Properties of licorice

Licorice is a plant cultivated in the warmest regions of Italy, widespread in the Middle East and in the Mediterranean basin and traditional in particular in Calabria. Licorice roots can be consumed directly, made into liqueurs, decoctions and herbal teas, or an extract can be obtained from them, which is mainly used to flavor sweets of all kinds.

If you are interested in growing the licorice plant in pots or in your own garden, you can read more about how to grow it, while we uncover its nutritional and medicinal value here.

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

Contents [Ocultar]

  • Glycyrrhizin and effect on blood pressure

  • Other beneficial properties of licorice

    • digestive effect

    • expectorant action

    • Other Beneficial Properties

  • Nutritional values


Glycyrrhizin and effect on blood pressure

It is no mystery that licorice increases blood pressure, this characteristic is important to be well known to those who intend to consume it. The effect is due to glycyrrhizin, an active principle contained in good quantity in the roots which acts on the hormones which regulate blood pressure. Very good then the use of licorice for those who suffer from low blood pressure, while it is better to avoid it for those who suffer from hypertension. Special warning should be given to women using birth control pills not to abuse licorice in any form.

Other beneficial properties of licorice

In addition to the presence of glycyrrhizin and its consequent effect on blood 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 generally a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract, licorice juices are said to regulate digestion.

This property is attributed in particular to liquorice liquor and herbal infusion made from crushed roots. Another proven positive effect is a protective action against gastric or duodenal ulcer. Its pronounced aroma also helps fight halitosis.

expectorant action

Licorice is a good antitussive, as already recommended by Hippocrates, it has a positive effect on the respiratory system and the bronchi in particular and is useful in relieving the symptoms of asthma.

Other Beneficial Properties

Antioxidant for the liver. Another proven positive effect is a protective action against gastric or duodenal ulcers. Its pronounced aroma also helps fight halitosis. The antioxidants present in licorice are useful in reducing triglycerides in the liver, providing benefits and protection to this vital organ.

Thirst-quenching effect. Licorice root always, thanks to glycyrrhizin, promotes cellular retention of sodium and therefore of water. Factor that reduces the water needs of the body, but can also be negative when it becomes excessive water retention and, as a result, swelling.

Popular tradition attributes other benefits to licorice: it is antiviral, invigorating, useful against stress and insomnia, laxative, anti-inflammatory. Like almost all medicinal plants, licorice is also said to be an aphrodisiac with a particular effect in stimulating female arousal.

Nutritional values

Licorice contains no protein and has very little fiber and fat, it has no cholesterol. One gram of licorice provides 3.75 kilocalories and contains 70% sugar and 93% carbohydrates. Licorice root also has a high sodium and potassium content and a good amount of vitamin C and phosphorus.

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