In the past, liquorice roots have always held great commercial value. Besides this, their status of luxury meant that they were often offered as a gift to kings. Today, while maybe not treated as quite as luxurious a product as in the past, liquorice remains hugely popular.
But why is that?
Liquorice is native to Asia and Southern Europe, and its name derives from the Greek glukurrhiza, literally ‘sweet root’. It is therefore quite self-explanatory which part of the plant is used the most.
Preparation is rather simple: the roots are harvested during the autumn, after which they are then dried.
But is it just its sweetness that made liquorice so popular? Actually, it turns out that liquorice has incredible healing properties. For this reason, it was historically used to treat ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems such as heartburn and colic, as it has been found to reduce the acids level in the stomach.
Modern medicine uses liquorice’s extracts to produce laxatives and soothing products against irritations.
Liquorice can also be used to contrast inflammations and spasms of the digestive system, thanks to the flavonoids contained in its roots, making it a useful way to complement haemorrhoid treatment.
Did you know that liquorice could also be drunk? Drinking liquorice herbal tea twice a day can contribute to keep your intestine healthy, as well as maintaining a smooth bowel movement. In turn, this will reduce the chances of constipations, and the developing of piles thereafter.
Should you wish to prepare this type of tea, it’s very easy. Just go to the herbal shop to find the liquorice roots. Once at home, boil some water and add about 50gr of liquorice – brewing time depends on how strong you want your tea to be. You could also add other herbs or leaves, if you would like to enhance the drink’s flavour.
But liquorice’s powerful health benefits go even further; some studies have shown that the ‘glycyrrhizinic acid’ present in the roots can contribute to reduce stress, preserving the equilibrium of the nervous system. Additionally, if taken in the form of pill or cream, liquorice can be used as antiviral against herpes.
Unlike many of its neighbours on the shelves of sweet shops, liquorice has also been reported to help in combatting tooth decay, with recent studies suggesting that it contains chemicals that kill mouth bacteria and inhibits plaque build-up.
Nevertheless, despite its health benefits, liquorice can also have some side effects, albeit limited. Scientific literature on the topic shows that an excessive consumption of liquorice could:
- Destabilise the mineral salts level of your body
- Cause water retention
- Increase blood pressure
It is therefore recommended to always speak to your GP if you have any doubts as to whether liquorice consumption is suitable for you.
Following your doctors’ recommendations, you will only see the benefits of liquorice root as part of your diet. By simply enjoying a liquorice tea twice a day, you keep your intestines healthy, reduce the risk of constipation and prevent the development of haemorrhoids.
So, with all these benefits in mind, why not treat yourself to the occasional stick of liquorice?
Article written by The Haemorrhoid Centre