Cords rolled up to snail, sugar-coated sticks or pastille-shaped hard liquorice: No matter in what form - characteristic of licorice is the black color, which is responsible for the juice of the licorice shrub (which is artificially helped today). The fact that licorice also has medicinal effects is less well known.

Production of licorice

Liquorice is made from the root of the licorice shrub, originally from Asia and the Mediterranean. The plant belongs to the family of the butterfly bloom plants (Fabaceae). The woody perennial grows about 1 to 1.5 meters tall and owes its name to the sweet taste of its roots. The root bark contains glycyrrhizine, a glycoside that gives liquorice its taste and has fifty times more sweetening power than cane sugar.

Licorice against Zipperlein

The root of the licorice shrub has always been credited with positive effects. Thus, in the tomb of the famous Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, they were found as grave goods. Presumably, she should quench hunger and thirst on the last long journey, her healing power was already known to the Egyptians.

The Greeks and Romans used the juice of the licorice plant (Succus Liquiritiae) in any case not only for sweetening, but also for the treatment of gastric ulcers and asthma. Traditionally, the licorice root was also used in diseases of the upper respiratory tract, liver disease and skin diseases. The current science is the folk medicine right: Many studies have confirmed the healing power of the sweet root.

Are licorice healthy?

The studies have shown that this all-rounder can do even more than soothe the throat and stomach: they are now attributed to anti-inflammatory, viral and bacteriostatic, hepatoprotective and heart-protective effects; It is designed to stimulate the immune system, capture free radicals and protect against cancer.

The main player is the glycyrrhizic acid contained in the root, in addition to other ingredients such as triterpenes and saponins, flavonoids and isoflavonoids and chalcones their effect.

  • Glycyrrhetinic acid is said to influence the labor hormone progesterone. Women who eat a lot of licorice during pregnancy give their children an average of 2.5 days earlier, Finnish researchers have found.
  • Italian researchers in turn suggest that regular licorice consumption can melt the fat pads. Maybe the appetite inhibiting effect of licorice.
  • Also from Italy are the results of licorice consumption and male potency. Liquorice is said to inhibit enzymes responsible for the production of male hormones. The testosterone level and the desire for sex decline. It can also lead to power disturbances.
  • According to a US study, the licorice blend of licorice and cucumbers has a sexually stimulating effect on women. Allegedly, this mixture increases the circulation in the genital area by 14 percent. Shaving water, on the other hand, is counterproductive.
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