Licorice is native to Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean, having been used for centuries in traditional medicine and as a flavoring agent. The root is the part of the plant that is used medicinally- to be precise the "juice" obtained from these parts. Licorice extract is very sweet but also has a slightly bitter aftertaste.
Today, licorice grows well in temperate climates around the world, most commonly in a belt that stretches from North Africa and into China.
Initially, it was used as a cough medicine but gradually made its way into candy thanks to its unique taste profile. Its medicinal properties are making a resurgence today as more and more develop an interest in using natural products over pharmaceuticals to heal what ails them.
What Nutrients Does Licorice Have?
Vitamins: licorice is a good source of vitamin C, B1, and B2.
Minerals: licorice is a good source of potassium, magnesium, and zinc.
Phytonutrients: licorice contains glycyrrhizin, which is a unique phytonutrient that gives licorice its characteristic sweet flavor and aroma. This phytonutrient also has powerful anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Licorice?
Cough Relief: licorice is a well-known natural cough remedy, acting as both an expectorant and cough suppressant acting centrally on the brain.
Soothes Stomach Ulcers: licorice can help soothe stomach ulcers by protecting the stomach mucosal lining and promoting healing.
Anti-inflammatory: licorice has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve pain and swelling.
Antiviral: licorice has antiviral properties that may help by inhibiting viral replication or promoting their degradation.