Please follow us on Telegram to be sure to receive our latest posts!

Licorice Uses and Benefits – image to repin / share
Infographic: Image credits: See foot of article

Botany And History

Licorice is a very popular flavour and candy that not many people know is (in all actuality) a plant. Licorice is technically speaking, the extract which is derived from the roots of the Glycyrrhza glabra, and is, consequently, also the very plant itself. Long used since ancient times as an all-natural sweetener and herbal medicine, licorice plays an integral role in candy and confectionary manufacturing. Licorice is a moderately-sized herbaceous perennial plant usually measuring no more than one metre in height upon maturity. Preferring to thrive in deep valleys and inaccessible areas under full display to sunlight, licorice grows best in well-drained soils dry climates. Chiefly cultivated for its roots, a typical plant usually takes some two to three years to reach full maturity, after which it is then ready for harvesting.

It is characterised by its dark-green pinnate leaves which alternate with smaller leaflets of a similar hue. It is also notable for its purplish or bluish-white inflorescence which is arranged loosely in alternating bushels all throughout the plant. The plant also possesses tiny pod-shaped fruits usually no more than an inch long, typically pale green to jade-green in colour, housing a number of tiny seeds. [1]

Herbal Uses

Licorice has been employed since ancient times as an all-natural sweetener, having been employed in Ancient Egypt as it was in Greece, Rome, and China. Originally wild-crafted (but later cultivated), licorice is chiefly prized for its roots, which are harvested, cleaned, extracted for its essence. The primary compound that makes licorice sweet is the compound glycyrrhizin – a naturally occurring sweetener that is reputedly up to fifty times sweeter than regular sucrose or fructose-based sweeteners. Rendering licorice sweet from the roots used to be (and in some ways, still is) a labour intensive process which involved a slow and regulated boiling of the roots until all of the essence is extracted and whatever remnants of liquid employed for the maceration has thoroughly evaporated. [2] The practice of rendering glycyrrhizin in this manner is an age-old process that dates back to Ancient China. The rendered liquid is a glossy black in colour, with the distinct aroma redolent of aniseeds due to the presence of the chemical compound anethole – the primary aromatic compound of herbs and spices such as fennel, tarragon, and anise. This rendered liquid may be kept in liquid form by storing it in a relatively warm environment (due to its very sweet nature, licorice extract almost never spoils), or otherwise allowed to cool and set in order to solidify. In olden days, liquid licorice extract was kept in pots or jars and used as needed to sweeten foodstuffs and beverages, while solidified ones were generally taken on long journeys as they kept for longer and was far easier to carry. Licorice extract is the primary ingredient of licorice candy – the ever familiar chewy, black or dark-purple candy shaped like a string.

However, prior to the invention of the licorice-based confection, individuals have been partaking of the sugary goodness of licorice simply by gnawing on cleaned roots – a habit which was quite commonplace in Spain and some parts of Southern America, Deutschland, Sweden and Germany until well into the late 1950s. Whole licorice sticks were simply slivers of the cleaned and dried root, usually measuring some eight millimeters in diameter. Licorice ‘pellets’ were also commonplace, and these were simply small pieces of licorice that, like the sticks, would be chewed on and spat when the sweetness dissipated. [3] Unlike modern licorice sticks (which were invented sometime in the middle of the 1960s) which are made from a mixture of licorice extract, binders, preservatives, colouring, and an assortment of other flavourings, whole licorice sticks and pellets had a distinct flavour which is altogether different from that of the confectionaries available today. There is even a range of salty-tasting licorice confections called “salmiak“, which is a well-loved treat in European countries. Instead of adding extra amounts of sucrose, salmiak is laced with very trifling amounts of ammonium chloride which creates a unique, salty flavour profile. [4] Due to its tastiness, licorice extract has even been integrated as a primary flavouring agent for a number of carbonated beverages, sweetmeats, snacks, and confections. Licorice has even been employed to flavour tobacco, typically pipe tobacco, dip, snus, and chewing tobacco. [5] When employed for flavouring smoking tobacco, it adds a smoky aroma which makes the mouthfeel of the smoke more robust. For non-smoking tobacco products, it adds a nostalgic, well-loved flavour which readily enhances and is enhanced by the tobacco itself resulting in a more pleasant taste.

In ancient China, the practice of using licorice extract as a sweetener or chewing on its roots were quite commonplace. The Chinese placed much stock in licorice and employed it for medicinal purposes, often using it as a base for herbal suspensions and syrups in lieu of honey. When employed medicinally, real licorice extract is an excellent decongestant, digestif and anti-inflammatory. [6] In Traditional Chinese Medicine, one may be tasked to chew on a small sliver of the root, or to otherwise drink a mild decoction of it in order to treat a variety of stomach disorders, among them dyspepsia, indigestion, and flatulence. More potent decoctions or slightly larger amounts of the chewable root were often offered as a remedy for graver digestive ills such as peptic ulcer and chronic gastritis due to its ability to neutralise the stomach acids while hastening recovery. [7] Liquid licorice extracts were taken orally, usually by itself or otherwise infused with other medicinal herbs as a remedy for coughing, tuberculosis, and asthma, since licorice is a powerful decongestant and expectorant.. [8] Drinking licorice-root tea, chewing on a piece of licorice, or even just partaking of a teaspoon of licorie extract may even help to combat chronic fatigue syndrome and remedy hoarseness of voice, strep-throat, rhinitis, and may even help to alleviate the discomforts brought about by tonsillitis. Moderate concentrations of licorice-root decoction can even be helpful in the management of chronic arthritis, muscular pain and rheumatism. [9] Very strong decoctions of licorice root may be applied topically to treat skin conditions such as eczema, dandruff, and psoriasis. It has even been employed as an all-natural hair-rinse believed to add body, shine, and lustre to dull, lifeless hair. Gargling with strong decoctions of licorice root may even help to hasten the healing of canker sores, cold sores, and even remedy gingivitis.

