Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabra)

NPRobots(z9 CA)September 12, 2004

This question could definitely be in the wrong place, but the Cooking forum didn't seem to be the right place for it either (seemed like a lot of recipe suggestions). I figured more herbalists would know the reccomended procedure for what I want than home chefs.

I've searched the web the last few years off and on for licorice candy recipes. The gist of what I've read says that licorice root is boiled in water to extract the flavor and from there used in candy making. I can never find a clear cut licorice candy recipe using actual licorice root as a base (most recipes always call for anise extract...not exactly licorice).

So the question arises of "how do I get all that wonderful licorice taste into the water without overextraction and bitterness?" I think if I can get that answer, I can establish a basic recipe from there. So does anyone out there have any experience with making, say, licorice tea?

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That wonderful licorice root has a toxic compound in it ... stick to the commercial extracts.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2004 at 8:32AM
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I think that a little would be okay, but man, maybe you would have to go to an antique recipe book... Maybe you could tincture it, then flavor to taste... OR why not try horehound? I have tons and can ship you all of it, and then give you a recipe! :o)
What I want to know is, how do you successfully grow GG? I don't think it is happy at my house in Sacramento...but I might have it in too heavy a clay...

    Bookmark   September 13, 2004 at 3:44PM
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These recipes and info might help.

Liquorice Candy
1 cup molasses
1 teaspoon powdered liquorice root (or to taste)
1 teaspoon powdered anise root (or to taste)
icing sugar

Warm the molasses and add liquorice and anise powder. Mix in enough flour to make a workable dough. Roll mixture into small tubes, cut into desired lengths. Roll in icing sugar if desired. The mixture will harden when cool. This is a delicious treat which is mildly laxative and alleviates symptoms of colds and flu.

3.125kg gum arabic
5g white sugar
750g liquorice syrup
315g corn syrup
10 cups water
black colouring

Soak the gum arabic in hot water overnight, allowing 500g to 1 litre of water. Skim, then strain through a fine sieve. Boil the sugar, corn syrup and water together to sweet thermometer temperature of 250C. Add liquorice syrup and black colouring. Cook again to 255C. Add gum. Cast in starch moulds in a hot room for about 48 hours. Take out when mixture is stiff, then cool. Remove from starch moulds. [5g =1 teaspoon;1kg=2lb; 125g=4oz; 315g=10oz; 750g=1 1/2lb)

Liquorice Syrup:
Fill a saucepan with pieces of dried liquorice root; cover the root with water and simmer for 3-4 hours; strain and discard the root. Add 2 tablespoons of honey or brown sugar for each cup of liquid, return to the boil, stirring. Bottle.

Note: Using a starch tray that is at least 30cm square and 76cm deep, fill with very dry sifted cornflour (cornstarch). Make impressions in the surface with plaster of paris moulds glued on strips of wood that are a little larger than the tray. Pour liquid mixture into the impressions with a funnel, or use a spoon. When liquid mixture is set, the liquorice is removed and the cornflour brushed off. Liquorice pieces can be dipped in melted chocolate if desired.

Harvest the main tap root and/or horizontal rhizomes once the plant is 3-5 years old. When dried, they resemble dried wood, hard and fibrous, with a brown skin and a yellow interior. It can be powdered. It will keep indefinitely in an airtight container. Roots can be pulped, then boiled, and the liquorice is then concentrated by evaporation.

Warning: Liquorice should not be used by those suffering from high blood pressure (it raises the BP quite a lot!), diabetes, glaucoma, heart disease or a history of stroke, kidney disease, or by those who are obese. Best avoided when pregnant. May cause water retention and loss of potassium. Do not use for more than 4 weeks consecutively. Professional supervision is recommended.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2004 at 6:08PM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

If you don't think licorice is bad for you, read the 190 adverse affects list in the link below -- these are all published reports from medical journals of licorice poisoning.
Most of the licorice candy sold in stores is not real licorice, it is flavoured with anise.

Here is a link that might be useful: Licorice.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2004 at 11:16PM
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I was reading, and like the first one with the woman who ate moderately large amounts of GG every day for 4 months... I wonder what "moderately large" amounts is? I am not saying it isn't dangerous, it obviously is. And I have seen people who think in this way "if a little is good, then a LOT must be better!" like people who INSIST on taking echinacea every day. BUT I have also seen good medicine be banned due to people over medicating with it. I used to take 1/4 of a pill of L-tryptophan (in the 80's) to help me with my PMS until it got banned, cuz women were taking 20 pills at a time, and dying, cuz it has a side affect of lowering appetite. I was upset, cuz I took so little and it HELPED my PMS.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2004 at 11:09AM
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Herbalynn(Oregon, 7-8)

I have been an avid chewer of Licorice roots over the past 30 years. Not a full time thing, just go thru spurts when it tastes good to me. Very helpful when quitting smoking, licorice makes cigarettes taste awful, and helps to have something in the mouth.
I never had any adverse affects.
Herbs are to be used wisely and in moderation. Don't let one post scare you from making an informed and intelligent decision to use or not use anything.
The HerbMed link posted above also list 67 adverse affects from garlic. Go figure.
I don't have any recipes, however, and have not been able to successfully germinte seeds.
Enjoy! Lynn

    Bookmark   September 14, 2004 at 11:26AM
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NPRobots(z9 CA)

Wow, I forgot about this post but I'm glad so many people responded. Thank you for the recipes, there's many helpful things there. I'd love to try and germinate from seed but I can NEVER find any GG anything, anywhere. No plants or seeds at the nurseries. It reclusivley grows wild in the hills around this valley, but I wouldn't dare eat it. I would like to have a plant though, just to have a real licorice producing plant. Thanks again for all the info!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2004 at 8:16PM
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Herbalynn(Oregon, 7-8)

Richters sells seeds. Good luck, Lynn

Here is a link that might be useful: Richters

    Bookmark   September 21, 2004 at 10:30AM
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looking for alternative of steroids, need information on company able to supply in Scotland?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 8:07PM
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Don't know anything about availability in Scotland, but turmeric (curcumin) has 'steroid-sparing' and 'steroid-like' activity and is another possibility to consider.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 9:39AM
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A response to Heathen1,
I am a victim of L.Tryptophan. It was not banned because people were using it improperly. It was banned because a Japanese petro-chemical company was selling contaminated L.T. pills. The illness it caused is called Eosiniphilia myalgia syndrome(EMS) and is quite serious. I only took 8-10 pills and have been disabled and seriously ill for 20 years now. It ruined my life. L.T. is back on the market now and I've yet to hear of a single case of EMS since it was reformulated.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 4:50PM
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