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General information about liquorice.

Nutricious and Delicious. The many benefits of liquorice.

Before you get to the liquorice section in this catalogue, here is information about liquorice and it’s many health benefits.
Liquorice, scientifically known as Glycyrrhiza glabra, is a legume that has been cultivated for its valuable roots for thousands of years. Once believed to hold mystic healing powers, the liquorice root was used as a cure-all in many ancient civilisations, from Egypt to China. These days, liquorice root is best known for its use in flavouring confectionery. This is no surprise, as liquorice contains the compound glycrrhizin, which is fifty times sweeter than table sugar!  Although liquorice grows naturally in the Mediterranean, it is also cultivated as a plant crop in many other regions, such as the United Kingdom, Russia, and the Middle East.
What may come as a surprise, however, is that this same super-sweet substance is now scientifically recognised for its medicinal value and multiplicity of health benefits. In fact, just last year liquorice was dubbed the “Medicinal plant of 2012.” In accordance with several research studies published in the past three years, liquorice is hailed as a remedial substance for ailments such as inflammatory stomach conditions, indigestion, sore throat, and—most recently—even diabetes.
Liquorice can be used in its root form, as an extract, or as a candy. Liquorice roots contain dried rhizomes. Boiling the liquorice root and extracting the remains, which when solidified, make liquorice extract.
Licorice Root is known for its antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antioxidant, antidepressant, demulcent and expectorant activity. Due to its remarkable healing components, Licorice Root has been used in the treatment of many minor to severe health conditions which include asthma, body odour, chronic fatigue, depression, obesity, sore throat, cold and flu, coughs, bronchitis, dandruff, gingivitis and tooth decay, canker sores, infections caused by viruses such as hepatitis, fungal infections, athlete's foot, heartburn, constipation, peptic ulcer, liver problems, emphysema, psoriasis, shingles, skin rash, hyperpigmentation, baldness, tuberculosis, yeast infections, hormone regulation, mood swings, hot flashes associated with menopause, PMS, muscle cramps, prostate enlargement, bursitis, tendinitis, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis. Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice Root (DGL) is often suggested for high cholesterol levels, arterial plaque and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Preliminary studies have shown that Liquorice Root may suppress the multiplication of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and might be beneficial for people who are at the risk or are suffering from AIDS.
source: www.homeremediesweb.com

