Licorice root tea is a very popular herbal tea, and it comes from the licorice plant believed to originate in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Licorice has a bark-like outer appearance, and looks very much like a twig. It is believed that licorice root is packed full of many antioxidants and possible cancer-fighting compounds. Some heath food shops sell the root whole, but it is most often used in tea form.
Benefits of Licorice Root
* Can help to ease coughs and sore throats.
* Licorice root tea when sipped can ease the pain of a sore throat and help with colds and bronchitis by helping to break down and remove mucus from the respiratory tract.
* Licorice root helps to protect stomach tissue and so reduces symptoms of stomach upsets and ulcers.
* Licorice root benefits also include its mild estrogenic effect, which helps to ease menstrual cramps and the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome such as breast tenderness, bloating, and irritability.
* Licorice tea has a diuretic effect, helping to ease water retention and buildup of toxins.
* Has a slightly laxative effect, helping to clear the body of waste and assisting the function of the digestive system.
* Stress relief and anti depressant. This makes it a good alternative for those who are unable to take St John’s wort. It is also helpful to those convalescing after surgery.
* Increases interferon and so helps boost the body’s immune system. Also believed to help counteract the effects of HIV.
* Helps to lower cholesterol.
* Increases energy, so reduces the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
* Licorice tea has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, which can help to lessen liver inflammation caused by such diseases as hepatitis and help maintain the health of the liver.
* The anti-inflammatory properties can help to ease the symptoms of arthritis.
* Can help prevent heart disease by easing the formation of artery-clogging plaque.
* Is anti-allergenic so is helpful for hay fever and conjunctivitis sufferers.
Licorice root is occasionally used in medications to make them less bitter and a little more palatable for consumption. It is also occasionally used as a flavoring for tobacco in cigarettes.
Licorice Root Side Effects
Licorice root tea can cause high blood pressure if used regularly so should be avoided if pregnant. Water retention and headaches may also be a side effect, although both of these symptoms may be alleviated by drinking more water or increasing intake of other fluids.
There are some conflicting reports as to whether licorice root would be beneficial or detrimental to people suffering from diabetes. If you have diabetes or suspect you may have, please consult a medical professional before taking the supplement.
It is also important not to confuse licorice root with licorice the confectionary. The candy has very few health benefits and is not even flavored by the licorice plant. It is, in fact, flavored by anise.