A Review on Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (Aṣl al-Sūs) with Unani Perspective and Modern Pharmacology
Traditional Unani (Greco-Arab) medicine is among the most ancient therapies founded by the father of Western medicine, the Hippocrates. Presently, most of the population worldwide depend on herbal medicines for some aspect of their primary health care needs. Treatment with medicinal plants is appraised very safely as there are no or minimal side effects. The promising fact is that herbal treatment can be used irrespective of any age group. Most of the pharmaceutical companies are currently conducting extensive research on plant materials assemble from the rain forests and other places for their potential medicinal value. Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (Leguminosae/Fabaceae) is best known for its use in making licorice-flavored confectionery. In Unani medicine, it is commonly known as Aṣl al-Sūs. It is a plant of remote origin. Aṣl al-Sūs extracts and its principle element “glycyrrhizin” have widely been used in foods, tobacco and for medicinal purposes in herbal and traditional medicines as well. It possesses multiple pharmacological and medicinal activities such as anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and hepatoprotective actions. This review attempts to compile the data regarding its ethnobotanical actions and medicinal uses in Unani medicine along with its phyto-pharmacological descriptions.
Keywords: Herbal medicine, Aṣl al-Sūs., Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
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