Liquorice or licorice - a perennial herb, grows wild in the vast Italy, France, the North Caucasus, Siberia, South-Eastern Europe, North Africa and Western and Central Asia.
Licorice belongs to the genus Glycyrrhiza, the legume family, growing preferably solid chernozemistyh, clayey, sandy and saline soils. The plant has a thick woody rhizome, some erect stems, studded with imparipinnate leaves. The fruits of the plant liquorice - brown leathery legume seeds. Flowering time licorice - the period from June to August, ripening occurs in August-September.
Liquorice are widely used in medicine, food industry and technology, and as a blowing agent in the manufacture of fire extinguishers. Many are familiar with liquorice candy - is not only delicious but also very useful sweets.
Plant Licorice: Properties
In the roots and rhizomes of plants containing carbohydrates and related compounds - glucose, fructose, sucrose and maltose. Licorice is rich in:
- Starch - 34%;
- Cellulose - 30%;
- The organic acids - citric, succinic, malic acid, fumaric acid and tartaric;
- essential oils;
- Phenol carbonic acids and their derivatives;
- Tannins - 8, 3 to 4, 2%;
- Higher aliphatic hydrocarbons;
- Higher fatty acids;
The ground part of plants contain polysaccharides, carbohydrates, organic acids, saponins, lipids, nitrogen containing compounds, vitamins, flavonoids, tannins, coumarins, glitsestron essential oil and triterpenoids. The composition of essential oils include licorice aromatics, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, terpenoids, higher aliphatic hydrocarbons and esters of higher fatty acids.
Useful properties of licorice to human health caused by the fact that it contained a large amount of vitamins of group B. Therefore, the use of licorice promotes energy metabolism and adjustment of the correct operation of all organs and systems, in particular of the nervous system, promotes protein synthesis and production of insulin, and increases metabolism.
Medicinal properties of licorice have been known 3,000 years ago in China, the root of the plant is a natural remedy for cough, and has anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory, expectorant and antispasmodic effect.
Use of licorice plants
In industry, the plant is used as a foaming agent, namely in metallurgy for the froth flotation and in blends for filling of fire extinguishers. Licorice used in the manufacture of shoe polish, mascara and ink, as well as in the textile industry for fixing dyes.
In the vastness of Central Asia and the Caucasus from the licorice root decoction make that color of felt and wool. In Japan, it is used in the production of non-nicotine cigarettes surrogate and global tobacco companies add it to flavor and a pleasant aroma of smoking and chewing and snuff. In Kyrgyzstan, liquorice is used as a substitute for tea. In ancient China, Tibet, Assyria, Egypt and Sumeria licorice roots used as a medicine for many diseases.
In Denmark and other Nordic countries from licorice prepare various sweets. On the shelves of pastry shops in these countries can be found licorice candy in various sizes and colors, candy, salty and sweet pastilles, chocolate, candy, chewing gum, and soft drinks. Here you can find not only sweet liquorice candy, but the salty, spicy chili and tastefully ammonium chloride.
Also in Denmark, sell barley, Liquorice beer, liquorice and menthol, licorice shot of vodka. Very popular licorice candy with the scent of flowers elderberry, which not only has an unusual flavor and aroma, but also very useful.
In the food industry roots and rhizomes of the plant are used for better whipping egg whites are added to the extracts and syrups, as well as used as a substitute for sugar and the foaming agent in beer, soft drinks, kvass and tonic drinks.
Also, liquorice is used in the production of cocoa, coffee, halva, jelly, marshmallows, fruit compotes, pickles, candy, baked goods and chocolate, with sauerkraut, pickled apples and fish processing. The plant is added to the long leaf and green tea, thereby yielding a sweet beverage with unusual taste and aroma.
In medicine, licorice powder is used to provide a basis for improving the tablet odor and taste of medicines. Since the roots of licorice contains glycyrrhizin acid, it can be used in patients with diabetes mellitus.
In alternative medicine licorice is used to treat impotence, gallstones, rhinitis, nephritis, hypertension, angina pectoris, Leprosy, prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia, a decoction of the plant on the milk used in the treatment of whooping cough and Hodgkin's disease.
Liquorice or licorice - widespread plant worldwide, which is used in industry, medicine and cooking. It is rich in vitamins, flavonoids, hydrocarbons, volatile oil, fructose, alkaloids and alcohol than due to its positive impact on human health.