When you hear the term ‘licorice,’ you will think of the red or black candy in long sticks or bite-sized pieces. The candy by that name actually contains little if any licorice. Instead, the actual value of this plant is at the root itself. The title licorice comes from a Greek word meaning’sweet origin’ The scientific name is Glycyrrhiza glabra, Liquiritia officinalis. It’s also known as Chinese Lakritze, Gan Cao, Kan-ts’ao, Kuo-lao, Sweet Licorice, Sweet Wood, and Yasti Madhu, to name a few. Used in appropriate doses in moderation, licorice is among the most effective members of their herbal family.
The plant where licorice is obtained is mainly located in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. The dried plants can grow to over four feet, bearing bluish white and purple blossoms that resemble the blossoms of the sweet pea. To extract the components, the licorice roots are washed, soil, and boiled. The very strong tasting infusion, after curdled, is then dried . This substance is provided natural flavors, dissolved in water, and formed in molds.
Licorice has a long rich history. In early Greece and Rome, licorice was working as a tonic and also as a remedy for colds, coughs, and sore throats. Licorice has been found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs, including that of Tutankhamen. The ancient Hindus believed it increased sexual energy when prepared as a drink with sugar and milk. Just as 3000 year ago the Chinese asserted that ingesting the origin could give them power and endurance and they prepared a special tea of it for use as a medication. In North American folk medicine, ginger was utilized as a cough suppressant, expectorant, laxative, and therapy for a variety of cancers. Native Americans used it to alleviate pain in difficult childbirth. Early pharmacists used it as a flavoring and sweetening agent in several of the syrups and lozenges. Today, licorice extracts are popular sweeteners in confections for diabetics and people suffering from hypoglycemia. Recently a sample of historical licorice from 756 A.D. was examined and found to maintain its active ingredients. In Pontefract, Great Britain, they still celebrate a licorice harvest festival.
Generally, licorice is an immune system stimulant that’s antibacterial. It has value in itself, but it causes other herbs to attain their full potential also. Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, a substance that’s 50 times sweeter than sugar. Glycyrrhizinic acid is more than only a sweetener though. Additionally, it seems to halt the growth of many bacteria and of viruses like influenza A. It’s especially handy for any mucous membrane infection, cancer, radiation therapy, general tiredness, or immune suppression.
Presently, licorice extracts are used extensively as ingredients in cough drops and syrups, tonics, laxatives, antismoking lozenges, and other preparations. They’re also used as flavoring agents to mask bitter, nauseous, or other undesirable tastes in certain medicines. Therefore, it’s a useful addition to a lot of children’s formulas.
Licorice is best known to some for its estrogenic effects, which make is a helpful herb for menopause. Its antiulcer action make it an herb of choice for both stomach and duodenal ulceration. Because it stimulates expectoration and is powerfully healing for mucous membrane systems, it has a long history of use for upper respiratory infections. Licorice can be used in treating many ailments such as arthritis, asthma, athlete’s foot, hair loss, body odor, bursitis, canker sores, chronic fatigue, depression, colds and flu, coughs, dandruff, emphysema, fungal infections, gingivitis and tooth decay, gout, heartburn, HIV, liver problems, Lyme disease, menopause, prostate enlargement, psoriasis, shingles, sore throat, tendonitis, tuberculosis, ulcers, viral infections, and yeast infections.
Besides glycyrrhizin, hundreds of additional possibly healing substances are identified in licorice also, including compounds known as flavonoids and assorted plant estrogens (phytoestrogens). Along this line, it’s used to stimulate and regulate the adrenal glands and the pancreas. These work together since adrenalin helps control insulin. It serves as a natural cortisone or as a hormone which takes the place of cortisone. It assists injured voice muscles and aids voice development, either for hoarseness or throat harm. Licorice is a tonic for the intestinal tract. It acts as a mild laxative, and strengthens the heart and circulatory system.
Licorice makes an outstanding tea and can be utilised as a tincture also. Needless to say, it may be utilised in a number of other forms. As an example, it can easily be ground up, and used in capsules. It may also make other therapies more palatable. You could even add it in tiny amounts in order to add nutritional value to the dish without altering the flavor.
Because licorice is such a potent herb, a few warnings are in order. The best method to use licorice is in conjunction with other herbs. Licorice can lead to water retention and increased blood pressure, especially with prolonged use. Additionally, it can lead to an undesirable adrenal adrenal stimulation. Avoid using larger quantities of licorice internally during pregnancy or nursing. Licorice interacts with many prescription medications. Because of this, if you are on other medication, consult your physician before taking licorice.