Licorice has a pronounced expectorant and antispasmodic, as well as anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects (most pronounced in relation to staphylococci).
The following active substances are contained in the roots and rhizomes of Licorice: carbohydrates, organic acids, tannins, steroid compounds, essential oils, glycyrrhizic acid, which, acting in combination, stimulate the function of endocrine glands, irritate the intestinal and respiratory mucous membranes, providing enveloping and mild laxative effect.
Decoctions and infusions of Licorice, according to the instructions, also have a diuretic effect, stimulating the work of the adrenal cortex, especially with its reduced function.
In addition, as a result of applying licorice:
- The production of mucus in the gastrointestinal tract increases (against the background of a decrease in the acidity of the stomach),
- The healing of stomach and duodenal ulcers is accelerated,
- The nonspecific resistance of the body increases.
Finnish licorice sweets
Liquorice sweets attract attention with their rich deep black color. In shape, they can be very different: tubes, spirals, dragees, pretzels. But perhaps the most famous was the "meter licorice", similar to a long black cord, from which pieces were cut off to customers at fairs and beautifully packed. But no matter what form the sweets are, the main thing that distinguishes them is the original taste that licorice gives them.
What is liquorice
Licorice sweets contain many different components, but licorice is the basis. This is a perennial herbaceous plant in the legume family. In Russia, it is also found in the south and the Caucasus and is more commonly known as licorice. Mostly use the root of the plant. It is widely used in various medicines and breast collection as an expectorant.
In Finland, licorice is often used not in the pharmaceutical, but in the food industry. It is added to confectionery and bread products, sauces and seasonings are prepared on its basis. Liquorice gives an unusual flavor to all dishes.
In the confectionery industry, the root is boiled, resulting in black syrup. It is the basis for the production of famous Finnish sweets, adding flour, charcoal, salt, sugar, flavorings, preservatives and other components to them.
What is the taste of licorice
Licorice sweets have an unusual taste that you can not confuse with any other. They are both sweet and salty. A sweetish flavor appears due to glycerrhizin, a natural sweetener. To many, the taste of licorice resembles licorice root syrup, which is used in the treatment of cough. Such a “pharmacy aroma” is not to everyone's liking. But licorice sweets also have loyal fans.
The benefits and harms of liquorice candies
Licorice, or licorice root, has long been known for its healing properties. Sweets made from it can also benefit the body.
A quarter of licorice consists of glycerrhizin, which has an anti-inflammatory property. The use of licorice sweets will strengthen immunity, which is especially important in the cold season.
Licorice root is widely used to treat upper respiratory diseases. Licorice sweets have an expectorant property. It is especially useful for their smokers. This will help them get rid of a specific cough.
Licorice sweets are useful for normalizing the gastrointestinal tract. The substances contained in the licorice root gently envelop the gastric mucosa, contributing to the normalization of digestion. Liquorice is used as a mild laxative. The use of such goodies will help to cope with constipation.
Very useful licorice sweets for diabetics. The substances contained in the licorice root stimulate the production of insulin in the body.
According to scientists, licorice contains substances that prevent the formation of malignant tumors.
It is useful to use licorice sweets to stimulate the brain and increase its performance.
Licorice treats have not only healing, but also cosmetic effects. Thanks to them, the production of collagen in the body is stimulated, which has a good effect on the skin condition. It is smoothed, becomes more elastic and resilient, small wrinkles disappear.
However, in some cases, licorice can be harmful to the body. Licorice root can cause swelling. It prevents the removal of water from the body. And this, in turn, can lead to an increase in blood pressure. Therefore, hypertensive patients, people with kidney diseases, varicose veins and a violation of the water-salt balance should not abuse licorice sweets.
It is not recommended to eat liquorice sweets during pregnancy. They can cause premature birth. With caution, you must use such goodies for people suffering from allergies.
Salmiakki - Salted Liquorice
At first glance, licorice and salmiak are very similar. Their main difference is in the composition. If licorice candies are based on natural licorice root, then salmiak has a purely chemical composition. For those who try this delicacy for the first time, it will seem similar in taste to liquorice. But the Finns themselves will never mix them up. Salmiak has a pronounced burning sweet-salty taste.
