGreek(Unan)  for more than 5000 years. It is highly considered for its miraculous healing power. Not surprisingly, it is the most prescribed in Unani  Medicine . One of the potent components of Assaleusoos  plant is Glycyrrhizin. This compound has immense therapeutic properties. Assaleusoos is also rich in flavonoids and phytoestrogens. For thousands of years,Assaleusoos extracts has been used to treat common ailments like coughs, food poisoning, sore throats, stomach and liver disorders.

What are the Identifying features of the Assaleusoos plant? 

 Assaleusoos plant is a herbaceous , perennial legume and is found prominently around Southern Europe and Asia.  It grows to around 1mm in height and bears white to purple colored flowers. It has long pinnate leaves divided in 9 to 17 leaflets. It grows well in deep valleys with drained soil. The plant needs good amount of sunlight and hence is harvested around the month of autumn. The plant owes its sweetnes to the compound anethole which is an aromatic ether.

What is the History behind Assaleusoos ?

Assaleusoos herb has been in use since ancient times. Historical evidences shows that it was kept in the tomb of King Tut along with jewelries and precious ornaments.  The story goes that King Tut was very much fond of sweet drink ' Mai sos' which was made by using Assaleusoos. Hence he wanted the herb to be placed in this tomb so that in the next world too he could enjoy his favorite drink. In those days,Assaleusoos was used by people belonging to different cultures such as the Greeks(Unani) Hindus, Babylions, Chinese,  and Romans. Greeks learnt the art of using this herb from the Scythians. Discorides was a Greek physician who travelled along with the troops of Alexander, The Great. He asked the troops to chew Licorice while marching. During the middle ages, this herb was known as ' grains of paradise' as it was widely used then for various medicinal and culinary reasons. As of today, most of the countries export licorice from Spain and Italy.

What are the Health benefits of Assaleusoos ?

  •  Being rich in Glycyrrhizin,  Assaleusoos  herb has expectorant properties. 
  • Assaleusoos  also has anti-inflammatory properties. Hence it is used as an alternative remedy for respiratory ailments such as bronchitis, coughs, congestions and allergies.
  • Assaleusoos  root extract is recommended for stomach ailments, heartburns, skin diseases (psoriasis and eczema), and liver problems.
  • European physicians used  Assaleusoos  roots for the treatment of Viral Hepatitis. 
  • Assaleusoos root has been known to assist the functioning of the adrenal glands thereby making the adrenal hormones like cortisol available to the body in more amounts. Cortisol is considered as the body’s foremost hormone for fighting stress.
  • Regular intake reduces the symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. 
  • Assaleusoos roots contain phytoestrogens. It is recommended for treating PMS and menopausal problems.
  • Recent studies have revealed that  Assaleusoos  root increases immunity of the body. It enhances the levels of interferon. Interferon is one of the most potent antiviral agent that helps to combat against microorganisms in the body. Regular intake prevents reproduction activity of viruses. Hence, licorice is considered for the treatment of herpes simplex virus which causes genital herpes and cold sores. Besides, licorice roots removes bacteria and fungus causing vaginal yeast infections.

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