What is Mulethi?

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Himachal Pradesh has recently begun the commercial cultivation of licorice (Mulethi) to become the first state in India to have organized cultivation of Mulethi.

About Mulethi:

  • Mulethi,  commonly known as licorice, is a sweet-tasting perennial shrub.
  • Scientific name: Glycyrrhiza glabra
  • The roots have a sweet taste due to the presence of glycyrrhizin, which is 50 times sweeter than sucrose. 
  • It has been traditionally known and used as medicine in Ayurveda (known in Ayurveda as ‘Yashtimadhu’)  for rejuvenation.
  • Uses of Mulethi:
  • Herbal medicines use Mulethi for its natural sweetness.
  • It is also used in traditional medicines against chest and lung diseases.
  • It is used to flavor candies, tobacco, and alcohol, artificial and natural sweeteners.
  • Health Benefits of Mulethi:
  • It has anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-bacterial properties.
  • It is known to boost immunity due to the increase in the production of macrophage and lymphocytes.
  • Mulethi herb can treat asthma, cough, cold, sore throat, and other respiratory ailments. 
  • It helps in weight loss as it contains flavonoids that help to reduce excessive fats accumulated in the body. 
  • It helps improve the digestive system, lessens the acidic level in the intestines, and also helps to detox our body.
  • Distribution:
  • The plant thrives in a dry and sunny climate and is cultivated in subtropical and warm temperate regions.
  • Countries producing licorice include Iran, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Turkey.
  • It is also cultivated in Punjab and Sub Himalayan tracts in India.


Q1)  What is glycyrrhizin ?

Glycyrrhizin is a saponin-like compound that provides the main sweet flavor for Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice), with potential immunomodulating, anti-inflammatory, hepato- and neuro-protective, and antineoplastic activities.

Source: Himachal Pradesh to become first state in India to have organised cultivation of Mulethi