Glycyrrhiza glabra

AKA: Sweet root, sweetwood, liquorice

Historically Used to Treat: Cough and asthma, tuberculosis, urinary tract infections, eye problem (when powdered and “blown through a quill into the eyes”), reproductive health, ulcers, IBS, hormonal imbalances

Other Uses: Colonists would chew the end of the root until it resembled a brush, then use that to clean their teeth. Licorice is often used as a flavoring and sweetener in candy, herbal teas, and tobacco products. Black licorice candy is beloved by some and hated by other.

Glycyrrhizin, an active compound, is fifty times sweeter-tasting than sugar.

Caution: Excessive intake may cause increased blood pressure and other side effects

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Culpeper's The Complete Herbal (1653) - On Liquorice


”[Descript] Our English Liquorice rises up with divers woody stalks, whereon are set at several distances many narrow, long, green leaves, set together on both sides of the stalk, and an odd one at the end, very well resembling a young ash tree sprung up from the seed. This by many years continuance in a place without removing, and not else, will bring forth flowers, many standing together spike fashion, one above another upon the stalk, of the form of pease blossoms, but of a very pale blue colour, which turn into long, somewhat flat and smooth cods, wherein is contained a small, round, hard seed: The roots run down exceeding deep into the ground, with divers other small roots and fibres growing with them, and shoot out suckers from the main roots all about, whereby it is much increased, of a brownish colour on the outside, and yellow within.

[Place] It is planted in fields and gardens, in divers places of this land, and thereof good profit is made.

[Government and virtues] It is under the dominion of Mercury. Liquorice boiled in fair water, with some Maiden-hair and figs, makes a good drink for those that have a dry cough or hoarseness, wheezing or shortness of breath, and for all the griefs of the breast and lungs, phthisic or consumptions caused by the distillation of salt humours on them. It is also good in all pains of the reins, the stranguary, and heat of urine: The fine powder of Liquorice blown through a quill into the eyes that have a pin and web (as they call it) or rheumatic distillations in them, doth cleanse and help them. The juice of Liquorice is as effectual in all the diseases of the breast and lungs, the reins and bladder, as the decoction. The juice distilled in Rose-water, with some Gum Tragacanth, is a fine licking medicine for hoarseness, wheezing, &c.”

Source: The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Complete Herbal, by Nicholas Culpeper, [107]