A Few Medicinal Uses of Liquorice

Gastric Disorders & Stomach Ulcers:
Liquorice is used in a number of ways to cure various gastrointestinal and stomach conditions. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is used to treat colic, heartburn, and chronic gastris (inflammation of the lining of the stomach).
Stomach ulcers, most commonly Peptic ulcers, can be treated using liquorice. Liquorice extract is partially composed of flavonoids that kill ulcer-causing bacteria, mainly Helicobacter pylori.
Respiratory Afflictions:
According to Kew.org, Liquorice Root is a common ingredient in present-day cough mixtures and throat lozenges. Liquorice can be used as an expectorant to treat respiratory problems such as coughing, asthma, sore throat, and bronchitis. Liquorice extract is an expectorant, which promotes the passage of mucus and other material from the lungs. Because of this quality, liquorice can loosen phlegm and treat bronchitis and colds. By loosening phlegm, liquorice makes it easier to cough out, thus contributing to cleaner lungs and organs, which is healthier.
Skin Conditions:
Liquorice has been shown to have effects similar to hydrocortizone when applied topically, as stated by NaturalTherapyPages.com, as well as many other natural healing organisations. It is used in creams and pastes and applied to the afflicted skin.
According to studies, Licorice Root may regulate the cholesterol levels by improving the bile flow. The antioxidant activity of Licorice Root may inhibit the development of arterial plaque and improve the capillary health. Therefore, taking one capsule of Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice Root extract can help regulate cholesterol levels and can help prevent cardiovascular heart diseases.
source: www.homeremediesweb.com
Shingles and Herpes
Licorice Root Extract has been used in the treatment of cold sores, shingles and herpes simplex. A few studies have shown that anti viral activity of Licorice Root extract may suppress the progression and recurrence of cold sores caused by herpes simplex virus. In some severe cases topical application of carbenoxolone cream, which is a synthetic derivative of glycyrrhizinic acid, has been beneficial for the herpes virus. Simple remedy for shingles, herpes simplex and cold sores is to take one capsule of Licorice Root extract twice daily and apply Licorice Root extract gel or ointment on to the affected area 4 to 5 times daily.
source: www.homeremediesweb.com
Hormones:
According to homeremediesweb.com, liquorice roots have anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, and anti-depressant qualities. Because liquorice roots have antioxidant properties, they are useful in treating high cholesterol, heart disease, and menopause. The liquorice root is used in its de-glycyrrhizinated form to promote positive progress without nasty side effects. In the de-glycyrrhizinated form, the antioxidant properties can slow down arterial plaque (a leading problem in heart disease) and improve capillary health, which is central to preventing heart disease.
Taking one capsule of liquorice root extract can aid in regulating hormone production in menopausal women. The antioxidant properties work with the estrogenic properties in liquorice to produce added benefits. PMS and menstrual cramps (caused by hormone fluctuation) are lessened if liquorice roots are used, due to the anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties of this plant.
Depression:
According to research Glycyrrhizic acid in Licorice Root could help with depression and anxiety by promoting adrenal gland function. Stress hormones such as cortisol are regulated by the adrenal glands. Chronic fatigue, depression and anxiety are usually because of depleted hormone levels. Drinking one cup of Licorice tea twice daily may be beneficial for anxiety, depression, nervousness and migraines caused by stress.
source: www.homeremediesweb.com
 Liquorice and Diabetes
The most recent discovery concerning the health benefits of liquorice came with a hint of irony in the spring of 2012, when a study conducted by the Max Plank Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, Germany suggested that liquorice (the sweetest of all sweets) may be the newest treatment for diabetes. According to an article titled “Licorice: The Candy that Fights Diabetes,” published in The Atlantic in May 2012, “scientists have discovered that Liquorice Root from the papilionaceae or leguminous family might also be effective in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.” Doctorsinghs' blog on Liquorice benefits says liquorice is used to treat mild cognitive issues cause by diabetes. The flavonoids in liquorice help enhance the memory and strengthen nerves.
Liquorice As a Confectionery
Of course, one can't forget the most obvious benefit of liquorice: it tastes delicious! Because of its unique flavour and extreme sweetness, liquorice extract or liquorice root is a very popular flavouring for confectionery today. People all over the world enjoy the benefits of this exquisite plant.
The information given here has been obtained via the internet, therefore we cannot guarantee it's accuracy. Eating too much liquorice can have side effects. If you have any health conditions, check with your GP if eating liquorice is good for you.
Resources
www.herballegacy.com   /   www.homeremediesweb.com/licorice-root-health-benefits.php www.NaturalTherapyPages.co.uk   /   www.NaturalNews.com   /    www.theatlantic.com/health    /    www.kew.org

Medicinal use

Glycyrrhiza glabra from Koehler's Medicinal-Plants

Powdered liquorice root is an effective expectorant, and has been used for this purpose since ancient times, especially in Ayurvedic medicine where it is also used in tooth powders. Modern cough syrups often include liquorice extract as an ingredient. Additionally, liquorice may be useful in conventional and naturopathic medicine for both mouth ulcers and peptic ulcers. Non-prescription aphthous ulcer treatment CankerMelts incorporates glycyrrhiza in a dissolving adherent troche. Liquorice is also a mild laxative and may be used as a topical antiviral agent for shingles, ophthalmic, oral or genital herpes.

Liquorice affects the body's endocrine system as it contains isoflavones (phytoestrogens). It can lower the amount of serum testosterone, but whether it affects the amount of free testosterone is unclear. Consuming licorice can prevent hyperkalemia. Large doses of glycyrrhizinic acid and glycyrrhetinic acid in liquorice extract can lead to hypokalemia and serious increases in blood pressure, a syndrome known as apparent mineralocorticoid excess. These side effects stem from the inhibition of the enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (type 2) and subsequent increase in activity of cortisol on the kidney. 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase normally inactivates cortisol in the kidney; thus, liquorice's inhibition of this enzyme makes the concentration of cortisol appear to increase. Cortisol acts at the same receptor as the hormone aldosterone in the kidney and the effects mimic aldosterone excess, although aldosterone remains low or normal during liquorice overdose. To decrease the chances of these serious side effects, deglycyrrhizinated liquorice preparations are available. The disabling of similar enzymes in the gut by glycyrrhizinic acid and glycyrrhetinic acid also causes increased mucus and decreased acid secretion. It inhibits Helicobacter pylori, is used as an aid for healing stomach and duodenal ulcers, and in moderate amounts may soothe an upset stomach. Liquorice can be used to treat ileitis, leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease as it is antispasmodic in the bowels.[11]

Liquorice is an adaptogen which helps reregulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. It can also be used for auto-immune conditions including lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis and animal dander allergies.

