Who chewed on them as a child? I’m old enough to have done it at least once in my life myself. I still remember moderately loving the taste at the time, even if I only chewed on them because everyone else did. Saying that reminds me of how I started smoking … were you like this too?
Let’s go back to the liquorice sticks of our past. I have grown quite a lot since then, and I studied Ayurveda a bit since, but I am far from being a doctor in this beautiful discipline, so we will instead say that I am an expert user.
Liquorice, sure, but what is it in actuality? Here is the shortened explanation – I don’t want to lose you on the way, so let me put it as simple as possible. According to Wikipedia this is: “Liquorice (British English) or licorice (American English) is the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra from which a sweet flavour can be extracted. The liquorice plant is a herbaceous perennial legume native to the Middle East, southern Europe, and parts of Asia, such as India.”
And so, this is the root that we chew on. And if you don’t particularly like the taste of it, I strongly recommend that you change your mind, because the benefits it has on your body and mind are just incredible.
Let me present them in a tidy way:
It reduces inflammation in the airways. Superb for colds, coughs and sore throats, as it helps thin the mucus out.
It cleans the lungs, liver and the kidneys thus participating in the elimination of the main pollutants, toxins, acids and chemicals present in our bodies.
It helps digestion and acts against stomach upsets by the activating certain enzymes, ultimately acting as a powerful inflammatory. It soothes and regulates the acidity of the stomach and helps fight constipation.
Licorice is also recommended for the treatment of certain menstrual cycle or menopausal disorders. And for the gentlemen – it boosts testosterone production. If we consider that a positive aspect, of course …
According to some recent studies, it also has anti-cancer properties in that it helps prevent colon and breast cancers.
It was also found to be beneficial in reducing bad cholesterol.
Be warned, however, that it should not be abused either, because if taken in excessive amounts, licorice could raise blood pressure. That said, if you chew a stick from time to time, it will only do you good.
From an Ayurvedic point of view, I would recommend that you chew on it before or after having a meal, so as to not overstimulate your digestion outsides the meals.
Although it is much less fashionable to chew on than in my early days, you would likely ask me where to find it. I dug out some licorice-goodness at the checkout of the Nature & Découverte, but I do not recommend you get it, because each stick is wrapped in plastic which, ecologically speaking, is not what we want. Other than that, they can be found in your organic stores close by the infusions and other medicinal plants packaging.
Finally, if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to quit smoking, instead of joining my special 2020 Zen for Monday wellness program, which would do good to you as well, than the little stick is a perfect healthy and natural substitute for your first few days without nicotine!
Happy chewing to all.