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Liquorice Tea: Benefit and Side Effects for Men, Women, Children

Updated on January 13, 2016
Licorice Tea Plant
Licorice Tea Plant | Source
Licorice Tea Plant
Licorice Tea Plant

What is a Liquorice Plant?

The Liquorice (Licorice) plant is a leguminous perennial herb that rises to a height of between three to seven feet when fully matured. The plant has a tap root system that can go to about four feet deep in the soil. In appearance, it’s a blossoming plant with white and purple flowers. The plant produces maroon seed pods and matures for harvest at a period of three to five years.

The origin of the ‘Licorice’ name is interesting. The plant gets its name from a combination of Old French and Ancient Greek words to mean “Sweet root”. Licoresse is the Old French word while glukurrhiza is the Ancient Greek word used to derive licorice. The plant is grown in many parts of the world such as Europe, China and even America with several species present which are used to extract licorice and its flavors.

Licorice plant contains a compound known as glycyrrhizin which brings about the sweetness effect in licorice tea, hence considered to be thirty times sweeter than the ordinary sucrose. This content is derived from the licorice root and hence made available in different forms that suits users’ preferences. The commonly available licorice root is powdered, liquid, dry and in the peeled form.

Examples of Liquorice Plants grown in various Parts of the World

The common plants grown include: Glycyrrhiza glabra, G. lepidota and G. uralensis. The main countries that grow licorice plants include China, North America, Asia, and Europe. China produces the type of licorice known as G. uralensis whereas North America majorly specialize in G. lepidota. European licorice (also known as Glycryrrhiza glabra) is grown in Central and Southern Europe parts. Asia also grows this particular kind.

Readily prepared licorice
Readily prepared licorice | Source

Steps for Liquorice Tea Preparation

The preparation of Liquorice tea is can be achieved through simple but distinct steps. In homes, licorice tea is easily prepared using roots from the liquorice plant and boiled water. The steps followed during the preparation process are:

  1. Extraction process: The first step of this preparation involves extraction of the licorice roots from the licorice plant. The root is extracted from a section of a matured tap root of the plant. The root is cleaned through washing and dried for future use.
  2. Boiling: In this step, we boil water so depending on the amount of tea that is needed. On average, about four to eight ounces can be put in a source pan for boiling.
  3. Mix with water: Dry licorice roots are mixed with the boiling water. On average, one teaspoonful of dry roots is put in 4 ounce of boiling water. Addition of licorice root will thus depend on the amount of tea to be prepared as well as the concentration required.
  4. Stop the heating: The source pan is then removed from the heating element. The heated Licorice plant material is allowed to steam for about 5 minutes before it is sieved and poured in a cup.
  5. Sieving the boiled material: Licorice is sieved so as to separate the liquid tea content from the licorice root remainder and then poured into a cup. The tea is ready for drinking.

Health Benefits of Liquorice Tea

Licorice tea has many positive impacts on the health status of individuals for both children, men and women. It also serves as a solution to various health diseases that affect mankind.

Benefits of Liquorice Tea in Men

  1. Reduces body fat and weight: Licorice tea is one of the best substances for people who wish to reduce their body weight. This happens in several ways either by consuming licorice tea or products related to licorice. Studies reveal that consumption of about 900mg of oil flavored by licorice within 8 weeks reduces body fats, body mass index and consequently the weight of an individual.
  2. Prevents hepatitis in men: Taking of licorice tea suppresses the aldosterone hormone in an individual leading to reduction in the body mass of a person. The result of this creates retention of water in the body.
  3. Prevents heart disease: The use of licorice prevents heart diseases. This is due to the ability of the tea to prevent arterial clogging hence allowing a healthy flow of blood.
  4. Reduces rate of growth of the cancel cells: recent studies have found a relationship between a reduced rates of growth of cancer cells among users of liquorice tea.

Benefits of Liquorice Tea in Women

  1. Prevents Premenstrual Syndrome: Some women have relief from problems related to menstruation whenever they use licorice tea. This is because the licorice contains a small percentage of estrogenic effects, and is able to prevent premenstrual syndrome and any other related mental problems.
  2. Reduced Ulcer pain: Women affected by diseases such as stomach ulcers can use licorice tea as the best medicine. In this case, licorice is said to contain DGL which is majorly an antacid that treats such illness. Also treats ulcers when licorice is coated with aspirin.
  3. Treats itchy and swollen skin: Women who would like to make their skin free from itching, redness and swelling can use licorice as the best treatment.
  4. Slows down cancer cells: Just as is the case in men, consumption of licorice in women has been found to reduce the propagation of cancer cells. This is true in both breast and cervical cancers.

Benefits of Liquorice Tea in Children

  1. Soothing cough: Children are usually affected by sore throats once in a while during their early stages of life. If this happens, parents can prepare licorice tea for them to improve their condition. Licorice tea has the unique ability to treat sore throats. The amount is determined by the doctor and this only happens to older children alone. Also, children who cough much can be treated by the use of licorice tea.
  2. Treats swelling, redness and itching of skin in children: These conditions be greatly reduced through the use of licorice tea.

Chopped licorice tea roots
Chopped licorice tea roots

Side effects of Liquorice Tea in Men, Women and Children

Apart from the benefits of licorice tea mentioned here above, its consumption over a long time may result in a significant number of side effects that may. The consumption of licorice tea in large doses thus leads to abnormality in adrenal function, swelling of legs and even water retention in a person’s body. The use of licorice tea should be after the doctor’s advice so as to prevent body complications that arises from the side effect of this tea.

  1. Cause abnormal hormonal behavior: The use leads to various hormonal effects that may cause erectile dysfunction. In the long run, diseases such as hormone-sensitive cancers may worsen in men affecting their lives. A good example is the prostate cancer. Women who use licorice tea may also be affected by hormonal imbalances and dysfunction leading them into contracting cancerous diseases such as breast cancer.
  2. Risky to pregnancy: The use of licorice tea in pregnant women is very dangerous. This is due to the ability of the licorice to cause miscarriage. Pregnant women are therefore advised not to use licorice tea.
  3. Heart Failure: Licorice is believed to contain numerous cardiovascular effects which may lead to heart failure. The problem may prolong to increase in water retained in the body as well as blood pressure in children.

Opinion Poll on Liquorice Tea Consumption

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