The properties of licorice, licorice is a plant cultivable in the hottest areas of Italy, widespread in the Middle East and in the Mediterranean basin, and traditional in particular in Calabria. The roots of licorice can be consumed directly, make liqueurs, decoctions, and herbal teas, or obtain an extract, used above all to flavor candies of all kinds.
Those interested in growing the licorice plant in pots or in their own garden can learn more by reading how to grow licorice, while below we discover its value from a nutritional and medicinal point of view.
Licorice first of all is a medicinal plant, with numerous effects on the body, it is good to know what its nutritional properties are in order to benefit from it if necessary. It is also very important to know the contraindications that excessive consumption of licorice can bring. The curative and medicinal use of licorice roots dates back to the most ancient civilizations: ancient Romans, Indians, Greeks, Egyptians already used it two centuries before Christ.
Glycyrizzine and the effect on pressure
It is no mystery that licorice raises the pressure, this characteristic is important that it is well known to those who intend to consume it. The effect is due to glycyrrhizin, an active ingredient contained in good quantities in the roots that act on hormones that regulate blood pressure. Very well then the use of licorice for those suffering from low pressure, while better to avoid for those with hypertension. A special warning not to exceed the consumption of licorice in all its forms should be given to women who use the birth control pill.
Other beneficial properties of licorice
In addition to the presence of glycyrrhizin and its consequent effect on pressure, licorice root has other interesting properties, to these is obviously added the delicious aroma that makes it loved by young and old.
Da secoli alla liquirizia viene attribuita una proprietà digestiva e in generale un effetto positivo per l’apparato gastrointestinale, si dice che i succhi della liquirizia regolino la digestione.
Questa proprietà viene assegnata in particolare al liquore alla liquirizia e alla tisana che si ricava con le radici triturate. Altro effetto positivo verificato è un’azione protettiva nei confronti di ulcera gastrica o duodenale. Il suo aroma marcato aiuta anche a combattere l’alitosi.
Licorice is a good calming for cough, as Hippocrates already advised, it has a positive action on the respiratory system and bronchi in particular and helps relieve the symptoms of asthma.
Other beneficial properties
Antioxidant for the liver. Another positive effect verified is a protective action against gastric or duodenal ulcers. Its marked aroma also helps fight bad breath. The antioxidants present in licorice are useful to reduce triglycerides in the liver, bringing benefits and protection to this vital organ.
Thirst-quenching effect. The licorice root always thanks to glycyrrhizin promotes the cellular retention of sodium and consequently of water. The factor that reduces the body’s need for water but can also be negative when it becomes excessive water retention and consequently swelling.
Other benefits are attributed to licorice by popular tradition: it is said to be antiviral, invigorating, useful against stress and insomnia, laxative, anti-inflammatory. As with almost all medicinal plants, licorice is also said to be an aphrodisiac, with a peculiar effect in stimulating female arousal.
Licorice does not contain protein and has very little fiber and fat does not provide cholesterol. One gram of licorice provides 3.75 kilocalories and contains 70% sugar and 93% carbohydrates. Licorice root also has a significant content of sodium and potassium and a fair presence of vitamin C and phosphorus.
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