Plants and Health

Licorice: it relieves inflammation


The licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a perennial native to the Mediterranean regions which offers many health benefits and virtues and has a pronounced sweet taste.

Licorice and its health benefits

Licorice root already featured prominently in the pharmacopoeia of the Greeks and Romans for its virtues expectorants and softening, and the use of this plant in food seems to date back to very ancient times. In chinese medicine, liquorice is part of the composition of manytraditional preparations.

  • Anti-inflammatory, licorice relieves inflammation of the digestive system and is very effective, especially against gastritis. In addition, licorice contains active ingredients recognized for their sedative action calming stomach pain.
  • It is also thanks to its anti-inflammatory power that licorice effectively relieves arthritis pain and inflammation of the eyes.
  • With its strong softening power, licorice treats canker sores and relieves respiratory inflammation. It also helps fight effectively against coughs thanks to its expectorant qualities.
  • Licorice also exerts a mild laxative action and treats constipation.
  • In Japan, licorice is used to treat hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver.

Internal use

The cold infusion of liquorice (30 g of liquorice wood per liter of water) helps fight coughs, colds and bronchitis.

Liquorice juice (also called "black sugar"), which is obtained by decoction and evaporation, is used to make the paste and commercial pastilles. It is also used as a flavoring in drinks (Antésite, anise aperitifs, dark beers), confectionery, tobacco, etc.

External use

In gargles and mouthwashes, a liquorice decoction (200 g of wood per liter, which is left to reduce to ¾) can effectively fight against tonsillitis and inflammation of the tongue and oral mucosa.

Toxic, licorice?

  • Warning, a excess liquorice over a period of more than several weeks can be harmful. Thesymptoms are headaches, lethargy, hypertension, water retention but also excess sodium.
  • There is a real poisoning with liquorice which can have serious consequences as paralytic phenomena and disorders of the heartbeat.
  • In addition, it is not recommended to consume high doses in case ofcontraception oral.

Growing licorice for its benefits

  • Licorice blossoms under the sun and in rich, moist soil. She particularly likes the south of France. But know that before tasting your licorice, you will have to wait at least three years !
  • Be careful, licorice is sensitive to cold, protect it! And no need to try growing licorice in a pot, you might be disappointed with the results.

Licorice in cooking for its benefits

Kitchen side, if liquorice generally perfumescandies, thecreams, thegingerbread and the syrups, it can also be used in savory dishes based on pork or fish.

  • Liquorice is preferably used in the form of stick that we will grate or cut into very thin strips to flavor a broth.

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