Real licorice ( Glycyrrhiza glabra ), illustration
Real licorice ( Glycyrrhiza glabra ) is a plant of the subfamily Schmetterlingsblütler (Faboideae) within the family of the Leguminosae (Fabaceae). Real liquorice is best known for the sweet liquorice obtained from the liquorice root . The plant is also used as a tea drug . The liquorice was also known as common , bald , Spanish or German liquorice.
The German name liquorice , like the generic name, goes back to the Latin glycyrrhiza , which is a loan word from the Greek glykyrrhíza from γλυκύς ( glykys , "sweet") and ῥίζα ( rhiza , "root"). With glycyrrhizium (Süßwurzel) was originally the dry root, then called the whole plant. The Latin name had already undergone a folk etymological change in Middle Latin under the influence of liquor ("liquid") to liquiritia , from which the German name arose.
Licorice is a perennial, herbaceous plant that reaches heights of 50 to 150 centimeters. The plant is branched. The stems and petioles are hairy or balding. The alternate and stalked leaves are imparipinnate with 9–17 pinnate leaves. The mostly entire, short-stalked leaflets are ovate to elliptical, about 2–5 cm long and 1.5 to 2.5 cm wide. They are rounded and sometimes briefly spiky at the front, pinnate-veined and dotted with sessile resinous-sticky glands on the underside. The stipules are small and sloping.
In late summer, bluish-purple and white butterfly flowers appear in short, upright, stalked clusters in the axils of the leaves. The butterfly flowers are 8–12 mm long. They are short stalked. The cup is bell-shaped for a short time. The calyx teeth are longer than the calyx tube and lanceolate, pointed. The petals that form the boat are not fused and not beaked in front. The individual flowers are underlaid by a short, pointed, sloping bract . The pods are up to 3.5 cm long and 4-6 mm wide. They are flattened, mostly bald or slightly hairy and relatively straight, as well as mostly more or less pointed, beaked . When ripe they are leathery and red-brown. When fully ripe, they jump up. Each pod contains two to eight round, smooth, about 2-3 mm large, slightly flattened and greenish-brown seeds. The roots are harvested in autumn. The flowering time is June to July, more rarely until autumn.
The number of chromosomes is 2n = 16.
The liquorice is native to the Mediterranean region and western Asia. It is sensitive to frost and prefers full sun and deep, humus-rich , permeable soil.
Real licorice contains glycyrrhizin , a mixture of potassium and calcium salts of glycyrrhizic acid. This glycoside , which gives liquorice its taste, has about 50 times the sweetness of cane sugar . By splitting off the diglucuronide , glycyrrhizin is converted into 18 β- glycyrrhetinic acid , which itself no longer has any sweetening power. Numerous triterpene saponins such as 24-hydroxyglycyrrhizin and soy saponins I and II are contained in low concentrations . Among other glycosides as Glabrinsäure and oleanolic acid derivatives containing licorice root more than 40 identified flavonoids . These include the chalcone derivative isoliquiritigenin and the corresponding 4-O-glycoside Isoliquirtin and flavanone Liquiritigenin and its glycoside Liquiritin . Isoflavones such as formononetin , or sterols and higher alcohols have also been detected. Furthermore, coumarins such as in umbellifers as lovage occurring umbelliferone included. Among other volatile flavors, anethole and geraniol have been identified. The acidic polysaccharide Glycyrrhizan GA is the main component of the further contained polysaccharides .
Licorice root acts due to the contained saponins, especially the glycyrrhizic , expectorant (expectorant), secretolytically (schleimverflüssigend) and sekretomotorisch (expectorant). An antibacterial and antifungal effect has been demonstrated in licorice extracts . Typical areas of application are cough, bronchial catarrh and other diseases of the upper respiratory tract.
Licorice root is also used for gastritis and stomach ulcers. The experimentally and clinically proven anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effects are not yet fully understood. The proven anti-inflammatory effect of glycyrrhizic acid should not result from an inhibition of prostaglandin biosynthesis , but rather from an influence on the migration of leukocytes to the site of inflammation. In addition, glycyrrhizic acid itself influences the steroid metabolism by inhibiting the enzyme steroid 5 β -reductase ( EC 188.8.131.52 ) and possibly also the NAD + -dependent 11 β -hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2 . These enzymes break down cortisone and aldosterone , so their inhibition leads to a prolongation of the biological half-life of the corticosteroids and, in the case of high aldosterone levels, to high blood pressure and potassium loss .
For the treatment of chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis , glycyrrhizic acid is used in combination with glycine and cysteine as an infusion in East Asia. For glycyrrhizin antiviral effect was hepatitis A and C occupied. Licorice sugar is also said to block the production of a herpes virus protein that normally prevents the cell from detecting the pathogen. Without this protein, the cells become aware of the intruder and initiate their own death. The dose required for this is, however, much too high to be achieved through normal (harmless to health) consumption of liquorice, and has not been demonstrated in living people, but only in cell cultures. Further research is also examining the antiviral effects on the herpes virus, which causes Kaposi's sarcoma .
