Licorice come from the root of the plant Glycyrrhiza glabra. It's been used for centuries as a flavoring, sweetener, and medicine.
The main compound responsible for licorice's distinct flavor and pharmaceutical effects is glycyrrhizin. Glycyrrhizin is 50 times as sweet as table sugar. Besides being used in drinks, teas and candies, licorice is also added to tobacco products.
Licorice root extract has been studied in the use of a wide variety of illnesses, including:
- viral hepatitis
- Kaposi's sarcoma
- stomach and mouth ulcers
- bowel conditions, such s Crohn's disease and irritable bowel
- water retention and swelling
- low potassium levels
- heart failure
- elevated blood pressures
Apparently, a British woman had to be hospitalized for licorice poisoning after consuming 200 grams of candy per day. That's a 48 black jellybean-per-day habit! Man. I knew there was a reason why I avoided those black jellybeans. And it's not all about those gunky black teeth either.
Happy Halloween everyone. Hope it doesn't land you in the hospital!