Liquorice is an aromatic substance extracted from a spontaneous plant originating in southern Europe.
Used for over 5 thousand years for therapeutic purposes. Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Indian civilizations were already wise to liquorice health features, and used it profusely.
Around 200 B.C. Liquorice was named “Sciite root” by Theofrastos, because largely consumed the Sciite people, who used to mix it with horse cheese, to help them resist 10 to 12 days without drinking.
Glycyrrhetinic acid favours sodium and water retention, reducing therefore, the body’s need for hydration.This is why, many armies in the past, when serving areas with modest water supply, would include Liquorice in soldiers’ meals.
Hippocrates suggested it for cough soothing.
Napoleon would use it for stomache pain relief before battles.
Casanova kept it in his night table for refreshment after his “love battles”.
Liquorice features may be exploited in different ways: you can nibble directly at the roots or break it into pieces for infusions or decoctions, or you can even ingest the dry extract through tablets, capsules or hard candy.
Liquorice contains glycyrrhetinic acid, an active principal which is expectorant and gastroprotective, it also contains flavonoids, glucose, starches and vitamins. Clinical research confirms that these substances boast anti-inflammatory effects in cases of gastric or duodenal ulcer, asthma, rheumatic and chronic liver conditions.
It’s also antioxidant, antispasmodic and antiviral.
Liquorice juice regulates digestion, protects the respiratory system from bronchitis and colds, soothes sore throats and comes very helpful for halitosis (bad breath).
Liquorice decoction is a great remedy for coughing, thanks to its emollient properties,
while infusions are effective on bronchial mucus and stomach burning.
Refreshing and diuretic, liquorice has a pleasant flavour which also reduces smoking cravings.
It’s also suggested for low blood pressure.
Good doses of magnesium are obtained from the roots, helpful for vitamin, phosphorus, potassium and sodium metabolization.
Liquorice may be transformed into a refreshing and thirst-quencing drink.
However a certain attention is required in conditions of high blood pressure, pregnancy, for those under birth control medication, and who is subject to premenstrual syndrome, hepatic or kidney failure.
Liquorice is also used in herbal cosmetics, for toothpastes, mouthwash, shampoos, skin lotions and soaps.