Make Throat Soothers with Licorice

Make your own sweet-tasting throat soothers with licorice, an herbal antiviral.

| August/September 2012

Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is best known for its role in the popular candy, and it’s no wonder: Licorice is 50 times sweeter than table sugar! But it’s glycyrrhizic acid, not sugar, that gives licorice root its sweet taste. That same acid is also responsible, in part, for licorice’s medicinal benefits that make it good for sore throats and bronchial irritation.

Throat Soothers: 2 Recipes for Herbal Pills

• Soothing Throat Pills
• Licorice-Ginger Pills 

Naturally Relieve Throat Pain with Licorice Medicine

With demulcent, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, licorice is the herb of choice for soothing irritated and inflamed tissue, as in cases of sore throat, bronchial inflammation, and stomach and bowel irritation. Licorice has a long history of use for relieving throat inflammation and for strengthening the vocal cords. It is also helpful for both gastric and peptic ulcers.

Note: Glycyrrhizic acid can cause sodium retention and potassium loss, resulting in stress to the heart and kidneys. Individuals with a history of high blood pressure, water retention, heart palpitations and other signs of heart and/or kidney stress should use licorice under the guidance of a health-care practitioner.

This tender perennial has a thick, sweet flavor, making it a nice addition to tea in small amounts. Used alone, the root can be almost too sweet, and some people find its flavor overbearing when it’s brewed by itself. To increase its palatability, blend licorice with other herbs in syrups, teas and tinctures. You can also eat dried or fresh whole licorice root “straight up” (children, especially, enjoy chewing on these natural “licorice sticks”), or in the form of cocoa- or carob-coated herbal pills.

What are herbal pills?

Herbal pills are an easy-to-make, practical way to consume medicinal herbs. Formulate blends that taste good enough for children to enjoy. They are excellent for a sore throat; make them with antiviral herbs that help fight infection. Sucking on them is by itself soothing to the throat.

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