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Medicinal Value of Black Licorice, It’s Not Just Candy!
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Medicinal Value of Black Licorice, It’s Not Just Candy!

Years ago, candies were often made with real licorice. Many candies labeled licorice in the United States do not contain licorice, but rather anise. Although known as licorice, these candies do not contain the beneficial properties of black licorice.

Herbal Medicinal Uses

Black licorice is derived from the root of the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant. It adds a sweet pungent flavor to foods. The plant is native to Europe and parts of Asia. Medicinally, licorice may be utilized to treat adrenal insufficiency, bronchitis, duodenal ulcers, eczema, gastric ulcers, heartburn, hepatitis, herpes and indigestion.. For medicinal purposes licorice is consumed as a tea, nutritional supplement or some people chew directly on the root.

Gastric Ulcers - Peppermint and chamomile may be combined with the black licorice extract for the treatment of gastrointestinal ailments. Certain properties found in black licorice are known to block the breakdown of prostaglandins. These prostaglandins protect the stomach from harmful stomach acids.

Herpes Simplex Virus and Viral Hepatitis – Current studies indicate the anti-viral properties found in black licorice may be effective for the treatment of Herpes Simplex Virus and Viral Hepatitis. The study reveals positive results when used in conjunction with the medication carbenoxolone. Combined the two may reduce the viral spread of the diseases.

Expectorant and Cough Suppressant – Black licorice may be used to soothe sore throats. Bronchitis and other respiratory ailments may benefit from its expectorant and cough suppressant properties. Many cough medicines produced outside the United States contain licorice.

Other Medicinal Purposes – The flavenoids in licorice are known for the ability to lower cholesterol. A couple of swishes with a licorice rinse may help rid one of canker sores.

Warning: Always check with a physician before choosing to utilize licorice to treat medical symptoms. Licorice supplements and even candy containing real licorice may not be safe for children and might be ill-advised for some adults.

Royalty-free photo courtesy of 123rf.com.

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  1. Hawk Eye
    Hey I am number 1.
    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      But did you forget to vote? LOL!
  2. Charlotte D
    #4 :)
    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks Charlotte! I appreciate the vote!
  3. Teresa
    Teresa
    Vote #5. I use to eat the red licorice when I was younger. Now, I don't even eat any of them. Good job there Carolyn.
    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks Teresa for the vote and comment! Most of the red licorice sold here in the U.S. does not contain licorice....even though labeled as such...rather, it contains anise, but they still label it licorice.
  4. Sheila Ray
    Voted. This is quite interesting.
    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks Sheila for the vote! Licorice is not recommended for everyone though.
  5. dianabart
    dianabart
    I love my licorice teas... I drink them often for many aliments. Sorry I have been so busy, and have not been able to catch up on my Flaming Vegan reading! voted and shared!
    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks Diana! I appreciate the vote and comment! Do you purchase a prepackaged tea bag from the grocery store and steep the licorice tea or how do you make it?
  6. dianabart
    dianabart
    I love my licorice teas... I drink them often for many aliments. Sorry I have been so busy, and have not been able to catch up on my Flaming Vegan reading! voted and shared!
  7. Roopam
    I've heard of licorice...need to pay more attention to getting it now...thanx for sharing the info Carolyn....voted!
    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks Roopam for the vote and comment! Is licorice readily available near you?
      1. Roopam
        I will have to check Carolyn...do you think I will get it at any of regular grocers?
        1. Carolyn
          Carolyn
          I believe some of the pharmacies carry licorice supplements in the U.S. A friend of mine stated that she drank licorice tea, so I am assuming that some grocers must carry it. The licorice candy found in the states though is mostly just anise flavoring and contains no actual licorice.
          1. SnakeWitch
            Surely fine foods or natural and organic food store have it. They are very few and far between in Colombia, so I'm assuming it must be the same for you, but there you have a very good chance of finding it. If there is such a thing as a store that specializes in tea, that could be good as well. Or, try the vegetarian restaurants that also sell products, or that are part of a store.
  8. Teresa
    Teresa
    Congratulations. I see, that it hit the home page.
    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks Teresa!
  9. SnakeWitch
    Interesting information. I always thought licorice was just the candy and anis was the flavouring. My mom is a total black licorice addict. Voted! Stop by my new article when you have the chance1
    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks Annie!
  10. Veganara
    Veganara
    Voted. Very interesting blog: I had heard about the health benefits of licorice, but had no idea it had all of these! What is anise, is it another type of root? There is a fruit called a star anise, I believe; is it the same plant as that? You might like my latest recipe for Mini Savoury Tarts, and if so, you know what to do, thanks! :-)

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