Liquorice was one of the most widely known medicines in ancient history, and there are records of its use in ancient Chinese Medicines as in Assyrian tablets of around 2000 BC and Chinese herbals of the same period.
Synonyms: Liquirita officinalis (L.), reglisse, lacrisse, sweet licorice, licorice root, sweet wood.
Parts used: dried roots and stolons
What is Liquorice?
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), also known as sweet root, is a hardy plant, perennial, and grown in the Mediterranean region and central and southwest Asia. It is cultivated widely for the sweet taproot, which is known to have many medicinal values.
Liquorice Medicinal Uses
Licorice finds its way into so many therapies such as follows:
- The main part of the liquorice plant used in medicine is the root. This root is a gentle relaxant, soothing to mucous irritations, and known for its for its sweet taste and in masking the sharpness / taste/pungency / of other remedies.
- Ayurveda recommends the root as beneficial in the treatment of colds, coughs, and other bronchial irritations.
- Liquorice is Tonic, Diuretic, Demulcent, Expectorant, Emenagogue Laxative and Laxative.
- It is used for treating coughs and catarrhal infections.
- Liquorice is also useful in irritable conditions of mucous memberane of Urinary organs.
- The root is also useful in sore throat, cough, anorexia and persistent low fever. Licorice is great for healing cancer sores and cold sores.
- Licorice is an important antiviral agent. It can be used to treat flu, herpes, and even hepatitis.
- Another use of liquorice is that it is useful in flavouring of tobacoo, beverages, confectionary, jams and marmalades.
- It is also a popular ingredient in throat lozenges and herbal teas as a natural sweetener
How to Eat Liquorice?
- The root may be chewed as throat lozenges.
- The root can also be prepared as infusions. This is done by removing the outer bark and boiling for several minutes. This relieves hoarseness and coughs.
Preparing licorice root in your home
Licorice Root Tea
- Slice licorice roots into small 1 inch pieces and place them between layers of wax paper. Use a hammer and tap on it so that the they break into pieces about the size of sunflower seeds.
- Now put these broken sunflower seeds like liquorice roots in to a stone, cup-shaped mortar. Grind the pieces in a circular motion with the pestle until the pieces become a fine powder.
- Add a half a teaspoon per cup of tea to any herbal mixture. Pour the herb mixture and licorice into the center of a cheesecloth square. Tie the cheesecloth into a bundle.
- Boil water in a tea kettle and add the cheesecloth. Remove the kettle from heat and allow the tea to steep for few minutes. You tea is ready. Pour and sweeten as desired.
Homemade Liquorice Lozenges
- Cut licorice roots into small pieces and scatter in the bottom of a large saucepan. Fill the sauce pan with room-temperature water and bring the water to a boil.
- Now let the boiled water simmer. Allow the pieces to simmer, testing them with a fork every few minutes. When the fork penetrates easily, remove the pan from the heat and drain off the water, leaving the pieces in the pan.
- Mash the licorice into a paste. Spread out wax paper on a flat surface. Scoop out small spoonfuls of the paste and drop them onto the wax paper to dry.
- Once it dries, your lozenges are made. Suck on the hardened licorice pieces like cough drops, or stir them into black tea. Both are very concentrated doses of licorice.
Recommended Dose of Liquorice Supplements/Tablets
- Licorice as a supplement is normally standardized to 20 percent glycyrrhizinic acid and commonly given in capsules of 250 to 500 mg, three times per day.
- Use licorice supplements only as directed by a health care provider. Licorice should not be taken for longer than four to six weeks
Part of the plant used: ROOT.
- For Ulcers, take two to four 380-mg tablets before meals and at bedtime. Use with conventional therapy.
- For mouth sores, suck on two to four 380-mg tablets before meals and at bedtime.
- For respiratory problems, take 1 to 2 g of liquorice root 3 times daily for no more than 1 week.
- For Eczema, Psoriasis, or Herpes, apply liquorice cream twice daily to the affected area.
- For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, consult a physician. High dosages of whole liquorice are required. Significant side effects may result.