Salmiak - what is it, what are they made of
The Finnish confectioner and entrepreneur Karl Fazer invented this unusual delicacy. In 1897, he released unusual black diamond-shaped sweets with the addition of salmiakka. They immediately began to be successfully sold and won the status of a national Finnish delicacy. Initially, the name was used as a trademark, but gradually they began to denote all the sweets of this kind. Now salmiakki is also added to ice cream and liquor. And the candies themselves have become more diverse. Currently, they are issued in the form of pirate coins, fish, cars.
Salmiakki (ammonium chloride), better known as ammonia, gives the delicacy an original aroma. The taste of sweets depends on its quantity. Until 2010, salmiak should have been no more than 7%. Now there are no restrictions. In addition to this component, salt, sugar, charcoal, starch, gelatin, flavorings and other substances are added to sweets.
Salmiak has become a Finnish national treat. A society of his lovers was even created. Twice a year, they gather to choose the best product, and then spend a Salmiak picnic.
The benefits and harms of salted licorice
As for salmiak, the main thing is to observe the measure in its use, then it will not harm the body. Ammonium chloride has a diuretic effect, helps to remove excess fluid from the body. But in salmiak, as a rule, they add a lot of salt and sometimes licorice. If their content is very high, delicacy can have the opposite effect - to prevent the removal of excess fluid. For this reason, doctors do not recommend consuming large amounts of salmiak in people with high blood pressure and kidney disease.
Where to buy licorice sweets in Finland
In Finland, licorice and salmiak are widespread and have become national delicacies. You can find them in almost any confectionery department of the supermarket or in company stores selling sweets. Among other sweets, they stand out with their unusual black color, so that they immediately attract attention. They also sell licorice sweets at fairs.
Licorice and salmiak are unusual Finnish sweets. Not everyone will like their taste, but you should definitely try these unusual candies.
Licorice release form
Licorice is produced in the form of:
- 1.5 g filter bags, 10 or 20 pieces per pack,
- Syrup, in bottles of 100 g and 125 g,
- Shredded raw materials (roots and rhizomes), 50 g or 100 g per pack.
The analogues of Licorice according to the mechanism of action are the preparations Altey, Anis vulgaris, Ledum Swamp, Oregano, Gedelix, Elecampane, Coltsfoot, Pectusin, Thermopsis, Thyme, Codelac Broncho, Coldrex Broncho and some others.
Indications for use Licorice
Licorice according to the instructions to use effectively:
- In the treatment of infectious diseases of the upper respiratory tract: bronchitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis,
- When a smoker coughs,
- In the treatment of gastritis, as well as ulcerative lesions of the duodenum 12 and gastric mucosa,
- In the treatment of cystitis, pyelonephritis, pyelitis,
- With hypofunction of the adrenal cortex (together with other drugs).
According to reviews, Licorice can be used in conjunction with other drugs in the treatment of gout, eczema, rheumatism, hemorrhoids, dermatitis of various nature.
Contraindications to Licorice in the form of decoctions and infusions are:
- Hypersensitivity of the body to plant or auxiliary components,
- Pregnancy and lactation
- Functional liver disorders,
- Cirrhosis of the liver,
- Hypertonic disease,
- Hypokalemia (potassium deficiency),
- Organic heart disease, including pericarditis and myocarditis,
- Renal failure.
Contraindications to licorice in the form of syrup are also gastritis and peptic ulcer of the stomach and 12 duodenal ulcer in the acute stage.
How to use licorice
Licorice plant material in the form of a decoction or infusion is recommended to be taken in a warm form.
For adults, the broth is prescribed one or two tablespoons half an hour before meals three to four times a day, infusion - 1/3 cup half an hour before meals three times a day.
Children are prescribed a decoction depending on age - from one teaspoon to one tablespoon half an hour before meals up to four times a day, infusion - from one dessert to two tablespoons half an hour before meals three times a day.
