Liquorice has been loved as a sweet treat throughout the ages and commands an important place in the traditional herbal medicines of China and India.
These properties make it useful for a range of disorders in the digestive and respiratory systems from sore throats and coughs to gastritis and ulcers. It is also known to be a tonic for the stress-controlling adrenal glands.
Glycyrrhiza glabra / inflata / uralensis
Parts used medicinally: Root
Liquorice is very reminiscent of childhood sweets, particularly in Europe and we know that our Dutch relatives have a particular love of the sticky, dark confection made from this plant root. Liquorice has been loved as a sweet treat throughout the ages and commands an important place in the traditional herbal medicines of China and India. Infusions of this root crop produces a golden, yellow opaque brew which has an intense, cloying sweetness. We also know that it was used by the ancient Egyptians as a medicine and as a popular drink. Large supplies were found in King Tut’s tomb to go with him to the afterlife.
The Latin name Glycyrrhiza derives from the Greek for ‘sweet root’. It contains a chemical called glycyrrhizin which is 50 times sweeter than sugar. So it is often used in blends to impart a sweet taste, but there is so much more to what liquorice can do for us.