Licorice Root or Chinese Licorice
Dried licorice, licorice root, Chinese licorice, glycyrrhiza glabra, sweet root, sweet grass
Traditional Chinese Name:
甘草 (gān cǎo)
Nature: Neutral and associated with the spleen, lungs, stomach, kidneys, and heart
Taste: Sweet and slightly bitter
You can get started on your Chinese Soup Kitchen Pantry from this video!
The licorice is one of the key powerhouse herbs that are used to support lung strength, wellness and health, including an herb that penetrates all the meridians of the body, so these benefits can access multiple organs as well! Did you know that in Europe, licorice is eaten as a candy? While in the East, it’s more commonly used in Chinese soups, dishes, Chinese herbal teas, and medicine. Try just taking the dry root as is and nibbling and sucking on it!
How do I prepare it & store it?
- For teas, you can use ground licorice root, which is available in Western Health stores, but in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the dried whole sliced root is usually used (as pictured)
- Typically no preparation needed. If I’m using purchased dried licorice (in packages), I will use directly from the bag into my soup, tea cup, or glass stove top safe tea pot
- These ingredients store nicely in plastic or glass containers (or bags), so long as it’s dry for years! Be sure that moisture is limited and there is no direct exposure to extreme sunlight.
What is the cost & where to buy?
- In general, one ounce of dried loose flowers can cost around $1-2 CAD (but I have seen the range quite wide)
- Dried licorice is commonly found in both Western and Eastern stores (both online and instore), although Chinese Herbal shops will sell them as sliced roots more instead of shredded or powdered licorice (which is the preferred cut for Chinese soups, medicine, and herbal teas)
- Dried licorice helps nourish and tonify Qi
- Licorice helps clear heat (but isn’t a cooling ingredient)
- It is also a great herb for clearing toxicity from target organs and the meridians
- This is a useful herb for dispelling phlegm and relieving coughs
- Helps stops spasms and alleviates pain
Be sure to buy dried licorice from a reputable and reliable source, either online or in person.
- Licorice should be used cautiously if there is excess dampness (or water) in the body
Looking to build your basic Chinese Soup Pantry?