Please keep an open mind about licorice root, even if you think you don’t like it.
It’s pretty automatic to associate licorice root with the flavor of black licorice, but what primarily gives the candy its flavor is anise seed.
So then, what is licorice root?
Botanically speaking, licorice root is the root of the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant, a perennial legume native to southern Europe and several areas of Asia. Most of today’s licorice root production comes from India, Iran, Italy, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Turkey.
Licorice root is naturally sweet, which factors into a few of its health benefits. It is 30 – 50 times sweeter than sugar. Its sweetness is slower to release in your mouth but lasts longer than sugar. Sometimes it is used a flavoring for candy, but usually it is very little licorice root with lots of anise seed, fennel seed, or star anise to get that distinctive flavor that you either love or hate.
A non-healthy use of licorice root is as an additive to tobacco, both for flavor and because it creates bronchodilators which make it easier to inhale the smoke. That’s a good bit of trivia, though.
Health Benefits of Licorice Root
Licorice root has long been used to help with a variety of ailments and conditions. Here are some of them:
- makes your hormones more available for your body to use, especially your adrenal hormones which get depleted when you’re under chronic stress
- heals ulcers
- lowers stomach acid levels
- prevents heartburn and indigestion
- acts as a mild laxative
- aids the liver in its detox work
- lowers cholesterol
- relieves fever and headaches
- helps relieve allergy symptoms
- supports your respiratory system
- soothes a sore throat
- lessens the symptoms of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia
- helps with PMS
- prevents heart disease
Generally considered safe to use in low doses (meaning, don’t just consume its concentrated forms like oil or tincture willy-nilly), licorice root is very beneficial when consumed as a tea. You can also chew/suck on the root itself.
Teas with Licorice Root
Here are all of our teas that feature licorice root. If you think you don’t like the taste of it, start with a tea where the licorice root is closer to the bottom of the ingredient list, then work your way into a tea where it features more prominently. Even if you don’t get there, you’ll still be able to reap the health benefits of licorice root.