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Licorice Is More Than Just A Flavor!


Y&S Licorice Cigars are approximately 5 inches long, about one-half inch wide and features a dry, strong flavored Licorice with molasses as a main ingredient. We recommend Y&S Licorice Cigars products for adult customer, since these would likely be too strong a flavor for young children. Hey! Who says that eating candy can't also be educational…Read on – there could be a pop quiz shortly…

The licorice plants that grow in North American [Glycyrrhiza lepidota] are found from the western side of the Great Lakes to the Western states, but our North American species has never been developed as a large scale commercial source of licorice. Way back when our European relatives were pushing the Native Americans into the western states, those indigenous folks may have used the native licorice plant and roots either as a poultice version to put on sores or abrasions of horses (or possibly themselves…) after a long day of work hunting Buffalo or just banging heads with the Pony Soldiers or the Long Knives. Toothaches could be treated by chewing the root while fever in children could be somewhat resolved by brewing up a batch of licorice tea or similar beverage.

A more detailed history can be found for the European species [Glycyrrhiza glabra] which has been widely cultivated throughout the continent for centuries. Extensively grown in Bavaria by the end of the 16th century, cultivation was recorded in Spain by the late 13th century. Edward the First of England placed a tax on licorice imports in the year 1305 to finance the repair of the London Bridge. Those Brits always had a good sense of humor – what a guy!  The most common form of non-candy Licorice that you might see in stores are the long thin “sticks” - actually pieces from the licorice plant roots. Cut into sections about 6 to 8 inches long, these underground stems [aka stolons - go ask your Botany Teacher for some help with this term…] are what you might find on the shelf in herbalist stores.  licorice-roots-raw.jpg

Chinese licorice [Glycyrrhiza uralensis] is found in much of northern and northwestern China. In Chinese medicine, licorice is one of the more widely used herbal drugs – often in combination with many other herbal ingredients. Licorice is used in many Chinese herbal prescriptions to enhance the activity of other ingredients, reduce toxicity and improve the flavor of the medicine. Research indicates that licorice may be used in approximately 50 percent of traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions.


Bottom Line? Licorice is more than just a candy flavor. Some medicinal benefits exist when used in small doses over a short period of time. Many licorice lovers may find some relief with chronic ulcers or persistent coughs. Licorice can also be used as an expectorant. Recognized side effects of prolonged use of licorice can include hypertension, water retention, sodium retention and loss of potassium.


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