superfood spotlight licorice root

What you need to know: Licorice, also known as sweet root, is used in Eastern and Western medicine for its therapeutic effects on the body. Licorice is both a demulcent, a soothing agent used to coat mucous membranes, and an expectorant, a vehicle for clearing the body of congestion, specifically phlegm. It is an excellent lung tonic that helps moisten the lungs and throat and eliminate toxins from the body. Licorice has been shown to be helpful in treating conditions of the respiratory tract such as coughs, sore throats and bronchitis.

Why you should try it: Licorice is one of the most effective natural treatments for the gastrointestinal tract, helping to ease symptoms of ulcers, indigestion, acid reflux, cold sores and canker sores. It is also one of the most widely used herbs in Chinese herbalism because of its ability to increase the effectiveness of other herbs. Licorice “harmonizes” the ingredients in an herbal formulation by bringing balance to the body. It eliminates the harshness of other herbs, opening the energy channels of the body and aiding in the proper distribution of the herbs. It is therefore called “the great harmonizer” – the perfect adjunct to be utilized in any medicinal formula.

Let’s get together: Having a sweet, candy-like taste, licorice is happily consumed as a tea. Look for licorice root and brew in hot water for five to ten minutes. If you are seeking a broader therapeutic formula than licorice alone, try one of our favorites: Organic Energy Tonic by Urban Moonshine. By pairing licorice with other superfoods such as rhodiola, ginseng and fo ti, this formula can be used to boost stamina, improve athletic performance, and restore mental alertness and energy when fatigued. What about licorice candy? Unfortunately, eating licorice candy is not going to provide the health boost you are looking for because most licorice candy is flavored with anise oil, not actual licorice. But we think the real thing tastes just as good.

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