Arguably the most unappreciated tea, licorice tea was once a beverage reserved only for royalty. The olden kings of ancient Egypt valued licorice root for its delightful sweet flavour, not to mention its restorative properties.
But it is not only in Egypt that licorice was considered a treasured commodity. Licorice has always been recognized to be a prominent herbal remedy in many parts of the world, which most notably include traditional Western medicine, Indian Ayurvedic Practice, and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
For the longest time, various licorice root derivatives have been used as a general cure-all for a number of different medical disorders— from stomach problems, to the common cold, to chronic fatigue.
Much of the medicinal properties of licorice come from the bioactive compound glycyrrhizin, which also makes for its distinct sweet flavour. Quantified to be 50 times sweeter than sugar, glycyrrhizin makes much of licorice tea health benefits and side effects.
Traditional Uses of Licorice
History has it that ancient Romans consumed licorice as a sexual enhancer. Combined with milk, the Roman prepared licorice extract that improves both sexual stamina and endurance.
More than a traditional sexual tonic, licorice consumption was a popular practice in ancient Rome because the people of the time recognize the plant’s water retention properties, thus increasing their chances of surviving longer without water. Thus licorice, in Rome and in many parts of the ancient world, was treasured as a medicinal plant because of its uncanny ability to preserve life.
Homemade Licorice Tea
If you’re interested in learning how to make black and egyptian licorice tea, or if you’re asking where to buy best organic licorice tea for detox, fixing yourself a cup of is fairly simple. In fact, The University of Michigan Health System recommends quite a well-researched recipe for homemade licorice tea that’s made from real licorice root. The only ingredients you need are about an ounce of licorice root and 1 pint of water. To prepare, simply set water to boil, add licorice root, and let it steep for about 15 minutes.
For all the medicinal value for licorice root, it is important not to over consume licorice extract. To be perfectly safe, it is best to refrain from drinking licorice tea for more than two weeks at a time. Unless, of course, it is with the advised and the close supervision of a professional physician. Overconsumption of licorice root derivatives such as licorice tea are known to cause side effects Drinking licorice tea should also be avoided when taking prescription medications. In no event should young children, infants or toddlers be allowed to consumer licorice tea.
Video on Health Benefits & Side Effects of Licorice Tea + Recipe