Medicinal Plants

Liquorice (Sweet root) : Glycyrrhiza glabra


  • Liquorice is a hardy perennial drought tolerant medicinal herb growing to a height of 60 cm.
  • Its dried, peeled or unpeeled underground stems and roots contain glycyrrhizin, glabrin, glycyrrhizic acid and are used for soar throat, cough, myopia, stomach ulcers, stomach disorders, muscular pains, mouth disorders, baldness, irritation in urinary tract, corn etc.
  • Large quantities of roots are also used in confectionery and tobacco blending. It is a West Asian plant and large quantities of root are imported by India.
  • The crop can be grown as a partially irrigated crop in Andhra Pradesh in light textured and saline soils.


  • EC 111236, EC 124587, EC 21950, Mishree is a high yielding variety released by CIMAP.


  • 'The crop is propagated through rooted cuttings, runners or underground stem pieces (10 cm length).
  • The land is brought to fine tilth by ploughing twice, harrowing and planking. 15 - 20 tonnes of farm yard manure, 250 kg of single superphosphate, 65 kg of muriate of potash and 25 - 50 kg zinc sulphate per hectare are applied basally.
  • Planting is done at the end of the winter or in the spring season (February to March) at a spacing of 90 cm between rows and 45 - 60 cm between plants. Dry condition at the time of planting and in the next few months gives best chance for a good crop.
  • Field is irrigated at weekly intervals duiring summer months.

Interculture - Fertilizers

  • First weeding is done within 4 weeks of planting thereafter the field is kept weed free by frequent weedings.
  • The crop is fertilized with 85 - 130 kg urea per hectare in three equal splits at the timne of planting, 6 and 12 months after planting.
  • Spraying of micronutrients and growth regulators is advocated for good yield.

Pests and Diseases

  • Termites, leaf spot and root rot, cause damage to the crop. Apply Aldrin or Chlordane 5 % dust @ 25 - 30 kg per hectare to control termites.
  • For leaf spot, spray the crop with Carbendazim 0.04 % and to control root rot avoid waterlogging and spray the crop with Brassicol @ 5 kg per hectare.

Harvesting - Profits

  • The flowering shoots are removed whenever they appear, otherwise inferior quality rhizomes / roots are produced. The crop is harvested 15 - 24 months after planting, generally at the end of the rainy season.
  • The rhizomes / roots are dug out, cleaned of adhering soil, cut into 15 - 20 cm, long pieces and dried altenatively in sun and shade or mechanically using driers at 30 - 400C.
  • The crop gives an average yeild of 2 - 3 tonnes of dried roots and a net profit of more than Rs. 25000 per hectare.
  • There is no organised market in Andhra Pradesh for liquorice roots, hence farmers are advised to make market arrangements before starting cultivation.