Nowadays, licorice products specifically made to cater to the health conscious are now available, with encapsulated roots or standardized extracts being sold in health food stores and specialty drug-stores. Loose roots and prepared medicated teas or syrups may also be found in Chinese apothecaries or otherwise bought online.

Perhaps the most surprising medicinal property found in licorice is its potent anti-viral and hepatoprotective properties. [10] Traditional holistic practices originally prescribed licorice root tea or extract for the treatment of hepatitis, tuberculosis, and other virally transmitted diseases. Recent studies have shown that traditional prescriptions were not far from the mark, as licorice did indeed show powerful antiviral effects. Traditional herbalism also employed licorice as a supplement for the treatment of cancer owing to its adaptogenic and immuno-boosting properties. [11] When not employing it as it is, Traditional Chinese Medicine often integrates licorice root to medicated teas as a complimentary spice in order to strengthen and enhance the overall efficacy of the medicinal brew. Moderate consumption of licorice-containing products or natural homeopathic remedies containing licorice may even help to regulate irregular hormonal levels in both men and women. Furthermore, due to its insulinregulating properties, small amounts of licorice may prove to be beneficial to individuals who suffer from diabetes. [12]

Licorice Root – Esoteric Uses

When employed magickally, licorice root is generally employed in the brewing of love and lust potions as it is believed to possess commandeering properties. In African-American conjure, Voodoo, and Hoodoo, licorice root is often employed for fixing spells, as it is believed to grant the conjurer control over their intended victim. It is often made or otherwise integrated into mojo bags and worn as a talisman to allow the bearer to exude confidence and exercise unflinching and unquestionable control over a person or happenstance. When employed for matters of love, licorice root is often included in lust spells or seduction spells. Dried licorice root can even be burnt as an incense to ritualistically charge and fortify oneself or one’s magickal items with power, or to allow a magician to focus on a task with unbending intent. [13]

Licorice Root – Contraindications And Safety

While licorice root and its extract are relatively safe when consumed in moderation, excessive consumption of licorice and licorice-containing foodstuffs may result in increased blood pressure and muscular failure, although such symptoms are quickly remedied simply by withdrawing consumption of the herb. Long-term consumption of licorice either as food or as a medicine may also have hepatotoxic side-effects, although such occurrences are rare. It should be noted that pregnant and lactating women are advised to lessen their consumption of licorice and all products containing the substance until the terminus of their pregnancy and nursing, as only as little as a hundred grams of licorice a week may adversely affect the growth, development, mental acuity, and eventual behavioural traits of their offspring. It is advised that individuals should not consume anymore than 100mg of licorice and licorice-containing products in a day.

Related:  Thyme

Individuals with a history of hypertension, epilepsy, and liver problems should best do away with licorice consumption altogether.

Licorice – Other Names, Past and Present

Chinese: gan cao / zhi gan cao / gan zao
Japanese: kanzo
Korean: gamcho
Malay: likuoris
Sanskrit: yasthimadhu / yashti-madhuka
Hindi: nadyapana / jethi-madh
German: lakritze
Dutch: salmiak / salmiakki
French (archaic):
Greek: glukurrhiza (lit. “sweet root”)
French: regalisse / reglisse / racine de reglisse / bois sucre
Spanish: regaliz
Italian: liquirizia
English: licorice / liquorice
Latin (scientific nomenclature): Glycyrrhiza glabra

Main article researched and created by Alexander Leonhardt.

Infographic Image Sources:

Pixabay (PD)
(Creative Commons)

Take These 8 Nutrients 1 Hour Before Bed To Boost Deep Sleep And Metabolic Regeneration By 695%:

Do you ever have trouble "turning off your brain", or experience anxiety, poor sleep or high stress?

It's called Shallow Sleep Syndrome... and it affects a HUGE number of people in the modern age.

Also - have you gained weight - even though you are "doing what you always did"? *raises hand*

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you MUST watch this video:

dental care

Most people are unaware that your sleep and your weight are connected!

Science has proved without doubt that your body cannot function without adequate DEEP sleep.

Deep sleep facilitates Metabolic regeneration - which repairs tissues (including brain cells), rebuilds health and restores your ability to convert food to energy instead of fat.

Deep sleep also supports the production of Human Growth Hormone - which is considered the "fountain of youth" by anti-aging experts.

