Distinguished by tiny violet flowers that bloom in the summer, licorice is one of the most commonly used medicinal herbs. Its sweet taste, alleged to be 50 times sweeter than sugar, masks the bitterness in any herbal mixture. Chinese and Western herbalists use licorice root as a cough suppressant and maintain that it also soothes the mouth and throat. In addition they prescribe it for digestive disorders, believing that it acts as a mild laxative and prevents stomach ulcers by forming a protective coating on the stomach wall. Applying licorice as an external antibiotic, practitioners think it relieves skin irritations such as eczema and herpes sores.
Taken internally for:
Applied externally for:
Over the counter:
Licorice is available as dried root, liquid extract and capsules.
Tea: 1 oz. licorice root boiled in 1 cup water for 15 to 20 minutes.
Antibiotic: Licorice powder sprinkled directly on the infection or sore.