Root/Stem Extracts of Glycyrrhiza glabra; As a Medicinal Plant Against Disease Forming Microorganisms


  • Dissanayake KGC Department of Cikitsa, Gampaha Wickramarachchi Ayurveda Institute, University of Kelaniya, Yakkala 11870, Sri Lanka
  • Weerakoon WMTDN Department of Chemistry, University of Kelaniya, Dalugama, Kelaniya 11600, Sri Lanka
  • Perera WPRT Research & Publication Division, Gampaha Wickramarachchi Ayurveda Institute, University of Kelaniya, Yakkala 11870, Sri Lanka


pharmacology, phytochemical, medicinal plant, Glycyrrhiza glabra


Nature is one of the major sources of medicines since the beginning of human civilization. Different counties around the globe have been used different plant materials to overcome varieties of ailments from simple cough to hepatitis to more complexes like SARS and most recently Covid 19. This review is an effort to emphasis the phytochemical and chemical constituents of G. glabra and their mechanisms against disease forming microorganisms. This traditional plant which is well known in Sri Lanka as “Welmi” is belongs to family Leguminosae/ Fabaceae. Chemical constituents of G. glabra like isoliquiritine, isoflavones, glycyrrhetic acid, saponin and their derivatives have been examined for their pharmacological activities. Most critical chemical compounds which isolated from the root/stem extract of the G. glabra are Glycyrrhizin and Glycyrrhetic acid. Glycyrrhizin is a prominent triterpenoid contain in Glycyrrhiza glabra which is responsible for the sweet taste of its roots. Glycyrrhizin act as anti-viral compound in two ways. It is able to inhibit the replication process of some RNA viruses such as SARS like corona type virus. Another process is acting as an immunostimulator. It has been used to treat patients suffering from chronic hepatitis C virus and HIV-1 patients owing to its capability of stimulating endogenous viral defense mechanisms.

Another important phytochemical called Glycyrrhizic acid is a natural saponin composed of hydrophilic part, hydrophobic fragment, two molecules of glucuronic acid and glycyrrhetic acid. Apart from that some other isolated compounds like hispaglabridin B, 40-methylglabridin, glabridin, gabrin, 3-hydroxyglabrol and glabrene exhibits serious anti-bacterial actions. In addition, plant extract's chemicals have antidiabetic, antibiotic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antiulcer and anti-demulcent activities as well. Finally, the phytochemicals present in G. glabra will perform a promising role in the development of new herbal drugs against disease forming virus and bacteria species as well as their derivatives are being generated to evaluate their pharmacological purposes for future drug use.


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How to Cite

KGC, D. ., WMTDN, W. ., & WPRT, P. . (2020). Root/Stem Extracts of Glycyrrhiza glabra; As a Medicinal Plant Against Disease Forming Microorganisms. International Journal of Sciences: Basic and Applied Research (IJSBAR), 51(1), 1–11. Retrieved from