Liquorice is a polarising ingredient. Many people either love or hate it. However, history will likely prove the liquorice lovers are right, as this sweet snack is rich in antioxidant and bacteria-busting compounds.1
What is liquorice root?
Liquorice root has been used since ancient times. Ancient Chinese, Grecian, and Middle Eastern traditions all incorporated liquorice into their way of life.2,3
Benefits of liquorice root
Liquorice root has an ancient and impressive history, especially as a delightfully sweet treat. Once, this plant was made into a healthy brew for the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt.4
However, despite liquorice’s long and illustrious history, only some of its health benefits have been proven.
Modern science has shown that regular consumption of liquorice root may help to:
Encourage weight loss
If you’re looking to lose weight, you may want to consider liquorice. One scientific study found that frequent liquorice consumption was positively correlated with reduced body weight and BMI.5
Combats harmful bacteria
Studies have shown that liquorice root is an antimicrobial, which means it can fight harmful bacteria within the body.6
Supports good digestion
A scientific study found that adults who ingested liquorice showed a significant reduction in feelings of discomfort associated with indigestion compared to a control group taking a placebo.7
Scientific studies found that liquorice helped individuals who suffer from heartburn when liquorice or liquorice extract is consumed each day.8,9
Keen to learn more? Read 'The top 8 liquorice root benefits'.
How to use liquorice root
There are two ways to invite a little more liquorice into your life: as a supplement, or as an ingredient for sweet treats.
Forms of liquorice include:
- Gel for topical application
- Herbal tea
- Liquorice supplements
Enjoy liquorice’s benefits for health and wellness while indulging in these forms of liquorice:
- Liquorice laces
- Liquorice allsorts
- Pontefract cake
- Liquorice pellets; use while baking to make a fantastic cheesecake, swiss roll, or tiffin. Alternately, use to make a glaze for red meat or game birds
- Liquorice liqueur; use to make a cheeky cocktail or a sumptuous sauce that complements pork and duck
Potential risks of liquorice
Most people enjoy liquorice as a sweet or herbal supplement with no ill effects.
However, always enjoy liquorice in moderation, as glycyrrhizin, a liquorice compound, is known to increase the stress hormone cortisol when consumed to excess.10
Last updated: 19 April 2021