Glycyrrhiza glabara or Licorice Root, is known colloquially around the world by many names, including Grandfather Herb. And it's use can be traced back as early as the time of ancient Egyptian civilization! The Egyptians believed that this herb, much in the same way a grandfather would care for his grandchildren, helped soothe and ease a variety of complaints and issues. So fond of the root were the Egyptians, that when Tutankhamen was entombed, licorice root was placed near his sarcophagus in the great pyramid at Giza!
Traditional Chinese medicine also believes that licorice root has great healing power as well. In traditional Chinese medicine, licorice root was ground into a powder which was said to help heal the spleen, liver and kidneys. Ancient Chinese medicine practitioners believed that healthy internal organs helped increase spiritual and mental harmony.
Licorice root was commonly used to help ease cough, sore throat and other respiratory tract ailments. Not only that but licorice root is believed to possibly help various digestive ailments as well; stomach ulcers, colic, heartburn and even chronic inflammation of stomach lining. Some gargle licorice root tea as a way to soothe canker sores and some even use licorice root as shampoo to help reduce oiliness in the hair!
However, licorice's possible health benefits are best seen when consumed in moderation. It is advised to limit consumption; avoid consuming large amounts for more than four weeks, or smaller amounts long-term. It is also recommended that pregnant women avoid licorice root all together.
Licorice lovers rejoice! You can feel good about enjoying this ancient and widely used herb.