Pharmacological evaluation of dried roots of Glycyrrhiza glabra Linn. (Liquorice)
Saraswathi K, Arumugam P and Dr. Sivaraj C
Glycyrrhiza glabra is one of the most popular medicinal plants belonging to the Fabaceae family (also known as Leguminosae), and its members are now commonly used as feed and food. This species is a native of Mediterranean areas, but it is now also present in India, Russia, and China. The use of liquorice predates the Greek and Roman empires, having a long history of traditional medicines and folk remedies. Glycyrrhiza glabra root is employed to prepare a tea that is an excellent thirst quencher. The dried root has been described as a tooth cleanser. Actually, the most important industrial use of Glycyrrhiza glabra is the production of food additives, such as flavours and sweetening agents. In the cosmetic field, Glycyrrhiza glabra is described as a skin depigmentation agent and is being incorporated in topical products for that purpose. Nutritionally, liquorice is a source of proteins, amino acids, polysaccharides and simple sugars, mineral salts (such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, iron, magnesium, silicon, selenium, manganese, zinc, and copper), pectins, resins, starches, sterols, and gums. The antibacterial activity of methanol root extracts of Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) showed maximum zone of inhibition of 22 mm for Proteus vulgaris and for Escherichia coli as 16 mm at 500 µg/mL concentration. Various antioxidant activities were performed in which methanol root extracts of Liquorice significantly had the capability to scavenge the free radicals in respective mode of mechanism. The maximum haemolytic inhibition for methanol root extracts of Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) was 68.28±0.22% at 120 µg/mL concentration. The anticancer activity for methanol root extracts of Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) was 72.13±0.14% at 350 µg/mL concentration. Bioactive compounds such as Isopropyl stearate, n-Hexadecanoic acid, Coumarine, 3-(2-benzoxazolyl)-8-methoxy- were detected possessing antioxidant, anticoagulant, anticancer, hypocholesterolmic activities by GC-MS analysis.