In combination with ammonium chloride and anise oil , liquorice root extract is processed into salmiac pastilles . They were already described in Hager's Handbook of Pharmaceutical Practice from 1925 as "traditionally used medicinal products to dissolve mucus in the respiratory tract" .
Dried licorice sticks are also chewed for dental care, whereby in addition to the ingredients it contains, the property of the wood also comes into play: when chewed, it becomes very fibrous and thus forms a natural toothbrush.
Use as a luxury food
The root extract or the thickened juice of the root of real liquorice is used to produce liquorice or liquorice. It is mainly confectionery that is consumed in the form of sweet liquorice or salty liquorice. However, licorice can also be found in numerous other products, for example in alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages (such as licorice liqueur ) and even in ready-made sauces; Licorice extract is also used in small quantities in spirits such as pastis . In the production of liquorice, the ingredients are extracted from the roots as raw liquorice and thickened, after which they are mixed with other ingredients.
The classic growing area is the Middle East.
In Germany, liquorice was previously grown in different regions, especially in the south, but cultivation has declined sharply and is now only operated by individual private individuals and in Bamberg by the Bamberg liquorice company.
- Napoléon Bonaparte is said to have always carried liquorice powder with him.
- The licorice was named Medicinal Plant of the Year 2012 (The “Study Group Development History of Medicinal Plant Science” at the University of Würzburg has been awarding the “Medicinal Plant of the Year” award since 1999. The title is awarded exclusively to medicinal plants with an interesting medical and cultural history and proven medicinal properties ).
- The term liquorice grate stands for flattering, complimenting behavior, especially with men who court a woman. In this meaning it was used, among other things, in a parody by the Berlin hit song Die Holzauktion with the line "De janze Fuhre liquorice cost a Daler, and rasps jib's for free". The noun form licorice rasp has been used since 1848 and is "a mockery of those who only endeavor to say pleasant things to the world". An older expression in use up to the 17th century was taking liquorice in your mouth , which stood for a submissive friendliness that soothed a potential opponent. For example, Hans Sachs (1494–1576) recommended taking susswood in the mouth as a means of appeasing a quarrelsome woman in three sorts of plank songs.
The medicinal properties of liquorice roots were known in ancient times . The ancient Egyptians valued liquorice and knew a liquorice drink called Mai sus . Theophrastus of Eresus , who lived around 350 BC. Lived in BC, valued liquorice as a cure for coughs and as a thirst quencher. Liquorice is said to have been part of the standard equipment of the Roman soldiers. In his story of sweets , Tim Richardson points out that French and Turkish soldiers also carried liquorice in their packs during the First World War .
In Central Europe, liquorice has been known as a remedy since the Middle Ages. Falsified was liquiritia by mixing it with honey. In Great Britain liquorice thalers were made for therapeutic purposes. It was not until 1760 that a pharmacist named George Dunhill added sugar to the liquorice, so that from then on it was consumed as a sweet.
In the legendary Chinese pharmacopoeia Shennong Bencaojing , a liquorice root (甘草 gancao) was described in a prominent place. It should have a generally invigorating effect. Taken for a long time, it should make the body light and prolong life. In the 13th century, the doctor Li gao 李 杲distinguished between raw licorice root (生 甘草 sheng gancao) and roasted licorice root (炙 甘草 zhi gancao) in a book entitled Rules for Using Medicines (用藥 法 象 yongyao faxiang), which he assigned different strengths and different directions of action. This classification was emphasized in the official Chinese pharmacopoeia of 1985, where the raw root was recommended for general strengthening from the center (spleen / stomach), the roasted root was recommended for raising the qi 气 . In the scheme of the Chinese juice theory , liquorice root is classified as a general compensatory medicine (sweet taste and balanced temperature effect).
- China: Stuart 1911
- Antiquity - late antiquity: Theophrast 4th century BC --- Dioscorides 1st century --- Pliny 1st century --- Galen 2nd century --- Pseudo-Dioscorides de herbis femininis . 6th century
- Arab Middle Ages: Avicenna 11th century --- Constantine 11th century --- Circa instans 12th century --- Pseudo-Serapion 13th century --- Ibn al-Baitar 13th century
- Latin Middle Ages: German Macer 13th century --- Hildegard von Bingen 12th century --- Innsbrucker (Prüller) herb book , 12th century --- Herbarius Moguntinus 1484 --- Gart der Gesundheit 1485 --- Hortus sanitatis 1491
- Modern times: Otto Brunfels 1532 --- Hieronymus Bock 1539 --- Leonhart Fuchs 1543 --- Mattioli / Handsch / