Chinese Licorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis) is one of the traditional fundamental 50 herbs used in Chinese medicine. In Chinese medicine, licorice is used as an adaptogen helping the body to cope with stress, for respiratory issues and abdominal discomfort.
Chinese medicine also cautions against using this herb with heart disease or any other heart issues as the herb can increase blood pressure.
I primarily uses the root to spice up my tea. The main constituent of the root ‘glycyrrhiza’ gives the tea that unique licorice flavor and also acts as a natural sweetener, a very effective sweetener.
A little bit goes a long way here, so don’t overdo it – a few pieces are enough for a whole pot of water. Since the root is woody, the flavor needs to be boiled out (which takes about 10-15 minutes on a low simmer). After that, you can prepare the tea further if you like. Try adding some soothing herbs like chamomile, fennel or anise, spice it up with some ginger, or add a caffeine punch with green tea or yerba mate.