Glycyrrhiza glabra. Leguminosae
Found in many parts of southern Europe on dry stony land. Also largely cultivated as a medicinal and nutritive plant. Leaves are pale green, of many leaflets, from the central stalk. Flowers are pale blue and pea-form. Roots are yellow and woody. This herb was much favored by the great Arabian and medieval herbalists. The root is the part used. The whole root is used, or the extracted solidified juice which is from crushed, boiled roots obtainable in black sticks. Many sweetmeats are made from licorice, and they are one of the best confections for satisfying children’s desire for such treats.
Treatment for cough, inflamed throat and for all parts of the pectoral region: pneumonia, pleurisy, tuberculosis. To soother the stomach and provide a mild laxative for infants and others. It possess nutritive properties, and is known to contain female hormones. Treatment of female infertility, delayed and irregular menstruation. For worms in infants and for chronic constipation. To allay stomach and intestinal cramps.
The pulped leaves are softened in hot water and applied to aching ears, externally and inside as ear plugs. The finely powdered root is an old Arabian remedy for drying up discharging parts of the skin, drying blisters and absorbing all kinds of watery fluids. It is also added to flaxseed to make a poultice for treatment of nonmalignant tumors. Babies can be given hard (but not fibrous) pieces of washed licorice root to chew to help them cut their teeth.
The solid juice is the most practical way to employ licorice in medicine, approximately three inches of the solid juice sticks daily, dissolved in one cup of hot water. Sweeten with honey or brown sugar, take a small wineglass before meals.