Dietary specific, Useful info

Liquorice—the Surprising History And Uses You May Not Know About


Liquorice has long-time been a delicacy in various cultures. From the ancient civilisations of Egypt to China, liquorice has been used, albeit for medicinal properties. Of course, its use evolved over the years, and while liquorice juice has been mixed into drinks to use as medicine, it wasn’t until the 13th century when Europeans used it to sweeten cakes and bread, birthing what we know today as liquorice sweets.

That said, what exactly is liquorice? What uses does it have? Let’s talk about that:

What Is Liquorice?

Liquorice is a plant from the legume family, but unlike many other legumes, liquorice is a vine. The plant grows in areas with a cool climate and is often cultivated in China, Italy, Greece, and Macedonia. The plant produces both flowers and seeds, but the part of the plant that we eat is actually the root.

When the root is dried, it becomes brown and stringy, with a texture similar to molasses. The root is often dried, powdered, and then sold in packages. The root is also used to make extracts.

Liquorice plants are said to be hardy and can grow in dry soils, which makes them a valuable medicinal herb. In fact, it is often planted in the vicinity of corn and other field plants, as it is believed that the plant’s strong, pungent roots will repel pests and make the soil healthier for the growing plants.

The plant also has anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it is used so often in medicine.

So What is Liquorice Good For?

The first and obvious use of liquorice is in medicine, as we’ve mentioned already. The root of the plant is often used in teas and tinctures, as the plant is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. The root is sometimes also ground and used in toothpaste and mouthwash, as it is believed to have anti-bacterial and antifungal qualities.

Liquorice has also been used as a stomach tonic, a laxative, and as a treatment for various internal and external parasites. It has also been used to treat ulcers and heartburn and even to soothe sore throats and coughs.

While many of us associate liquorice with hard candies, it started out as a drink. One of its biggest uses was to combine it with beer, which was consumed for medicinal and recreational purposes.

Today, liquorice is used in sweets, as it has been used to sweeten cakes and pastries before. Of course, liquorice is the main ingredient. In fact, it can be sweeter than sugar. This is because liquorice contains a compound called glycyrrhizin, a compound that’s up to 50 times sweeter!


You probably think of black liquorice or the hard liquorice stick that you bite off when you think of liquorice. You may not know that liquorice has been around for thousands of years and has been used in medicine since the olden days. It is still used today, especially in the form of sweets. So, the next time you enjoy the sweet, think about its history. You’ll definitely appreciate how far it has come and how it has integrated into today’s tasty sweets!

Wholesale Sweets sells a huge variety of sweets in the UK to satisfy any sweet tooth! If you are interested in purchasing liquorice sweets, check out what we offer.

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