Licorice Health Benefits


Licorice Health Benefits

What is the Licorice Herb?

Licorice health benefits – Glycyrrhiza glabra

Licorice is a flavorful herbaceous plant, Glycyrrhiza glabra, that has been used for centuries for its medicinal and culinary properties. It belongs to the legume family, Fabaceae, and is native to the Mediterranean region and parts of Asia. The plant's roots are the primary part used, as they contain a compound called glycyrrhizin, which gives licorice its characteristic sweet taste.

Licorice has a long history of traditional use in various cultures. It was highly valued in ancient Egypt, where it was used as a flavoring agent, and it was also mentioned in ancient Chinese and Indian texts for its medicinal properties. Licorice root has been utilized in traditional medicine systems such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine for its expectorant, anti-inflammatory, and soothing effects.

In terms of its culinary uses, licorice is often used as a flavoring agent in confectionery, beverages, and herbal teas. It provides a distinct sweet taste and is sometimes combined with other herbs and spices to enhance flavor profiles.

How much licorice is safe

It's worth noting that while licorice is enjoyed by many, excessive consumption should be avoided, as it contains certain compounds that can have adverse effects on health, especially in large amounts or for certain individuals with specific medical conditions. The main concern is the compound glycyrrhizin found in licorice, which can cause imbalances in the body. Here are what medications should not be taken with licorice some medical conditions that may be adversely affected by excessive licorice consumption:

High blood pressure: Licorice can lead to an increase in blood pressure by causing the body to retain sodium and excrete potassium. This effect is more significant in individuals with existing high blood pressure or hypertension.

Cardiovascular conditions: Individuals with heart disease, congestive heart failure, or those at risk of cardiovascular complications should be cautious with licorice consumption due to its potential impact on blood pressure and fluid balance.

Kidney disease: Licorice may interfere with the balance of electrolytes and fluid in the body, potentially worsening kidney function or causing electrolyte imbalances in individuals with pre-existing kidney disease.

Hormonal disorders: Licorice contains compounds that can affect hormone levels, particularly cortisol. Excessive consumption of licorice can disrupt hormonal balance and may be problematic for individuals with conditions such as Cushing's syndrome, hormonal imbalances, or those taking medications that affect cortisol levels.

Potassium deficiencies: Licorice can cause a decrease in potassium levels, leading to hypokalemia. Individuals with conditions that predispose them to low potassium, such as certain kidney disorders or individuals taking medications that affect potassium levels, should be cautious with licorice consumption.

It's important to note that these potential adverse effects typically occur with excessive or prolonged consumption of licorice. Moderate consumption of licorice as part of a balanced diet is generally considered safe for most people. However, if you have any underlying medical conditions or concerns, it is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Licorice Health Benefits

The medicinal properties of licorice are primarily attributed to its active compound called glycyrrhizin, along with other constituents present in the plant. Here are some potential health benefits associated with licorice:

  • Licorice Health Benefits #1 – Soothing properties: Licorice has been traditionally used to soothe respiratory conditions, such as coughs, sore throats, and bronchitis. It has expectorant and demulcent properties, helping to relieve irritation and inflammation in the respiratory tract.
  • Licorice Health Benefits #2 – Digestive support: Licorice has been used for centuries to support digestive health. It can help relieve symptoms of indigestion, heartburn, and stomach ulcers. Licorice root has mild laxative effects and may aid in relieving constipation.
  • Licorice Health Benefits #3 – Anti-inflammatory effects: Licorice contains compounds that possess anti-inflammatory properties. It may help reduce inflammation in conditions like arthritis and promote healing in inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis.
  • Licorice Health Benefits #4 – Potential antiviral activity: Some studies suggest that licorice may have antiviral properties and could be effective against certain viral infections. It has been studied for its potential inhibitory effects on viruses such as herpes simplex and influenza.
  • Licorice Health Benefits #5 – Skin health: Licorice extract is a common ingredient in skincare products due to its potential skin-soothing and brightening effects. It may help reduce redness, irritation, and hyperpigmentation.

But as mentioned above, licorice should be consumed or used in moderation.

Licorice Bioactive Compounds

Licorice contains several bioactive compounds that contribute to its medicinal properties and distinct flavor. Here are some of the known bioactive compounds found in licorice:

  • Licorice Health Benefits – Glycyrrhizin: This is the primary bioactive compound in licorice, responsible for its sweet taste. Glycyrrhizin has been studied for its anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antioxidant properties. It can also affect hormone regulation, particularly cortisol.
  • Licorice Health Benefits – Flavonoids: Licorice contains various flavonoids, including liquiritin, liquiritigenin, and glabridin. Flavonoids are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, contributing to the potential health benefits of licorice.
  • Licorice Health Benefits – Coumarins: Licorice contains coumarin derivatives, such as herniarin and umbelliferone. These compounds have been studied for their potential anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial activities.
  • Licorice Health Benefits – Polysaccharides: Licorice contains polysaccharides, which have immunomodulatory effects and may contribute to its soothing properties. These polysaccharides have been studied for their potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions.
  • Licorice Health Benefits – Sterols: Licorice contains sterols, including beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol, which have been investigated for their potential cholesterol-lowering effects and other health benefits.
  • Licorice Health Benefits – Triterpenoids: Licorice contains triterpenoid compounds, such as glycyrrhizic acid and glycyrrhetinic acid, which have shown anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and hepatoprotective (liver-protecting) properties.

