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 is associated with longevity. The sweet tonic herb is an expectorant, neutralizes toxins and balances blood sugar levels. Three-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 useful 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 can build and sustain energy partly due to its power to control the blood sugar balance, sharpens concentration, relieves abdominal pain and congestion, benefits the functions of the abdominal organs. Also, Chinese licorice is said to help promote muscle growth, beautifies the countenance, fortifies the ligaments and bones, cures swollen wounds caused by straining or penetrating 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
Chinese licorice 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. Licorice prefers full sun to partial shade. It requires fertile, 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 the risk of frost has passed. Seed germination is often low and irregular. Germination takes 1-2 weeks.
Licorice root tea is fantastic 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 harmful bacteria and viruses. Licorice has powerful anti-inflammatory properties useful 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.
- It can heal stomach disorders, such as ulcers, neutralize toxins, and balances blood sugar.
- As a cream, it can help treat psoriasis and other skin conditions.
- Licorice is said to help improve memory.