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Licorice Root C/S, Organic, 1/2 lb.

Glycyrrhiza glabra  |  Origin: China
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USDA Organic

Licorice Root, or Glycyrrhiza glabra, is often used in children's tinctures to sweeten and make their taste more palatable. The root is also used in place of sugar in tea and other sweet treats.

This well-known root is thought to harmonize the action of other herbs, and add deliciously sweet and soothing flavor to teas and recipes. It may help support healthy digestion, circulation, adrenals, energy, and immunity in the body.

Common Names: Licorice, sweetwood

Excerpts from The ABC Herbal
Licorice is a wonderful herb for children. The Chinese use it as a catalyst in many of their formulas. It stimulates the adrenal glands, which help the body cope with stress. The adrenals are the home of the body’s "fight." Strong adrenals mean that children will have more power to face the challenges of life, both emotional and physical.

Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, a substance which is many times sweeter than sugar. Because of its natural sweetness, Licorice is very helpful in masking the taste of many bitter herbs in a liquid formula without destroying their therapeutic effects. Therefore, it is a useful addition to many children’s formulas.

Excerpts from Herbal Antibiotics
Licorice, made famous by the rubberoid candy of the same name (which these days may contain no licorice because of overdose problems), is a rather remarkable herb. One distinct advantage of licorice is its sweetness. Fifty times sweeter than sugar, licorice, when used in herbal combination, helps brighten the awful taste of some herbal formulations, making them more palatable for children and for adults with a strong inner child. (Stoics usually like their herbal preparations bitter.)

Because of the many potential side effects from overuse or large doses, caution should be exercised in its use. Avoid during pregnancy.

Excerpts from The How to Herb Book
Some may remember the old fashioned, hard, black licorice candy with the brown insides. Licorice root helped flavor this candy, thus the name licorice. Because licorice has a very sweet taste, some people prefer to take it straight and not in capsules. There are benefits in doing this.

  • Is a hormone herb. A source of the female hormones estrogen.
  • Specifically used to stimulate and regulate the adrenal glands and the pancreas. These work together because adrenalin helps control insulin.
  • Tonic for the intestinal tract, stimulates enzymes and peristaltic action.
  • Acts as a mild laxative.
  • Strengthens heart and circulatory system.

Case history:
When R. found she had hypoglycemia, she was extremely upset. She had not used herbs up to that point in her life, but diet change alone was too slow and frustrating. She found licorice root. At first she took licorice root 3-4 times a day. By the end of six months, she only took it once in the morning. (She had changed her diet also) Because she didn’t know about capsulated herbs, she stirred a teaspoon of the powdered herb in a cup of water and drank it. (She called it licorice-flavored mud.) Within minutes after drinking it, her shaking would stop and by 15-20 minutes, she was able to continue normal activities.

At that time, R. didn’t know that licorice root would help the throat too, so an unexpected surprise was an old voice injury was greatly healed because of the constant bathing of the throat with licorice.

Excerpts from Nutritional Herbology
In Ancient Greece and Rome, licorice was employed as a tonic and also as a remedy for colds, coughs and sore throats. The ancient Hindus believed it increased sexual vigor when prepared as a beverage with milk and sugar. The Chinese maintained that eating the root would give them strength and endurance and also prepared special tea of it for use as a medicine.

Indeed, licorice holds a prominent place in Chinese herbology. It is the most often used herb in Chinese herbal combinations and is thought to harmonize the action of all other herbs.

In North American folk medicine, licorice is used as a cough suppressant, expectorant, and laxative. Early pharmacists used it as a flavoring and sweetening agent in many of their syrups and lozenges. Today, licorice extracts are popular sweeteners in confections for diabetics and those suffering from hypoglycemia.

In India, licorice has been used as a sweetener, aphrodisiac, emmenagogue and galactogogue.

Licorice extracts have been used in China in the clinical treatment of numerous illnesses including gastric and duodenal ulcers, bronchial asthma, infectious hepatitis, malaria, diabetes insipidus and contact dermatitis.

Presently, licorice extracts are used extensively as ingredients in cough drops and syrups, tonics, laxatives, antismoking lozenges and other preparations. They are also used as flavoring agents to mask bitter, nauseous or other undesirable tastes in certain medicines.

The most famous active principle in licorice root is a saponin-like glycoside called glycyrrhizin which is 50 times as sweet as sugar. Its use as a non-caloric sweetener is limited, however, because of the strong taste it imparts to food. It is most often employed to mask the taste of bitter medicines like cascara.

The large quantity of saponin-like substances in licorice possess a surfactant property that may facilitate the absorption of poorly absorbed drugs. This explains, in part, its traditional use as a harmonizing herb in Chinese herbology.

Glycyrrhizin is also responsible for the anti-inflammatory and antitussive properties which make it useful in coughs and congestions. The anti-inflammatory properties of the herb are employed as dermatological agents in middle eastern countries. Glycyrrhetenic acid is also used in chronic adrenocorticoid insufficiency (Addison’s disease).

Glycyrrhizin increases fluid and sodium retention and promotes potassium depletion. Persons with cardiac problems and hypertension should avoid consumption of significant quantities of licorice.

Contains bitter compounds that reduce inflammation, decrease the thickness and increase the production of mucosal fluids and relieve muscle spasms.

From Our Reading and/or Experience...

  • Avoid using Licorice internally during pregnancy or nursing.
  • We use it in tea and tincture combinations. Of course, it can be used in many other types of remedies. For instance, it can easily be ground up, and used in capsules.
  • Most often we add it to remedies to make them more palatable and sweet.
  • It is an incredibly nutritious way to sweeten recipes.
  • Licorice is a food, as such; keep it in the kitchen as all other food ingredients. We add it to dishes in small amounts so as to add nutritional value to the dish without changing the flavor.
  • Licorice can be used to benefit anyone: men, women (including before or after pregnancy, but not during pregnancy or nursing), children and animals.
  • It can be used as often as you would like, and in any way you choose.
  • As is the case with most herbs, Licorice should be stored in a dark, dry, and cool place.
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