There licorice it is a herbaceous plant known since ancient times for its beneficial properties on health; its healing virtues date back to about 6,000 years ago, just think that there are even traces of it in the tombs of some Egyptian pharaohs. Licorice was also mentioned by Hippocrates who considered it a cough curative substance: it contains glycyrrhizin, an active ingredient that makes it a natural remedy useful in case of dry cough and asthma. There licorice it also has glucose, starches, vitamins and is also rich in flavonoids, a substance with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
According to experts, the licorice it would have antiviral properties capable of protecting the respiratory system from bronchitis and colds, facilitating digestion and counteracting bad breath: against inflammation of the gums or sore throat and to combat bad breath, it is advisable to chew a root stick.
It is suitable for those suffering from low blood pressure: in the event of extreme heat it can quickly bring the pressure back to normal levels. For this reason it is not recommended for those suffering from hypertension.
According to research conducted at Nankai University in China, the licorice could prove to be an excellent ally in the treatment of liver cancer: it would seem that the glycyrrhizic acid contained in licorice can be used as a "transporter" to bring anticancer drugs to their target. The results of this research have been published in the journal “Chemistry & Industry”.
ATTENTION: even if according to experts, the licorice has many beneficial properties, however, it is important not to overdo it with consumption. If taken in excessive doses it can cause headaches and water retention.
Licorice, use in the kitchen
There licorice it can be taken in the form of candies, infusions or herbal teas available in herbalist's shops or in shops selling organic products.
In the kitchen there licorice it is used for the preparation of sweets and candies and liqueurs. A traditional preparation is liquorice liqueur, a very popular product in Calabria
Licorice herbal tea is widely consumed for its digestive and slightly laxative properties; for preparation, just let 60 grams of licorice roots infuse in a liter of boiling water for about an hour. If you want you can sweeten the herbal tea by adding a teaspoon of honey.
In case of therapeutic use of the licorice it is a good idea to seek the advice of your doctor first.