National Liquorice Day

Glycyrrhiza or Licorice is a wonderful adaptogenic herb

Happy National Liquorice Day… what was that? You didn’t realise that it was! No neither did I until I read a wonderful article from Knapsack Spirit.  Serendipity really as I was planning to write about this wonderful plant and finding out that today is deemed National Liquorice Day somewhere in the world just cemented that fact.

Liquorice… love it or hate it, this plant is amazing.  A member of the pea family (fabiaceae) it is 50 times sweeter than sugar.  It tastes sweet and slightly bitter and is moistening and warming.  It is the root which is used in herbal medicine.  How many of you pick up a root from the health food shop and have a good chew on it?  Releasing all of the flavours and helping to clean your teeth naturally too!!

This herb is one to be used with caution though, people with high blood pressure, diabetes, health issues with your liver or possible low potassium levels or cardiac disease shouldn’t take this medicine without the guidance of your doctor or a health professional such as myself.  You should also be cautious taking this herb if you are on cardiac glycosides, corticoids or hydrocortisone medications.  Herbal safety is important – most people think that herbs are safe because they are natural but they are the original medicines and contain active constituents which can affect a persons health positively or negatively which is why you should always consult a professional.

Now onto the fun and interesting bit… liquorice has been classed as an adaptogenic herb.  Adaptogens are important herbs used by herbalists as they help the body to adapt to stress and support normal functioning, they can instigate a change in hormone status and also boost the immune system and digestive ability.  When you think of all the health issues of yourself and the people around you a large majority of them are caused by stress or stress is a significant factor which aggravated health problems further.

Liquorice is contraindicated when a person is taking steroid medications because the herb itself stimulates immune function and lessens the stress response.  The purpose of steroids is to suppress the immune system, stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are natural supressors of the immune system which is why we are more suceptible to illness when we are stressed and run down.  Pharmaceuticals have harnessed that fact in the production of steroid drugs such as hydrocortisol creams to suppress an overactive immune fuction.  Liquorice contains saponins called glycrrhizin which the body used to create hormones including steriod hormones.  It all starts to make sense once you become aware of the body and how it works 🙂

Liquorice has been used as a food and medicine throughout the centuries.  It is a tonic restorative for the adrenal glands (which is where the stress hormones are produced).  It has been used in several different herbal traditions for the treatment of coughs, colds and other respiratory diseases.  There is a link between the adrenals and the lungs – during foetal development they both develop in the womb at the same time.  The link continues through adulthood as people who have experienced a lot of stress (and therefore have depleted their adrenals, something called adrenal fatigue) tend to have lots of upper respiratory infectiosn such as coughs and colds.  I have seen this personally through clinic observation of patients.  As the adrenals are supported and energy levels restored (as much as possible) so the number of chest infections drops.

Liquorice is also very beneficial to the digestive system, it can strengthen the stomach, reduce diarrhoea, clear heat, dispel toxins and support the repair of ulcerated tissue.  It is anti-inflammatory and hepato-protective.  This means that it can reduce inflammation and protects the liver.  The liver is an important organ as it processes all the hormones that circulate in the body as well as all of the medicines which we take.  When you go out on a bender it is the liver which has to process the alcohol and the reason why you suffer a hang over the next day.  So supporting and protecting the liver has a beneficial impact on your health and wellbeing (and may reduce the suffering the day after the night before!!).  People who have inflammatory bowel diseases will benefit from liquorice’s amazing restorative ability, conditions include: Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, gastritis, gastric ulcers, duodenal ulcers, ileitis and leaky gut syndrome.

There is a history of liquorice being cultivated in England which interests me greatly as I try to source my herbs as locally as possible and cultivate the ones which I cannot source.  I will be looking to cultivate this in my garden in Grimsby once I have sourced some seeds.  Love it or hate it, I prescribe this herb alot because of its beneficial and nourishing actions.  So here’s to Liquorice… a herb which has a day dedictated to itself.

Related articles:


Grieve, M (1977) “A Modern Herbal” Great Britain Peregrine Books

Wilson, J (2011) “Adrenal Fatigue. The 21st Century Stress Syndrome” United States Smart Publications

Winston, D and Maimes, S (2007) “Adaptogens. Herbs for Strength, Stamina and Stress Relief” United States Healing Arts Press


33 thoughts on “National Liquorice Day

  1. That’s two things you’ve taught me today – I had no idea there was a liquorice day and that it relates to the Pea! I’m a huge fan although mostly I’ve eaten the commercial – black sugary variety. If you do get to grow it let me know I’d be very interested to hear how it goes.


  2. Simply desire to say your article is as astounding.
    The clearness on your publish is just spectacular and i can suppose you’re knowledgeable on this subject. Fine together with your permission let me to grasp your feed to keep updated with drawing close post. Thanks one million and please keep up the gratifying work.


  3. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I to find It truly helpful
    & it helped me out a lot. I am hoping to provide one thing again
    and help others such as you aided me.


  4. You could definitely see your skills in the work you write.
    The sector hopes for more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to say how they believe.
    Always follow your heart.


  5. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the structure of your site?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content
    so people could connect with it better. Youve got an
    awful lot of text for only having one or two pictures.

    Maybe you could space it out better?


  6. Thanks for some other informative blog. The place else could I get that type of information written in such an ideal
    manner? I have a challenge that I’m simply now operating on, and I have been at the look out for such information.


  7. Heya! I understand this is somewhat off-topic but I had to ask.
    Does running a well-established blog such as yours take a lot of work?
    I am completely new to running a blog however I do write in my journal every
    day. I’d like to start a blog so I can share my personal experience and thoughts online. Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or tips for new aspiring bloggers. Appreciate it!


    • Hi there,

      Thanks so much for the wonderful feedback. Do you mean a word document of the article? If it is for personal use then I do not see why not, I will be happy to email you the word document. If you want to publish it elsewhere please can you let me know. Many thanks


  8. Pingback: Marko plots

  9. Wonderful blog you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics discussed in this article? I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get feedback from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thanks! breast actives scam


  10. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this fantastic blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS
    feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will share this blog with my Facebook group.

    Chat soon!


  11. That is very fascinating, You are an overly skilled blogger.

    I have joined your feed and sit up for searching for extra of your great
    post. Also, I have shared your site in my ssocial networks


  12. Hi there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us
    so I came to check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to
    my followers! Fantastic blog and brilliant design and style.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s