Without sufficient deep sleep, our natural production and growth of Human Growth Hormone is obliterated!

Your Metabolism is wrecked and you have dramatically increased risk of serious disease!

But it gets worse - lack of deep sleep also suppresses the hunger-regulating hormone Leptin, which results in runaway food cravings and the metabolic dysfunction responsible for "inexplicable" weight gain.

Learn The 8 Simple, Natural Nutrients To Take 1 Hour Before Bed To Boost Deep Sleep And Metabolic Regeneration By 695%

Our natural levels of deep sleep decline in our 30's and even more in our 40's, which leads to metabolic slowdown and consequently, increased signs of aging.

However a dangerous new problem has entered the arena.... technology.

The culprit?

The screen of your cell phone, tablet, laptop, computer and television!

In addition to the High Stress of our Modern Lifestyle, the blue light emitted by the screens of our electronic devices is Wreaking Absolute Havoc on our physiological ability to achieve the previous deep sleep that we need so badly! This also is scientifically established!

The blue light emitted by smartphones, TV, computer monitors, tablets, laptop and blue LEDs has a similar effect on our bodies as bright sunlight - messing up our circadian rhythms and confusing our bodies about whether we should be awake or asleep!

Blue Light KILLS Deep Sleep!

Blue light, especially in the evenings and night time, destroys our bodies ability to produce its natural deep sleep hormones!

Once these hormones are gone, so is the deep sleep responsible for the body's natural fat burning power.

Can you now see the simple link between our modern lifestyle and out of control weight gain so many are experiencing?

Fortunately - nature has the answer (as always)...

Follow This Link To Learn The 8 Simple, Natural Nutrients To Take 1 Hour Before Bed To Boost Deep Sleep And Metabolic Regeneration By 695%

Watch the video:

dental care

Do This 60-Second Dental Trick Before Going to Bed Tonight To Rebuild Your Teeth and Gums And Get Rid of Tooth Decay:

Do you wish you could have perfect, healthy, strong, sparkling teeth?

This amazing new solution to tooth decay doesn't involve putting more toxic fluoride, mercury or other nasties in your body... but rejuvenates your mouth using these all natural ingredients (amazing stuff and makes perfect sense when you see it!)

Watch the video now to learn all about it (click to watch):

natural gum health video

Most People Don't Have The Guts To Try This:

Lost Ways Of Survival Video

An amazing discovery in an abandoned house in Austin, Texas: A lost book of amazing survival knowledge, believed to have been long vanished to history, has been found in a dusty drawer in the house which belonged to a guy named Claude Davis.

Remember... back in those days, there was no electricity... no refrigerators... no law enforcement... and certainly no grocery store or supermarkets... Some of these exceptional skills are hundreds of years of old and they were learned the hard way by the early pioneers.

>> Click here to find out about them now

We've lost to history so much survival knowledge that we've become clueless compared to what our great grandfathers did or built on a daily basis to sustain their families.

Neighbors said that for the last couple of years Claude has tried to unearth and learn the forgotten ways of our great-grandparents and claimed to have found a secret of gargantuan proportions. A secret that he is about to reveal together with 3 old teachings that will change everything you think you know about preparedness:

>>> Click Here To Watch His Short Video <<<

List Of 100+ Amazing Forgotten Plants That Can Keep You Healthy During The Worst Of Times:

Did you know that the old native Americans used to say that there was a plant for every illness? Click here to learn about the amazing medicinal plants you probably have growing right in your backyard.

I Can't Help Showing This Off:

If you haven't heard of Claude Davis yet do yourself a huge favor and watch this video.

One of the smartest guys I ever had the pleasure of meeting, Claude set-up a unique prepping system that changed his life forever.

I already tried it myself and let me tell... you I was completely blown away... His surprising tactics could make your life easier and give you the peace of mind you deserve.

Don't just take my word for it... watch his short video and decide for yourself.

>>> Watch His Short Video <<<

The #1 Muscle That Eliminates Joint And Back Pain, Anxiety And Looking Fat

By Mike Westerdal CPT

Can you guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat?

This is especially important if you spend a significant amount of time sitting every day (I do, and this really affects me in a big way!)

Working this "hidden survival muscle" that most people are simply not training because no-one ever taught them how will boost your body shape, energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.

If this "hidden" most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.

Is it...

a) Abs

b) Chest

c) Glutes

d) Hip Flexors

Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!

P.S. Make sure you check out this page to get to know the 10 simple moves that will bring vitality back into your life:

==> Click here to discover which "hidden survival muscle" will help you boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance permanently!

Chef Peter Lost 60lbs With These Recipes:

Over the past year, our friends at PaleoHacks have been working on a secret cookbook with world-renowned Le Cordon Bleu chef Peter Servold.

Well, today this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!

That's right - as a special launch promotion, we're offering our brand new Paleo fat loss cookbook to you for free (Chef Pete lost 60 lbs using these recipes!) - All you have to do is just cover a small shipping cost (international shipping is a bit more).

Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because we only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)

--> Get The Free Cookbook <--

Join Our Email List:

If you enjoyed this page:

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment