Licorice - Glycyrrhiza -
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---Constituents---The chief constituent of Liquorice root, to which its sweet taste is due, is Glycyrrhizin (6 to 8 per cent) , obtainable in the form of a sweet, white crystalline powder, consisting of the calcium and potassium salts of glycyrrhizic acid. The drug also contains sugar, starch (29 per cent) , gum, protein, fat (0.8 per cent) , resin, asparagin (2 to 4 per cent) , a trace of tannin in the outer bark of the root, yellow colouring matter, and 0.03 of volatile oil.
The amount of Glycyrrhizin present in Extract of Liquorice varies from 5 to 24 per cent, and the amount of moisture from 8 to 17 per cent. Upon ignition, the extract yields from 5 to 9 per cent of ash.
The roots of G. glandulifera and echinata also contain in addition, Glycyrmarin, a bitter principle occurring mostly in the bark.
Glycyrrhizin, or a similar substance, has been obtained from other plants, viz. from the rhizome of Polypodium vulgare, the leaves of Myrrhis odorata, and the bark of Lucuma glycyphloea.