From the crushed raw materials, the broth is prepared as follows: add a glass (200 ml) of boiling water to one tablespoon (10 g) of licorice and hold it in a water bath for thirty minutes. Then the broth is cooled to room temperature and filtered through cheesecloth. The filtered broth is added to 200 ml with boiled water.
To prepare an infusion of filter bags, three packets of Licorice are poured with a glass of boiling water (200 ml), covered with a lid and insisted for twenty minutes.
The use of licorice in the form of a decoction or infusion of plant materials is effective for a duration of two to three weeks.
Licorice root syrup is taken orally, lasting up to ten days.
Adults are recommended to take 1 dessert spoon, diluted in 1/2 cup of water three times a day.
For children, licorice syrup is usually prescribed:
- Up to 2 years - 1-2 drops several times a day,
- 2-12 years - 1/2 teaspoon diluted in 1/4 cup of water, three times a day,
- Older than 12 years - the dosage is doubled.
Side effects of licorice
With prolonged use of licorice, reviews can be observed:
- Swelling of tissues that are caused by a violation of the water-salt balance,
- High blood pressure
- Decreased potassium concentration in the body (hypokalemia),
- Violations of the reproductive system.
In some cases (if there is sensitivity), licorice according to reviews can cause allergic reactions.
Licorice: prices in online pharmacies
LICENSE 100ml syrup
LICENSE 100ml syrup
Licorice syrup 100g n1
Licorice syrup 100g
Licorice ROOT 50g
MALTICE 100ml syrup CJSC
Licorice ROOT Health
Licorice ROOT 50g
Licorice ROOT 20 pcs. Health
Licorice roots 50g
Licorice ROOT 50g
Licorice ROOT 50g
Licorice roots pack 50g
FITOCHAY ALTAI 5 pcs. mastofit licorice 20 pcs. filter bag
Information about the drug is generalized, provided for informational purposes and does not replace the official instructions. Self-medication is dangerous to health!
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How to use licorice
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Liquorice (or licorice root) is an herbal supplement that is widely used as a folk remedy for the treatment of various diseases. The benefits of its use, as well as of many other herbal supplements, have not been confirmed by professional medical specialists, but most healthy people can safely use licorice in small and moderate doses to treat mild ailments.
Licorice is a perennial plant that belongs to the legume family. Also this plant has other names: licorice and licorice.
Licorice has a branching thick root, sprouting deep into the ground by three to four meters. The root system of the plant is extensive, part has up to several tens of processes that lie at different depths.
Licorice has straight stems that hardly branch. Usually they are one to two meters high. Licorice has leaves up to twenty centimeters long, on which leaflets are located, whose number ranges from 6 to 20. They have an oval ovoid shape, sharpening to the tip. They also have glands, due to which the leaves are rather sticky to the touch.
Licorice flowers have a small diameter (about one centimeter) and are collected in clusters. They appear in late summer and are white or purple.
Licorice fruits ripen by the end of summer or early fall, representing beans with several seeds.
It is generally accepted that licorice appeared in the Mediterranean countries. Wild licorice grows in Europe (mainly in Italian and French territories), northern regions of Africa, central and western Asian states.
In Russia, licorice is found in the southern regions, in the western part of Siberia and the Caucasus. Do not grow it in many areas where the climate is temperate, because the plant does not tolerate cold winters. You can also meet licorice on sandy soils, on the banks of the steppe rivers, in a semi-desert belt, by the sea, and also in the fields. It happens that licorice grows on soils rich in clay and chernozem. This plant forms thickets along roads and paths.
The history of licorice root dates back several millennia. However, what is best known today as a sweet, salty or spicy treat until the 18th century was considered a medicine. Licorice was used mainly for stomach and catarrhal diseases. Mention of it can be found in Chinese herbalists and in Egyptian papyrus. So, licorice was found even in the tomb of Tutankhamun.
Aristotle's student, Theophrastus, the founder of botany, described the ability of a plant's root to quench even intense thirst. And the troops of Alexander the Great withstood long campaigns partially without water thanks to the use of licorice. And in a later period, among the Roman legionnaires, she entered the daily diet. Turkish and French soldiers during the First World War constantly carried licorice.
