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Mulethi – A wonder herb in respiratory infections

With transition in the season and changing climate triggers respiratory infections. The temperature variations add to the spread of these seasonal infections. Weakened immunity is known to increase the susceptibility to these infections.

So, are there natural remedies for respiratory infection and for boosting one’s immunity?

Ayurveda describes many herbs for respiratory health that have the power to fight respiratory infections and increase our resistance against them. One such magical herb is Mulethi.

Mulethi is a perennial shrub with beautiful lavender or violet coloured flowers. Its roots and stolons are fibrous in nature, with yellowish interior, characteristic odor and sweet taste. Mulethi (Glycyrrhiza glabra), commonly known as licorice, is known as Yashtimadhu or Yashtimadhuka in Sanskrit and Jeshtamadh in Marathi due to its sweet roots and stolons. Due its sweet taste, it is being used as a traditional confectionary and a flavoring agent throughout the world.

In Ayurveda, Mulethi has been described to alleviate Kapha dosha (body humor)*. It reduces burning sensation, pain and inflammation. The decoction, powder or extract of Mulethi roots or stolons are used orally in respiratory infections.

Ayurvedic texts mention the following actions of Mulethi that are beneficial in the management of respiratory infections:

  • Kasaghna (relieves cough)
  • Shwasaghna (relieves asthma)
  • Shirashoola hara (relieves headache)
  • Kandughna (relieves itching)
  • Jwara shamak (relieves fever)
  • Rasayana (rejuvenating adaptogen)
  • Balya and Jeevaniya (promotes physical strength and health)
  • Swarya (improves voice)
  • Vishaghna (antitoxic)
  • Shosha hara (reduces muscle wasting)
  • Chardi hara (relieves emesis)
  • Vrana hara (heals wound)
  • Shotha hara (reduces swelling)
  • Glaanihara (relieves exhaustion)

Mulethi, due to its emollient and demulcent properties has a soothing effect on throat. So, it helps to relieve scratchy throat, throat irritation and hoarseness of voice. Due its expectorant property, it promotes drainage of thick mucus from the lungs, bronchi and trachea by thinning the mucus, and also lubricates the irritated respiratory tract. With its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties, Mulethi helps to fight respiratory infections. It also helps to boost our immunity against these infections due to its immuno-modulatory property.

Research has also proven multiple beneficial activities of Mulethi in respiratory infections**. The herb contains active compounds like glycyrrhizin, glycyrrhetinic acid, flavonoids and isoflavonoids. Studies report that Glycyrrhizin relieves allergic asthma and reduces airway constriction. It also boosts immunity. Another pre-clinical study states that it reduces lung inflammation and mucus production in mice. Isoliquiritigenin, a flavonoid isolated from its roots is known to relax the smooth muscles of trachea. Flavonoids extracted from licorice root are also proven to reduce lung inflammation.

Thus, both ancient wisdom and modern research suggest that Mulethi works as an excellent herbal remedy for cough, cold, sore throat, laryngitis, bronchitis, asthma and other respiratory infections.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor, if suffering from any disease. Vedistry Pvt. Ltd. does not claim responsibility for this information.

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About the Author : Dr. Charak
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