These are just a few examples of the bioactive compounds found in licorice. The specific composition and concentrations of these compounds can vary depending on the licorice variety and preparation methods. The combination of these compounds contributes to the diverse potential health benefits associated with licorice.

Licorice Vitamins and Minerals

Licorice contains various vitamins and minerals, although the amounts may vary depending on the specific preparation and form of licorice. Here are some of the known vitamins and minerals that can be found in licorice:


  • Licorice Health Benefits – Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Licorice can provide small amounts of vitamin B1, which is important for energy production and nerve function.
  • Licorice Health Benefits – B2 (Riboflavin): Licorice contains small amounts of vitamin B2, which plays a role in energy metabolism and antioxidant activity.
  • Licorice Health Benefits – Vitamin B3 (Niacin): Licorice can provide traces of vitamin B3, which is involved in energy metabolism and cellular function.


  • Licorice Health Benefits – Magnesium: Licorice can contain small amounts of magnesium, which is important for bone health, nerve function, and energy production.
  • Licorice Health Benefits – Potassium: Licorice may contain trace amounts of potassium, which is essential for proper heart and muscle function, fluid balance, and nerve signaling.
  • Licorice Health Benefits – Calcium: Licorice can provide minor amounts of calcium, which is crucial for bone health, muscle function, and nerve signaling.
  • Licorice Health Benefits – Iron: Licorice may contain small amounts of iron, an essential mineral involved in oxygen transport, energy production, and immune function.

It's important to note that the amounts of these vitamins and minerals in licorice are relatively low compared to other dietary sources. Licorice is typically consumed in small quantities as a flavoring agent or herbal remedy, so it is not a significant source of these nutrients. To meet your daily vitamin and mineral requirements, it's important to have a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods.

Licorice Culinary Uses

Licorice is used in various culinary applications to impart its distinct sweet flavor. Here are some of the main culinary uses of licorice:

  • Confectionery: Licorice is commonly used in the production of confectionery, including licorice candies, chewy sticks, and licorice-flavored chocolates. It provides a natural sweet taste and a unique aromatic profile to these treats.
  • Beverages: Licorice is used to flavor a variety of beverages. It is commonly found in herbal teas and infusions, where it adds a sweet and soothing note. Licorice is also used in some alcoholic beverages, such as liqueurs and flavored spirits.
  • Desserts: Licorice can be incorporated into desserts to add a sweet and distinctive flavor. It can be used in ice creams, puddings, cakes, and pastries, providing a unique taste profile to these sweet treats.
  • Baked goods: Licorice can be used as a flavoring agent in baked goods. It can be added to cookies, bread, muffins, and other baked items to infuse them with a subtle sweet taste.
  • Culinary seasonings: Licorice powder or extract is sometimes used as a seasoning or flavor enhancer in savory dishes. It can be added to marinades, sauces, dressings, and spice blends to provide a hint of sweetness and depth of flavor.
  • Herbal remedies: Licorice is also used in traditional herbal remedies, where it is combined with other herbs to create medicinal preparations. These herbal remedies can include decoctions, infusions, and herbal tinctures.

It's important to note that licorice should be used in moderation, especially in culinary applications, as excessive consumption of licorice can have adverse effects, as mentioned earlier. Additionally, some people may have allergies or sensitivities to licorice, so it's always a good idea to consider individual preferences and potential dietary restrictions when using licorice in cooking or baking.

Herbs, Spices, and Minerals

Powdered Minerals

As with everything we eat, herbs and spices work optimally in the presence of the full complement of 75+ pure hydrophilic plant-derived minerals. See this page for a complete rundown of why we need ALL the minerals mother nature ought to give us with our foods. Unfortunately, if the herbs and spices are grown on mineral-deficient soils (most commercial farm soils are), they will also lack vital minerals.

Volcanic And Glacial Soils

Those fortunate to have fresh glacial or volcanic soils added to the soil in which their herbs grow can be certain that their herbs will contain many minerals now missing in most soils around the world.

Can We Add Minerals To Grow Bags?

Yes. Our Powdered Minerals contain 75+ minerals from 70-million-year-old Senonian compost extracted from the TRC mines in Utah. Simply add a spoonful of the powder to a watering can before watering the Grow Bag. You only need to do this once because plants take the minerals in trace amounts to be incorporated into their tissues. Think about tomato plants in greenhouses: mineral-rich, juicy tomatoes every time! But growing your own herbs is just as good.


It’ll be worthwhile experimenting: compare the growth and yields of herbs grown in soils with added powdered minerals with those in grow bags with ordinary compost. First, of course, you must adopt the scientific approach and use controls with various mineral dosages. Then repeat the experiment with other herbs. But one thing is for sure: eating mineral-rich herbs will mean you also get to benefit from the minerals.

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Sizzling Minerals – Pure hydrophilic plant-derived Senonian minerals

Learn more about Sizzling Minerals