Ancient Greek and Roman doctors glorified the root as a cure for colds, coughs and catarrh (inflammation of the mucous membrane). In the Middle Ages, liquorice was credited with magical power, attributing fantastic healings to it. And during the Renaissance, licorice became a "sweet medicine." In a 17th-century book on botany, this plant and areas of application of juice extracted from its roots are described.
Finally, pharmacist George Dunhill in 1760 added various ingredients to the licorice root extract, among which were sugar. It was then that licorice came as a treat.
How to choose
Today in the shops you can choose the finished spice, and just the root of licorice.
- When choosing spices it is worth paying attention to the tightness of the package, as it eliminates the appearance of foreign substances and impurities in the spices.
- Choosing a licorice root, pay attention to color: a high-quality rhizome will be brown-brown in color and yellow in a section. The grated root will have a sugary aftertaste and a delicate sweetish smell.
- Buying licorice sweets, pay attention to the composition of the product. So, sweets should be made only of sugar, molasses, starch, flour, gelatin, salt and flavorings. And cover them with a mixture of dye and anise oil.
Remember that if you have high blood pressure or you are taking diuretics, you can choose a product with licorice only without glycyrrhizin.
Liquorice as a spice has a peculiar delicate smell, close to the aroma of fennel and anise, and a rich sweet taste. This spice is very popular in the cuisines of Japan, China, Egypt, Mongolia, England, Scandinavian countries. It is used in the form of powder, dried flakes, syrups and extracts. In China, licorice is especially popular, it is added to various soups and broths, used as part of spice mixtures.
Liquorice perfectly complements hot dishes of meat, poultry, and game. This spice goes well with eggs, rice. Licorice is used for vegetable pickles and pickles, in the preparation of canned fish, soaked apples and lingonberries, sauerkraut. In the preparation of soaked apples and berries, licorice prevents the products from fermenting and prevents mold.
Due to the sweet taste, licorice goes well with berries and fruits. It is added to different drinks: jelly, stewed fruit, teas, coffee, cocoa.
Due to the foaming properties of licorice is considered one of the main components of kvass, beer and sparkling water. In addition, licorice is used to flavor wine, vodka, liquors, beer. Licorice is often added to pastries, desserts and confectionery: halva, ice cream, caramel, chocolate, pastille. Licorice is also often used as a surrogate for tea or a sugar substitute. Licorice goes well with fennel, anise, black pepper, galanga, ginger, cardamom, complements the composition of the Chinese mixture of “5 spices” (anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel, Sichuan pepper).
Licorice can also be added to flour. For example, if you make pasta yourself, root powder can be added to the dough.
Licorice has also found culinary applications to preserve the freshness of products and better beat egg whites.
And of course, everyone knows chewing licorice sweets. It is sweets that are the culinary industry where licorice is most widely used.
Composition and availability of nutrients
Licorice, first of all, is rich in vitamin B. Due to this, it is needed for energy metabolism and normal functioning of organs and systems, especially the nervous system, is involved in protein synthesis, and is also able to regulate metabolism. In addition, licorice is involved in the production of insulin, is involved in energy metabolism and other metabolic reactions.
Licorice root also contains vitamin C, flavonoids, polysaccharides, fatty acids, mucous substances, mineral salts, tarry bitterness and substances, carotene, coumarins, saponins, including glycyrrhizin, and phytosterols.
Among the polysaccharides contained in licorice, there are up to 34% starch and up to 30% cellulose and pectin. Licorice has many organic acids (malic, succinic, citric, etc.). In addition, it is rich in resins, essential oils and steroids, phenolcarboxylic acids, tannins and coumarins, alkaloids and nitrogen compounds.
Carbohydrates (up to 2.1%), organic acids, polysaccharides, essential oils, triterpene saponins, triterpenoids, coumarins, tannins, flavonoids, lipids, nitrogen-containing compounds, and vitamins were found in the aerial part of licorice.
And the composition of licorice essential oil includes ketones, aldehydes, alcohols and their derivatives, aromatic compounds, terpenoids, esters of higher fatty acids and aliphatic hydrocarbons.
