Magickally, this root is associated with Mercury. It has been used to ease the path of the dead and in binding and love spells. It contains the planetary metal for Jupiter and in fact creates a mildly satisfied feeling characteristic of Jupiter plants. Natural licorice root has a more delicate flavor than the candy, which is actually flavored with anise. Chewing and sucking on the root really satisfies one's sweet tooth.
Licorice root has been shown to be as good as codeine for stopping unproductive coughs and helps to bring up phlegm. The Chinese use it for arthritis because it contains saponins, which are anti-inflammatory chemicals that act like steroids (it has 1/533 the effectiveness of estrone and can bring on menstruation). It is anti-allergic, anti-viral, and makes a great tea for colds and bronchitis. It is also absolutely fantastic for acid reflux.
This herb has been used for thousands of years all over the world and has very low toxicity, but don't use this herb if you have high blood pressure or if you are sensitive to estrogen. Sucking on even one piece can raise your blood pressure for a short time.
© 2004, 2015 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission