Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a legume plant grown in some parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia. Even if botanically is not related to anise, it has the same flavor and aroma. Glycyrrhiza or Glykoriza in Greek derives from the ‘glyko’ – ‘sweet’ and ‘riza – ‘root’, noting both the taste and the part of the plant used from ancient times! Convenient!
The sweetness of glykoriza comes from the glycyrrhizin substance which is 50 times sweeter than sugar! What a boost!
In traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that it ‘harmonize’ the ingredients of formulas, hence it is found in numerus mixtures. In our time its value has been scientifically confirmed and it appears on the European list of herbal medicines.
To tell you the truth, I was aware – until recently – only for the taste of licorice. But a recent mixture I tasted made me wonder about its health effects.
I propose the following two mixtures for gargling with sore throats due to infection:
Directions. The ratios of the herbs depends on your flavor preference. Generally, you must calculate one big tsp of herbs for each cup of tea. Pour hot water over an individual or combination of these herbs in a French press. Push the plunger in the middle to keep herbs under the hot water. Let steep for about 15 minutes. Strain. While warm (not hot!) gargle the tea a few times each day. Unused tea can be stored in the refrigerator and heated up again for use.
An other way to use licorice is the nighty-night mixture (I propose imbibing it while listening to a little Christmas jazz music):
- Peel of an orange/mandarin
* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.
Evropi-Sofia Dalampira holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and an MSc in Botany-Biology.