The properties of licorice

The properties of licorice

Licorice is a plant that can be grown in the warmest areas of Italy, widespread in the Middle East and in the Mediterranean basin and traditional in particular in Calabria. The licorice roots can be consumed directly, make liqueurs, decoctions and herbal teas, or obtain an extract, used above all to flavor candies of all kinds.

Those interested in growing the licorice plant in pots or in their own vegetable garden can learn more by reading how to grow licorice, while below we discover its value from a nutritional and medicinal point of view.

Licorice is first of all a medicinal plant, with numerous effects on the body, it is good to know what its nutritional properties are in order to benefit from it if necessary. It is also very important to know the contraindications that can lead to excessive consumption of licorice. The healing and medicinal use of licorice roots dates back to the most ancient civilizations: ancient Romans, Indians, Greeks, Egyptians already used them two centuries before Christ.

Glycyrizin and the effect on blood pressure

It is no mystery that licorice raises the pressure, this characteristic is important that it is well known to those who intend to consume it. The effect is due to glycyrizin, an active ingredient contained in good quantities in the roots that acts on the hormones that regulate blood pressure. The use of licorice for those suffering from low pressure is therefore very good, while it is better to avoid for those with hypertension. A particular warning not to exceed the consumption of licorice in all its forms should be given to women who use the birth control pill.

Other beneficial properties of licorice

In addition to the presence of glycyrizin and its consequent effect on pressure, licorice root has other interesting properties, to which is obviously added the very good aroma that makes it loved by young and old.

Digestive effect

For centuries licorice has been attributed a digestive property and in general a positive effect for the gastrointestinal system, it is said that the liquorice juices regulate digestion.

This property is assigned in particular to the licorice liqueur and the herbal tea that is obtained with the ground roots. Another positive effect verified is a protective action against gastric or duodenal ulcer. Its pronounced aroma also helps fight bad breath.

Expectorant action

Licorice is a good cough reliever, as Hippocrates already advised, it has a positive effect on the respiratory system and bronchi in particular and helps relieve asthma symptoms.

Other beneficial properties

Antioxidant for the liver.Another positive effect verified is a protective action against gastric or duodenal ulcer. Its marked aroma also helps fight bad breath. The antioxidants present in licorice are useful in reducing triglycerides in the liver, bringing benefit and protection to this vital organ.

Thirst-quenching effect.The licorice root always thanks to the glycyrizin promotes cellular retention of sodium and consequently of water. Factor that reduces the body's water requirements but can also be negative when it becomes excessive water retention and consequently swelling.

Other benefits are attributed to licorice by popular tradition: it is said to be antiviral, invigorating, useful against stress and insomnia, laxative, anti-inflammatory. As with almost all medicinal plants, licorice is also said to be aphrodisiac, with a peculiar effect in stimulating female arousal.

Nutritional values

Licorice does not contain proteins and has very little fiber and fat, it does not bring cholesterol. One gram of licorice provides 3.75 kilocalories and contains 70% sugar and 93% carbohydrates. Licorice root also has a significant sodium and potassium content and a fair amount of vitamin C and phosphorus.


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