“Help! I have been having a chronic cough for sometime now. Does anyone have any suggestions on this”, posted my friend S in a group I am a part of, where we discuss the healing and restorative properties of herbs and how we can use herbs for health.
“S, try adhimadhuram (Indian liquorice) as a kashayam (decoction)”, I had posted, and had given her a recipe to make a decoction using Indian Liquorice, dried ginger, pepper and fennel to pacify vata , reduce and bring out excess kapha in the form of mucous and improve the healing in her body. And behold, in a short 3 days, my friend S’s stubborn cough reduced, and she was able to sleep without pain as her body no longer strained to throw out excess mucous.
Properties of Indian Liquorice / Yashtimadhu
Yashti madhu,Mulethi, adhi madhuram – all the names of the Indian liquorice, Glycyrrhiza glabra attest to its sweet, kapha increasing property. This herb brings down excess vata and pitta and is extremely useful because of its properties as a rasyana, demulcent, sedative and laxative herb. Despite its kapha increasing properties, the Indian Liquorice is renowned in its use as an expectorant and is used to control stubborn coughs and colds, soothe a sore throat and improve the symptoms of laryngitis.
Yashtimadhu / Indian Liquorice / Glycyrrhiza glabra
This explains the presence of Yashtimadhu in herbal cough syrups and throat lozenges. It is also used extensively in certain kinds of herbal syrups for its sweet taste to mask the more unpleasant drugs.
Yashtimadhu also has a very studied protective and detoxifying effect on the liver. It protects the cell membranes of the liver and reduces inflammation in the liver cells ,thus greatly helping in hepatitis.
On skin, Yashtimadhu reduces inflammation, and symptoms of itching and skin irritation in conditions like atopic dermatitis.
Yashtimadhu / Indian Liquorice in Traditional medicine systems across the world
Yashtimadhu has been studied and prescribed for thousands of years in traditional medicinal systems. The Charaka samhita refers to it as varnya (herb that makes the complexion more radiant), Kandughna (herb that relieves itching sensation).
Acharya Sushruta mentions it as a principal drug. Charaka Samhta and Sushruta Samhita both refer to Yashtimadhu as a rasayana / rejuvenative herb. Acharya Vagbhatta has prescribed this herb in the treatment of both ulcers and jaundice.
Acharya Vagbhatta’s use of liquorice in curing ulcers was endorsed in clinical trials conducted in 1946 (Revers) and 1967 (Takagi & Ishii).
The code of Hammurabi records the use of Liquorice in 2100 BC. The Assyrian herbal system mentions its use in 2000 BC. Hippocrates also mentioned its use in the treatment of ulcers and thirst quenching in 400 BC.
In TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) , Liquorice was prescribed for its rejuvenating properties. It was also prescribed to bring down fevers, aches, chronic coughs and quench thirst.
Unani medicine describes three varieties of Yashtimadhu – the Egyptian variety called Misariya, the Arabic variety and the Turkish variety.
Principal constituents of Indian liquorice
One of the principal components of Yashtimadhu is Glycyrrhizin which gives Liquorice its sweet taste. This compound is not present in the aerial parts of the plant, which is why companies like Krya use the root of Indian liquorice. Glycyrrhizin is 50 times sweeter than cane sugar and is sweetness can be identified even in a dilution of 1:20,000 parts.
Yashtimadhu also contains a natural steroid like compound which is similar to estriol. It is this compound which, when applied externally gives instant relief to skin inflammation and dermatitis like conditions.
Why we use Yashtimadhu in Krya’s formulations
Yashtimadhu finds its way into several Krya skin and hair care products.
We use it in our hair oils to help repair damaged hair, provide a natural conditioning effect on hair and to stimulate healthy hair growth. We also use it in our conditioning hair wash and upcoming conditioning hair mask to help align the hair cuticles and make hair naturally soft and tangle free with the use of synthetic silicones.
Krya formulations that use Yashtimadhu
Yashtimadhu also goes into our skin formulations for dry skin for its skin soothing, anti-itch, healing and demulcent effect. So we use it in its churana form in our Moisture plus face wash and Moisture plus body wash. It also forms an important part of our new Bodywash for Sensitive skin meant for skin that is extremely dry and is prone to skin conditions like atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema.
The Krya bodywash and ubtan challenge this month:
We’ve spoken earlier about the difference between a Krya bath and a synthetic soap bath. A synthetic soap uses a superficial cleansing method and a lot of artificial fragrance that lull you into feeling that you are much more cleaner than you actually are. A soap dissolves oil present on the skin. Its lyophilic end surrounds the oil molecule and moves it away from skin as you pour water on it. This is an excellent property if you are cleaning an inanimate object like your car, but not if you are cleaning living tissue like your skin. If you use a soap on your skin, it will dissolve the sebum layer which is required to keep your skin moisturized and keep your barrier layer strong.
The Krya herb based bodywashes and ubtans on the other hand are much more subtle in their action – they combine exfoliant, temperature altering, scrubbing, micro polishing and surfactant benefits all into one. This is in direct contrast to a synthetic soap .
The Krya bodywash / ubtan works by actually opening up and removing mala (toxins) from the minutest of pores in your skin. The grains and lentils and herbs in it are mildly acidic. They work by a process of adsorption and by forming a homogenous mixture with the excess oil, dead cells and dirt on your skin. The grains and lentils also contain small amounts of oil and other nutrients which coat your skin as you rub the mixture.
Because the herb mixture we use in our bodywashes and ubtans is mildly acidic and aromatic on its own and contains properties that keep down the growth of invasive fungi and bacteria, your skin is left intact after washing. As your skin’s acid mantle is left intact and its pH level is not altered, your skin is able to defend better against invasive micro organisms.
Specifically, due to the addition of powerful skin repairing and complexion enhancing herbs like Yashtimadhu, having a “Krya bath” with one of our bodywashes / ubtan leaves you feeling and looking and smelling much better.
The Krya “real” bath challenge:
To inspire more and more people to try out the uniquely refreshing and very zen like bath you could have with a Krya bodywash or an Ubtan, we have a special promotion going on this July. Our herb and goodness filled body cleaning products are available at a discount of upto 20% for the first time EVER.