Discover the Sweet Anise Notes of Liquorice Root Herbal Tea
Liquorice Root Herbal Tea is a soothing, caffeine-free tisane, with a smooth, nectary thickness and natural sweetness. It is made from the dried roots of the liquorice plant, Glycyrrhiza glabra, a herbaceous perennial legume, that grows in a number of hot, dry locations in Europe, the Middle East, and Western Asia. Liquorice plants can grow up to a metre or so in height, and bear long, purplish flowers and pinnate leaves.
The name ‘liquorice’ is derived from the Greek work ‘glykorrhiza’, meaning ‘sweet root’, and liquorice root does indeed deliver on natural sweetness, being considerably sweeter than sucrose, but less harmful to teeth. Liquorice root has actually been shown to contain compounds that can help reduce tooth decay, and chewing the dried woody roots can effectively freshen the breath. Liquorice has a distinctive flavour, and its subtle anise notes make it a popular flavouring agent for many products, including drinks, herbal supplements, confectionery and tobacco. The sap from its roots is extracted and combined with other ingredients to make liquorice candy, a sweet treat found in various forms that is popular in many Northern European countries.
The healing properties of liquorice extract have been used in herbal remedies, traditional medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties, and as far back as Greek and Roman times, has been used for a multitude of ailments, including digestive problems, coughs, colds, sore throats, ulcers, and skin conditions. It is believed to have been used therapeutically by a number of famous people in history, such as Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, and Napoleon, and was apparently found amongst the treasures of King Tutankhamen’s tomb.
Liquorice root appears to be beneficial for a number of health conditions, however, liquorice should not be consumed in excess, or for prolonged periods, as the balance of fluids in the body can be affected. It may also interact with certain medications, making them less effective (best to check with your GP), and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are advised to avoid consuming liquorice in any form. That being said, liquorice tea in moderation is a pleasant, soothing drink that has possible health benefits, and it makes a great substitute for other sweet, less healthy drinks.