Useful and healing properties
Licorice has a sweet flavor, given to it by glycyrrhizin (its content reaches 23 percent). This substance is ten times sweeter than sugar, it is used as a natural sweetener. Glycyrrhizic acid, which is in the root, resembles the action of cortisol, a hormone of the adrenal cortex. Due to the presence of this acid, licorice has an anti-allergenic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory effect.
Saponins and glycyrrhizin have an expectorant effect. Therefore, licorice is often included in the composition of medicines, fees, syrups, lozenges used to treat cough. Babies like to drink such syrups, as they are fragrant and sweet.
Licorice will help cure dry cough, tuberculosis, bronchitis, asthma, laryngitis, pneumonia and smoker's cough.
It restores the body with low pressure and cardiac pathologies, it is advised to use it for diseases of the thyroid gland and blood vessels. The root of the plant has an excellent enveloping effect on the mucous membrane of the stomach and is laxative, since it contains the glycoside glyciricin, which can help with diabetes. This is due to the fact that it is able to increase insulin production and is considered a natural sweetener.
A decoction of the roots is drunk with ailments associated with the gastrointestinal tract, they treat gastritis and ulcers.
Since licorice contains many flavonoids, various substances with antioxidant properties, doctors recommend it to be used for oncological diseases. The anti-inflammatory properties of the plant have a healing and protective effect in hepatitis, helping also with diseases of the bladder and restoring the normal functioning of the pancreas.
Since ancient times, licorice root is considered an excellent antidote and is used in the treatment of poisoning and intoxication. It perfectly relieves fatigue, improving mental activity. Licorice is also useful in the treatment of joint diseases, with gout, rheumatism. In addition, it lowers cholesterol, preventing clogging of blood vessels and improving heart function.
Licorice root is used not only in pharmaceuticals as a component of various cough medicines and for the treatment of other ailments, but also in traditional medicine.
So, for the treatment of colds, it is advised to brew liquorice tea. To do this, you need 25 grams of roots and top of licorice, a pair of leaves of centaury, mint and lemon balm. It is recommended to brew such an infusion and drink a glass after food.
For the treatment of diseases of the joints and gastrointestinal tract, you can prepare an aqueous tincture with licorice root. For it, you need to take 20 grams of roots, frying them in a pan, and then pour two glasses of boiling water and insist. Tincture is ready for use after 8 hours. Depending on the degree of the disease, such a tincture is taken several dozen drops per day.
To cure a cough, you can mix 15 grams of crushed roots, the same number of roots of elecampane and marshmallow. The mixture should be filled with two glasses of pure water and insisted for 7-8 hours. Take this mixture you need 0.5 cups twice a day before meals.
Use in cosmetology
Cosmetological use of licorice is due to its wound healing effect. It is used to treat allergies, skin rashes, psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema. Licorice extract is also one of the ingredients for problem skin care. It provides an opportunity to soothe it and has anti-aging properties, as well as being able to cleanse pores and help whiten skin and relieve stains.
Since licorice has the property of rejuvenating, whitening the skin and stimulating the production of collagen, it is often included in age creams.
Dangerous properties of licorice
Licorice is not recommended for those who have a water-salt balance, as well as for patients with kidney disease and hypertension. Licorice has the ability to retain water in the body, therefore it should not be used during pregnancy, as well as children under two years of age. From this age, medications containing licorice are recommended to be given strictly according to the dosage prescribed by the doctor.
Also, substances in the licorice root reduce potassium levels. Its deficiency causes muscle weakness. An extreme degree of myopathy is rhabdomyolysis, in which the destruction of muscle tissue cells occurs and acute renal failure can develop.
Licorice is also contraindicated in patients with pericarditis and myocarditis, as well as those suffering from cirrhosis.
In addition, licorice in some people causes gastrointestinal irritation. Its effect on the sexual sphere is not fully understood; there are very opposite opinions about the weakening and strengthening of libido and potency.
If you want to surprise your loved ones with an unusual dessert, try making licorice ice cream with grenadilla according to the recipe from the video.