Liquorice Root
Glycyrrhiza glabra

By Ahsan Khan

Please note: Liquorice candy specifically found in North America actually does not contain any liquorice for reasons unknown (Collins, n.d.)


Scientific Name
Glycrrhiza glabra, also known as the Liquorice plant has been utilized for many beneficial purposes (Foster, 2010). Its discovery has paved the way for the advances in medicines (MedlinePlus, 2010), which will be examined more thoroughly later on.

Appearance of Plant
The plant can grow anywhere from two to five feet in length (HowStuffWorks, 2008). It also produces pinnate leaves, and bears fruit that is shaped like a pod (HowStuffWorks, 2008). Its flowers are a bright violent and its roots are yellow inside (HowStuffWorks, 2008). Figure 3 shows a mature liqUntitled_4.pnguorice plant

Environmental conditions
Although this plant has many beneficial aspects, it can only be grown in certain places (The herbal resource, 2006). Sunny environments with rich fertile soil are required for this plant to flourish (The herbal resource, 2006).

Commonly found
This plant is mostly located in Asia and Europe, but can be found where the environmental conditions are favourable (The herbal resource, 2006).


How do we get it? Which part of the plant is it obtained from?
The Liquorice plant can be used to produce an immense variety of products (How products are made, 2010). The specific product that will be examined in this report is the liquorice candy. This product is obtained from the root of the plant. The root is well known for its sweetness, as it is 50 times sweeter than sucrose, thus the name “sweet root” (Oxford Dictionary, 2010). An extract is formed by boiling the liquorice roots which in turn is used to form candy (How products are made, 2010). This extract is sold as a syrup and solid (How products are made, 2010).

Making the Product

Brief Intro
The production of liquorice candy dates back to thirteenth century (How products are made, 2010). Today it is sold in many different flavours including strawberry, cherry, chocolate, and black liquorice (Figure 4). The process to make liquorice candy involves several steps outlined by the following flow chartUntitled_5.png

Beneficial Impacts

What is it used for?
Liquorice candy has been around for over many years and has been noted for its beneficial effects when used in moderation (Dhom, n.d.). Liquorice is utilized for many medicinal purposes, such as congestion, coughs, and sore throats (Foster, 2010). It was not until the late 1800s that liquorice candy was mass produced (How products are made, 2010).

Who uses it?
With the correct amount of consumption, the candy can be consumed by majority of people as it contains no fat and has beneficial values (MedlinePlus, 2010). It can used to thin the blood, help lower cholesterol levels and even boost the immune system (Thibodeaux, n.d.) Table one show’s the nutritional information for different types of liquorice candies.

Explain how economy, society and environment is improved by this product
With the help of liquorice, people who have problems with their health such as high blood pressure, an unresponsive immune system, or hepatitis B can attain a cure and relief (Medline, Plus, 2010). This has improved their overall life, thus helping better the general society.

What other products did your plant replace?
It is interesting to note that although liquorice candy is eaten for pleasure, it can pack a wide variety of health benefits (MedlinePlus, 2010). Other plants can also provide similar health benefits such as the Naturleaf (Dhom, n.d.). Certain Sterols and sterolins from the plant, Naturleaf can be taken to control asthma (Dhom, n.d.). Liquorice can have an immediate effect within hours in achieving the same results (Dhom, n.d.). Liquorice has a tremendous result rate when compared to Naturleaf.

Harmful Impacts
How are people, society are harmed from this product?
When liquorice candy is consumed in large quantities, the result can be very injurious (Foster, 2010). Excess liquorice in the body can cause salt and water retention, heart problems, and hormone imbalances (Foster, 2010). Pregnant women are recommended to not eat liquorice as it can change the hormone levels, thus harming the foetus (Dhom, n.d.). Some side effects can possibly become very serious such as, decreased potassium in blood, and a decreased sexual interest in men (MedlinePlus, 2010). People who have heart disease, kidney disease, and hypertonia are all strongly recommended to not eat liquorice. These diseases can all be aggravated and worsen with the use of liquorice candy (MedlinePlus, 2010). Left unchecked, these harmful effects can eventually harm the society as a whole.

The discovery of the Liquorice plant was an immense step forward for the human race. The use of the liquorice plant and candy has been around for centuries (How products are made, 2010). Its wide usage and great beneficial effects have improved the lives of many. It is greatly utilized for medicinal purposes, such as improving an immune system, common colds, and high blood pressure (MedlinePlus, 2010). Regardless, too much of anything can be harmful, and although liquorice candy can provide a great taste and benefits, it can also be a hazard for some people (Foster, 2010). These harmful impacts can reduce the health of indiviuals in the society and cause problems for future generations (Foster 2010). In the end, it solely rests upon the public to decide whether this product’s positives outweigh the negatives, and make the right choice.

Foster, Steven. (2010, August, 5) Herbs at a glance, liquorice root. Retrieved December 11, 2010, from //http://nccam.nih.gov/health/licoriceroot///

Medline Plus. (2010, November, 19) Liquorice. Retrieved December 11, 2010, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/881.html

The herbal Resource. (2006) The liquorice root. Retrieved December 11, 2010, from http://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/licorice-root.html

How products are made, volume four. (2010) Liquorice. Retrieved December 11, 2010, from http://www.madehow.com/Volume-4/Licorice.html

Thibodeaux, Marie, Wanda. (n.d.) What is liquorice extract? Retrieved December 11, 2010, from http://www.ehow.com/about_5110331_licorice-extract.html

How stuff works. (n.d.) Liquorice. Retrieved December 11, 2010, from http://www.howstuffworks.com/environmental/life/botany/licorice-info.htm

How products are made, volume four. (2010) Liquorice. Retrieved December 11, 2010, from http://www.madehow.com/Volume-4/Licorice.html
Wikipedia. (2010, November, 29) Liquorice. Retrieved December 11, 2010, from http://www.madehow.com/Volume-4/Licorice.html
National Confectioners Association. (n.d.) Liquorice. Retrieved December 11, 2010, from http://classic.candyusa.com/Candy/CandyType.cfm?ItemNumber=930&navItemNumber=526
Liquorice Roots. (n.d.) Liquorice powder. Retrieved December 11, 2010, from http://www.liquoriceroots.com/liquoricegallery.html