Organic Spa Blog

Green Licorice Twist

Image courtesy of Walter Siegmund / WikiCommons

Image courtesy of Walter Siegmund / WikiCommons

As I was walking by a candy counter, I noticed an array of brightly colored and fetching twists: yellow, green, black, red licorice. I bought a green licorice twist, enjoyed the tangy taste of a Granny Smith Apple and wondered if the candy might actually have some health benefits. It was made with real licorice extracts, so as I enjoyed my treat, I thought about the value of licorice.

The name licorice means sweet root, and licorice is considered by many to be an elixir of life. Its use and value go back more than 4,500 years to the Egyptians, who thought it to have many health benefits. Licorice extract is now a popular ingredient in topical skincare, used to take care of dark circles and dark spots from sun damage and hyperpigmentation. (Eminence Organics sells a Bright Skin Licorice Root Booster-Serum, pictured right, which incorporates licorice root in order to brighten skin appearance.)

Licorice tea is derived from the licorice plant and is used to soothe coughs, the flu and other respiratory illnesses, breaking down mucus to act as a remedy for a sore throat. Some people enjoy mixing the licorice tea with green or white tea for extra antioxidants and hydration.

Licorice helps fight infection and is a great stress reliever. It is an anti-depressant and lowers cholesterol.

The perennial shrub that the root and leaves come from is found in Asia and the southern parts of Europe, and contains a natural chemical called glycyrrhizin that helps provide iron, calcium and vitamins.

Licorice is a natural sweetener and is fat free, too. The tea and candy both should be used in moderation, and not over-consumed. If you take medicines, it may be advised to consult with your doctor to see if you can drink the tea, and maybe discuss if taking it could help you with health issues or concerns like inflammation or arthritis. Some sources claim that consuming licorice can help reduce blood sugar and insulin spikes, and helps with high blood pressure, as well.

Buddha Teas sells licorice tea packed in quality, bleach free bags, which can be purchased here. Traditional Medicinals makes a delicious Licorice Root Tea made from naturally grown sources and is certified organic.

So one green twist of licorice candy sweetened my day and gave me food for thought about the value of licorice in our diets and lifestyle.

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