Chinese Licorice Seeds
This licorice root, also known as gan-cao, is the most commonly used Chinese medicinal herb, occurring in almost all prescriptions, its use being associated with longevity. The sweet tonic herb is an expectorant, neutralizes toxins and balances blood sugar levels. 3 year old roots are harvested in the autumn.
Laboratory studies in China have found that the extracts of Chinese licorice can help detoxify over 1,200 known toxins. It is effective in relieving the intoxication of junk foods, drugs and alcohol. In China, it is known as the ‘great detoxifier’ and the ‘great adjunct’. It is a tonic to the spleen and kidneys and helps regulate stomach functions. It has the ability to build and sustain energy partly due to its power to regulate the blood sugar balance, sharpens concentration, relieves abdominal pain and congestion, benefits the functions of the abdominal organs. In addition, Chinese Licorice is said to help promote muscle growth, beautifies the countenance, fortifies the sinews and bones, cures swollen wounds caused by straining or incisive injury, detoxifies the blood and relieves pain and tension due to stress. It has been used successfully for a thousand years in cases of anorexia, which is now a growing health concern in the West.
How to Grow Chinese Licorice
The seeds require scarifying: lightly nick or use sandpaper to scratch seeds. You must also soak the seeds for 24 hours before sowing. Chinese licorice is a perennial herb and is hardy in zones 6 to 10. Prefers full-sun to partial shade. Requires rich, moist, and well-draining soil with a pH of around 6. Sow in spring or early fall. Soak the seeds for 24 hours in warm water 20°C (68°F). Surface sow the seeds and lightly cover with soil. Keep soil moist but never soggy. For best germination results grow indoors in sterilized soil; black earth/peat moss mixture. Transplant outside after risk of frost. Seed germination is often low and irregular. Germination takes 1-2 weeks.
Licorice root tea is amazing for treating sore throats and coughs. It coats your throat with its sweet flavour making swallowing a lot less painful, as well as fighting off bad bacteria and viruses. Licorice has powerful anti-inflammatory properties effective for arthritis, gastritis, canker sores. Also a mild laxative. Components in licorice aid in healing gastric ulcers.
Licorice Health Benefits
Licorice has been used in China for thousands of years to treat almost every condition; it’s one of the most commonly used herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
- Anti-bacterial and anti-viral.
- Expectorant and anti-inflammatory.
- Very effective at treating sore throats, coughs, and bronchitis.
- Heals stomach disorders such as ulcers.
- As a cream it can help treat psoriasis and other skin conditions.
- Neutralizes toxins.
- Balances blood sugar.
- Detoxifies the body.
- Improves memory.