In traditional Chinese medicine, liquorice is commonly used in herbal formulae to "harmonize" the other ingredients in the formula and to carry the formula into all 12 of the regular meridians and to relieve a spasmodic cough.

In traditional American herbalism it is used in the Hoxsey anti-cancer formula.

Toxicity

Excessive consumption of liquorice or liquorice candy is known to be toxic to the liver and cardiovascular system, and may produce hypertension  and oedema. There have been occasional cases where blood pressure has increased with excessive consumption of liquorice tea, but such occasions are rare and reversible when the herb is withdrawn. Most cases of hypertension from liquorice were caused by eating too much concentrated liquorice candy. Doses as low as 50g daily for two weeks can cause a significant rise in blood pressure.

The European Commission 2008 report suggested that “people should not consume any more than 100mg of glycyrrhizic acid a day, for it can raise blood pressure or cause muscle weakness, chronic fatigue, headaches or swelling, and lower testosterone levels in men.” Haribo, manufacturer of Pontefract cake, stated: “Haribo advises, as with any other food, liquorice products should be eaten in moderation.” Meanwhile, a 56-year-old Yorkshire woman was hospitalized on June, 2008, after liquorice overdose ( 200 grams a day)," which caused her muscle failure. The hospital restored her potassium levels, by intravenous drip and tablets, relieving her after 4 days.

Information from www.nccam.nih.gov/health/licoriceroot :

Licorice Root

Keywords: sweet root, gan zao, chinese licorice, Hepatitis C

This fact sheet provides basic information about licorice root--common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. Most licorice is grown in Greece, Turkey, and Asia. Licorice contains a compound called glycyrrhizin (or glycyrrhizic acid).

Common Names--licorice root, licorice, liquorice, sweet root, gan zao (Chinese licorice)

Latin Name--Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Chinese licorice)

What It Is Used For

Licorice root has been used as a dietary supplementA product that contains vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and/or other ingredients intended to supplement the diet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has special labeling requirements for dietary supplements and treats them as foods, not drugs. for stomach ulcers, bronchitis, and sore throat, as well as infections caused by viruses, such as hepatitis.

How It Is Used

       Peeled licorice root is available in dried and powdered forms.

       Licorice root is available as capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts.

       Licorice can be found with glycyrrhizin removed; the product is called DGL (for "deglycyrrhizinated licorice").

What the Science Says

       A review of several clinical trials found that glycyrrhizin might reduce complications from hepatitis C in some patients. However, there is not enough evidence to confirm that glycyrrhizin has this effect.

       There are not enough reliable data to determine whether licorice is effective for stomach ulcers.

Side Effects and Cautions

       In large amounts, licorice containing glycyrrhizin can cause high blood pressure, salt and water retention, and low potassium levels, which could lead to heart problems. DGL products are thought to cause fewer side effects.

       The safety of using licorice as a supplement for more than 4 to 6 weeks has not been thoroughly studied.

       Taking licorice together with diuretics (water pills) or other medicines that reduce the body's potassium levels could cause dangerously low potassium levels.

       People with heart disease or high blood pressure should be cautious about using licorice.

       When taken in large amounts, licorice can affect the body's levels of a hormone called cortisol and related steroid drugs, such as prednisone.

       Pregnant women should avoid using licorice as a supplement or consuming large amounts of licorice as food, as some research suggests it could increase the risk of preterm labor.

       Tell your health care providers about any herbA plant or part of a plant used for its flavor, scent, or potential therapeutic properties. Includes flowers, leaves, bark, fruit, seeds, stems, and roots. or dietary supplement you are using, including licorice root. This helps to ensure safe and coordinated care.

 

Information from www.food-info.net/uk/products/sweets :

Liquorice is a concentrated extract of the liquorice plant. The use of liquorice dates to ancient times; liquorice roots were for example found in the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamen (1358 BC). The ancient Romans and Greeks used liquorice for medicinal uses, such as in coughing syrups or against stomach ulcers. The use of liquorice in candies is a more recent use

Liquorice is found in a wide variety of liquorice candies. Liquorice is very popular in the UK (typically known as ‘allsorts'), Scandinavia, Finland, Northern Germany and especially in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands consumption is approximately 2 kg/person/year.

 Liquorice roots

Production

Block liquorice

The liquorice plants are dug out in summer. The roots can be up to 4 m in length. When the plant is dug up, part of the roots is cut off. The plant is replanted and will continue to grow.

