Monday, August 9, 2010

Licorice - yet another example of modern day food processing.

I like licorice, I especially like chocolate and licorice. One day at the herbal shop I purchased some licorice on one of the women's recommendation. Got it home and tried it out. It tasted revolting, overpoweringly sweet and nothing like what you purchase at the shop.

Turns out that licorice in the shops is more like flour, sugar, aniseed and black colouring. Real licorice is a wood root and is very sweet. It tastes much nicer when you just have a very small amount, and I would reccemend the "wood chipped"  version, see photo below, to the powder.

I believe that it is the significant changes to our diet such as the removal of licorice from licorice that combine to give us major health problems.

This post was created as I was reading about a study that investigated specific chemicals in real licorice extract. This was their conclusion:
These results support, in part, the traditional use of licorice to treat and prevent diseases in which oxidants or free radicals are implicated and suggest that LI could be used as a potential non-specific immune stimulator.
So basically it is good for you. Yet all that licorice that I love in the store will not have these health benefits.! 

Reference: José Cheela, Pierre Van Antwerpenb, Lenka Tůmováa, Gabriela Onofrec, Doris Vokurkovác, Karim Zouaoui-Boudjeltiad, Michel Vanhaeverbeekd and Jean Nèveb Free radical-scavenging, antioxidant and immunostimulating effects of a licorice infusion (Glycyrrhiza glabra L.) Food Chemistry Volume 122, Issue 3, 1 October 2010, Pages 508-517 doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2010.02.060
Licorice chips wikipeadia.

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