From soothing digestive issues to boosting the health of your liver, a calming cup of liquorice tea has many benefits for your health and wellbeing.
You may know liquorice best as a flavouring in sweets and drinks, but this naturally sweet ingredient also has plenty of benefits for our health.
Liquorice has been used as a herbal remedy for thousands of years and in many different countries across the globe. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, liquorice is used alongside other herbs to boost their effectiveness – that’s why you’ll find it as an ingredient in a wide range of Traditional Chinese remedies.
In Ayurveda, the traditional healing system that originated in India, liquorice is used to balance the doshas and is used in many formulas as a harmonising herb. It is thought to calm the mind and nourish the parasympathetic nervous system.
Meanwhile, in Western herbalism, liquorice tea is traditionally used to treat digestive issues, ease coughs and colds, and support the internal organs, including the liver and kidneys.
Plus, liquorice is a delicious natural sweetener that tastes around 50 times sweeter than sugar. This makes it a wonderful addition to any herbal tea blend, one that also boosts the benefits of the other herbs in the tea.
What Is Liquorice Tea?
Liquorice tea is made from the root of the liquorice plant, which is native to Asia and Southern Europe. A member of the pea family, its Latin name is Glycyrrhiza glabra.
Extracts from the root of the liquorice plant are used to give the distinctive flavour in liquorice sweets (although sometimes aniseed will be used instead). But it is the root itself that holds most of the benefits, so that’s what is used to make liquorice tea.
What Are the Benefits of Liquorice Tea?
Liquorice root has many benefits for our health. Drinking liquorice tea regularly is an easy way to make this powerful herbal ally a part of your daily diet. Here are some of the best-known benefits of liquorice tea:
1. Calm Digestive Issues
One of the most popular uses for liquorice tea is in calming digestive issues like heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion. We include liquorice in our NutraCleanse tea blend to support a healthy digestive system.
2. Fight Infections
Liquorice root contains compounds that are naturally antiviral and antibacterial, including glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhetinic acid. These can help your immune system fight off illness and infection.
Liquorice is one of the main ingredients in our NutraDefence tea – a blend of herbs used to support your immune system.
3. Support Your Liver and Kidneys
Your liver and kidneys play a vital role in keeping your body healthy and clear of toxins. Liquorice tea is often used to support the healthy function of these essential organs because it is full of antioxidants that help to prevent inflammation.
Liquorice also helps to protect the liver against damage from alcohol, which is why we use it as part of our NutraLiver tea.
4. Treat Colds, Coughs, and Upper Respiratory Infections
Another traditional use of liquorice tea is to treat the symptoms of colds and other upper respiratory infections. This is partly down to its antiviral and antibacterial properties, which help to fight off the microbes that cause these illnesses.
Liquorice also helps to keep our airways open and might be a potential treatment for asthma once more research has been done into its effects on humans.
5. Soothe a Sore Throat
As well as fighting off colds and coughs, liquorice is a natural painkiller and contains compounds that coat the lining of your throat, helping to ease the pain and irritation of a sore throat. You might spot liquorice as an ingredient in sore throat remedies in your local pharmacy for this reason.
When you are struggling with the symptoms of a cold or a sore throat, find liquorice with other beneficial herbs in our NutraDefence blend.
6. Protect Your Teeth
The antibacterial properties of liquorice don’t only help to fight off the microbes that cause colds and coughs. They also reduce the number of harmful bacteria present in your mouth, protecting your teeth from plaque build-up and cavities.
We’ve combined liquorice with cinnamon, another herbal tea that has benefits for your teeth and gums, to make one of our delicious flagship teas.
7. Reduce the Symptoms of Menopause
Uncomfortable hot flushes are one of the many symptoms caused by the seesawing hormones that go hand in hand with menopause. However, drinking liquorice tea may help since liquorice can reduce the length and severity of hot flushes almost as effectively as hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
8. Give You Glowing Skin
Liquorice’s anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties make it a popular ingredient in natural skin care products, especially those designed to treat eczema and acne. Although these are usually applied topically, what we eat and drink can have a noticeable impact on our skin, so there’s no harm in drinking liquorice in your tea too.
You could even use tea as a face wash. Just make sure to let it cool down first!
Is Liquorice Tea Safe?
For most people, liquorice tea will be safe to drink. However, people who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid liquorice products. So should anyone who has high blood pressure or heart issues, as it can raise your blood pressure.
Too much liquorice can also cause low potassium levels. Avoid taking it if you already have low potassium and don’t consume liquorice in excess either. The NHS advise that eating more than 57g of black liquorice a day for at least 2 weeks could lead to potentially serious health problems.
Most tea bags only contain a couple of grams of herbs, however, so you’d need to drink gallons of the stuff before you reached dangerous levels. It is something to bear in mind though, especially if you also like to eat liquorice in sweet form.
Finally, liquorice can interact with some medications, so it is always best to check with your doctor before combining herbal remedies with other medicines.
How To Make Liquorice Tea
We prefer to use liquorice as part of a blend. The flavour can be overwhelming on its own but is a beautiful complement to other herbs. Plus, both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda say that liquorice boosts the effectiveness of other herbal remedies.
Place the teabag in your favourite mug and pour over 200ml of freshly boiled water. Leave it to steep for 4-5 minutes, then give the tea bag a squeeze to get all the goodness out. Enjoy!
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