Over the weekend the papa came down with something bad (how exactly do you tell the difference between a cold and a flu?). There has been a lot of coughing, a slight temperature, a lot of achy fatigue, a lot of chest congestion, and a lot of tea.
On Saturday when he woke up feeling like he’d been hit by a bus I remembered Elana’s post last week about licorice root and her licorice ginger tea recipe. I made a big pot, but he is not a fan of ginger and needed something that went down a little easier.
So I picked up a licorice herbal blend tea from the health food store. He kept asking for more tea and I wondered why until on the last cup I had a taste and found it sweet, spiced, and really delicious.
When he said "This tea is the bomb!" I was quite surprised because: a). I thought he loathed licorice and b). Let’s just say that he does not usually join me in my occasional forays into the world of slang with phrases like "Keepin’ it real" and "Word!".
Nonetheless, we were out of tea and he wanted more. After tasting it, looking up the ingredients on Frontier, and perusing my cabinets I came up with my own version – still sweet, still healing, still spicy, but this time a whole lot cheaper.
Healing Properties & Precautions of Licorice
Licorice is helpful for colds and flus. From Mountain Rose Herbs:
"The most common use of licorice world-wide is to treat coughs and colds. Licorice is especially useful for treating coughs with sticky phlegm, or for treating colds that accompany stomach upset."
It is also helpful in treating glandular and adrenal problems. From Wikipedia.org:
"In herbalism it is used in the Hoxsey anti-cancer formula, and is a considered adaptogen which helps reregulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. It can also be used for auto-immune conditions including lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis and animal dander allergies."
There are definite contraindications of licorice root, though. Some say it should not be used every day and definitely should be avoided by those with hypertension. It appears to be quite helpful for acute situations like a cold, but should not be taken in large doses on a regular basis.
Healing (and yummy) Licorice Root Tea
Recipe notes: You can make this tea like any other by simply pouring boiling water over it, but with roots and barks you get the most healing properties from them by truly simmering them a while. As usual I am linking to my favorite source for herbs and teas when I do not grow them or can’t find them locally, Mountain Rose Herbs.
- 1 cup chopped dry licorice root
- 1/2 cup cinnamon chips
- 1/2 cup dried orange peel
- 2 tablespoons whole cloves
- 1/2 cup chamomile flowers
- Mix everything well in a bowl and then store in a glass jar, away from light and heat.
- To prepare tea: Combine 3 heaping tablespoons of tea mix and 2.5 cups of cold water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour into a large teacup through a strainer and pass it on to the invalid with an empathy-filled smile. Then drink some yourself because it’s delicious (and so he can keep this sick bug to himself this time).
Have you ever tried licorice root as an herbal healer?
Please note that I am not a medical professional and do not claim to treat or prevent disease with anything I share on this site. I am simply sharing with you what works for us.