The History Of Licorice, The Root and Its Origins

Many of you might already know what licorice root is and even so that this root is used in the production of licorice.

However, to not loose your interest anymore on what you already do know, let’s dive into the real subject of this article. What is the history of licorice root, how does the root grow, and how is licorice root used nowadays?


Going back in time around 2300 before Christ, this is where the history of the licorice root starts. In China licorice root was used during this time as a magical cure. The cure was supposed to stop the ageing of men and instead make them seem younger. At least, this was what the Chinese Emperor Shennong believed when this was a discovery on his divine herb-root farm. Next to this, the root was being used to reduce pain in the human body and as an antitoxin.

Another story about the licorice root is that in 1350 before Christ licorice root has been found in a significant number of treasures. Such a treasure is from the famous tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt. The exact reason to be one of the treasures in this tomb is still a mystery.


When going back to Ancient Greece, licorice root has been used as a crucial ingredient in remedies. However, the licorice root was called differently, referring to the sweet root Greece gave the name Glycyrrhiza Glabra. This name has been given by Dioscorides. He was specialised in physics and was a botanist. Furthermore, he used licorice root in his five-volume herbal remedy treatise. Such a popular remedy is cough medicine. This also would have been a logical reason for the root to be found in the Egyptian tomb. Nowadays licorice root is still a common ingredient used for medicines against coughing and a soar throat.

A fun fact is that this licorice root was not only being used as remedies but also as a booster. This was for your body to keep the spirits up. This is exactly what the soldiers of Alexander the Great, king of Macedonia was doing. They chewed on licorice to give their bodies extra energy.


The plant where the licorice root comes from is a green and bright plant. The flowers on the side of the plant are in the shape of a pinecone. It grows in Mediterranean weather, such as in Southern Europe, South-West Asia, and the northern part of Africa. This is where nowadays the plant still grows in a belt. However, the richest land for the licorice root to grow nowadays is in Italy. To be more precise this region is in South Italy, called Calabria. To have a clearer picture of this region it starts with the beautiful mountains with an enormous amount of sun during the day. Small old villages, and a coastline with white sand and clear blue water. In other words, the perfect place for licorice roots to grow.


This plant has a significant root system, and the plant self grows to around one and a half meters long. Or even longer. However, the root itself grows mostly one meter deep, although it can be extended to a way deeper level. This level can be around ten meters deep. The ground also needs to be fertile and moist but nonetheless the plant needs well-drained soil. With this large root system under the ground the plant itself makes new plants. The shoot-up from the spreading stems of the system will happen in the second year. Another possibility is to cut off the stems and replace them in the ground. This supports the new creation of the Glycyrrhiza Glabra plant.

Due to the heat of the sun in the regions mentioned above: Such as Calabria and southern Europe, the plant creates its sweetness. Another fun fact is that the compound of the licorice root is 50 times sweeter than sugar. However, this licorice is less intense than the taste of sugar. This is because its sweetness is released in a slower speed. Instead of sugar, licorice root is not harmful to your teeth. So you do not have to worry about this.


In today’s world licorice root is being used as an elevated ingredient. Being used when having menopausal symptoms, digestive problems, bacterial infections, and a well-known medicine against coughing for thousands of years. This is due to the fact that when eating licorice it raises the amount of saliva. It even so is said by recent research that licorice root tea might prevent bloating and gas in the stomach. All together, this makes it to a remarkable amount of benefits. Additionally, the root is helpful for irritated skin since it contains anti-inflammatory goods. Besides licorice root being used as a remedy and medicine, it is also incorporated in licorice water, liquors, chewing gum with the taste of licorice and candy called licorice.


Such a company that sells this candy is Klepper&Klepper. The Best Licorice Ever according to Klepper&Klepper. They have a product range of five different flavours: Such as full sweet, mildly salt, honey, bay leaf and spicy salt. All these flavours use the best quality of licorice root to provide the licorice with a rich and deep taste. Moreover, during the autumn months people tend to catch a cold, which would be the perfect time to eat some licorice.

The last fun fact of this article is that licorice root helps to reduce anxiety symptoms. Due to the fact that it assists in regulating the production of cortisol. This hormone produces the stress hormone. So, during stressful times for example having an important meeting at work, a presentation at school or any other stressful period in your life licorice root would be the solution.


I am not saying to eat a whole package of our Klepper&Klepper licorice since this would be way too much. But one or two licorice per day keeps the doctor away.