The roots that are cut off are dried in the sun to avoid the growth of moulds. Afterwards the dry roots are ground, frayed and made to pulp together with water. This pulp is filtered and concentrated. The concentrated extract is poured into blocks and dried. The final product is appropriately called block liquorice.

Block liquorice is exported to candy, tobacco and pharmaceutical companies for further use.

To process block liquorice it is dissolved in warm water. As block liquorice is approximately 50 times more sweet than granulated sugar, only a little bit is needed. The final percentage of block liquorice in most liquorice candy is 3-5%.

Other ingredients

To make liquorice candies, first the other ingredients, such as a sweetening agent (sugar, glucose/fructose syrup, honey or a sweetener), and thickening agents (traditionally gum Arabic, nowadays mainly modified starch, sometimes gelatine), are thoroughly mixed.

After the mixing the mixture is heated rapidly to 135 °C, which causes the starch to gelatinise. This results in a soft-hard structure. The hot mixture is pressed under high pressure through a maze or small tube to homogenize. Finally the mixture is placed in a vacuum to remove air bubbles.

Dough

After partially cooling down, the other ingredients are added, such as block liquorice, colour and flavours (anise, menthol, eucalyptus). For salty liquorice salt or ammoniumchloride are added. This mixture is called the dough, as it resembles normal bread dough in structure and viscosity.

Casting

When the ingredients are thoroughly mixed the liquorice candies can be formed. The first step is to make the shapes. Making the shapes starts by sprinkling an even layer of 1-2 cm thick corn starch powder on a plate. On this powder a hard mould with candy shapes is pushed so that the shape of these candies is put into the flour. Corn starch has the capacity to absorb liquid without clumping. Besides that, it prevents a too fast hardening of the liquorice, which is not wanted. Another advantage is that after the candies are dried they can be easily taken out of the powder. After this the corn starch can be used again.

The viscous warm liquorice is poured into the shapes by a dosing machine. The filled plates are stacked up to several meters high and transported to a conditioning room.

The plates are kept 36 hours in this room at 65 °C to harden. Lower temperatures would harden the liquorice too fast, which results in cracking.

Liquorice moulds

Finishing

After conditioning the flour is removed by shaking the candies on a sieve. The powder falls through the sieve, the dull grey candies remain. The last flour is removed by a blower. As dull grey liquorice is not wanted, the candies are placed in a rotating drum together with a brightener. This brightener is either beeswax or a vegetable oil. By rotating a thin equal layer of the brightener is formed on the candies.

Finally the now shiny black candies are further cooled for 1-2 days at 18-20 °C and packed.

Storage

Due to the high percentage of sugar and because of this a low aw (water activity), the candies have microbiologically an unlimited shelf life. However, liquorice can dry out and lose flavour unless stored in a closed package. In a closed package the storage life of liquorice is more than a year.

Information from www.licorice.org :

Licorice: (Liquorice) (Glycyrrhiza glabra)- What is it?
Licorice is a botanical, a shrub native to southern Europe and Asia, the roots of which have two primary desirable qualities: first, some varieties of licorice root are fifty times sweeter than sugar and may be chewed or eaten as a sweet and making it a useful component of candies and flavorings; second, licorice has been for thousands of years sought after for its reputed medicinal qualities. Licorice grows wild in southern central Europe and Asia. It is used for its roots and its rhizomes (underground stems). Glycyrrhizic acid is extracted from the root and used as a flavoring in food, tobacco, alcohol, and cosmetics.

Does all licorice taste the same?
No, indeed not.  There are over a dozen varieties of licorice, the roots vary in degrees of sweetness to a sharp almost peppery flavor.  If you don't like one, try another!

What are these beneficial medicinal qualities claimed for licorice?
It has proven useful in the treatment of coughs, where it serves a mild expectorant, and of sore throats, where its soothing properties bring relief.  Licorice increases the production of protective mucus in the stomach, and may reduce the  acid secretion, making it a useful treatment of inflammatory stomach conditions.

The Plant

Native to Asia and Mediterranean region. Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) in the family Leguminosae is a tall shrub (4–5 feet) having blue or violet flowers. Most commercial licorice is extracted from varieties of G. glabra. The most common variety, G glabra var. typica (Spanish licorice), is characterized by blue flowers, while the variety G glabra var. glandulifera (Russian licorice) has violet blossoms. The name glycyrrhiza comes from Greek words meaning "sweet root." The roots contain the medicinally active constituents. The plant requires rich soils and grows in subtropical climates. It is indigenous to Turkey, Iraq, Spain, Greece and northern China.

English-grown Liquorice is dug up in late autumn and sold mostly in the fresh state for making extract, only a small amount being dried. Fresh Liquorice (English) when washed is externally of a bright yellowish brown. It is very flexible, easily cut with a knife, exhibiting a light yellow, juicy internal substance, which consists of a thick bark surrounding a woody column. Both bark and wood are extremely tough, readily tearing into long, fibrous strings. The root has a peculiar earthy odor and a strong, characteristic, sweet taste. The English Extract of Liquorice, made from the fresh homegrown root, sold in the lozenge form and known as Pontefract or Pomfrey cakes, is said to have a more delicate flavour than that of imported varsities.

In southern Italy, large quantities of Liquorice root are grown, but it is chiefly converted into Extract, though some of the root is exported. Spain and the south of France furnish quantities of carefully dried Liquorice root. Up to the year 1890, the cultivation of Spanish Liquorice was small or moderate in comparison with the wild collection. Owing, however, to the depletion of the natural supplies of root of good quality, this cultivation has grown rapidly in South and South-central Europe, where the climate is favourable.

Nearly all the Russian Liquorice reaching this country has been peeled. It attains a much larger size than the Spanish, and the taste, although sweet, is accompanied by a more or less perceptible but not strong bitterness or acridity. It consists chiefly of roots, not runners, in long often crooked pieces, about 2 inches in thickness, pale yellow externally and internally of a lighter yellow than the Spanish and softer. The size of all cells (when examined microscopically) is seen to be much larger than in the Spanish.

Spain formerly yielded most of the supply, hence the Extract is still termed 'Spanish Juice,' but that of the first grade has long been depleted to the point of scarcity. The sticks vary in size, but are commonly about 1 inch in diameter and 6 or 7 inches in length and when imported are usually wrapped in bay leaves. Several varieties of Stick Liquorice are met with in English commerce; the most famous is the Solazzi Juice, manufactured at Corigliano, a small town of Calabria in the Gulf of Toranto

Health Aspects

Licorice Root has been used as a laxative; to adjust blood sugar, reduce pain from ulcer and arthritis. Do not use if you have hypertension, hypokalemia edema, cirrhosis of the liver, cholestatic liver disorder, and diabetes. We did get a message that chewing liquorice root has been most helpful in giving up smoking as it gives the hands something to do and has the shape/texture of a cigarette. Also it tastes like tobacco (because cigarettes are flavored with licorice).

Used for generations in China, ancient Greece and the British Isles, Licorice is cultivated around the world. The sweet taste of its yellow root prompted its use in the manufacture of candies. It contains vitamin E, B-complex, biotin, niacin, pantothenic acid, lecithin, manganese and other trace elements.  Although Licorice has been used as a flavoring for hundreds of years, many people don't know that it also has very beneficial medicinal qualities. Licorice root has gained a reputation for strengthening the body during times of stress. Since the 14th century, Licorice has been used to soothe coughs, colds and bronchitis. It can be made into a licorice extract, concentrate or infusion, It is still used for these reasons today and it is one of the ingredients found in many European cough preparations.  Research has shown that Licorice helps treat and relieve the pains that accompany certain types of ulcers. Although common practice in Europe, its use in treating ulcers is not as prevalent in North America. However, with more and more researchers gaining positive results with its use as an ulcer treatment, Licorice may soon become more popular in North America. Finally, Licorice also has anti-inflammatory properties and may therefore help relieve the discomforts that accompany arthritic conditions.

From The Daily Mail, June 2008 :

Liquorice keeps cold sores at bay.

A cream made from liquorice can keep cold sores at bay, researchers have found. A study on behalf of the Herpes Viruses Association found three out of four patients suffered less severe outbreaks than when they used conventional creams or medicines.

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus, which is carried by around 70 per cent of people in the UK. Only around one in four will have obvious symptoms, but many of those suffer recurrent attacks throughout their lives.

Stress, illness, fatigue and even sunshine can all prompt cold sores to erupt, usually around the mouth. The liquorice cream is used every day to help prevent outbreaks or reduce their duration.

 Important information :

We are not offering this information with the intention of making any representation as to its suitability for any medicinal use. Information provided is not designed to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any illness, or injury and is provided for informational purposes only. Keep all products away from children. as with most products, they can be toxic if misused.

All the information given here is based on the information that we have received from the relevant manufacturers. In no circumstances whatsoever can Liquorice-licorice be held responsible for any wrongly provided information.

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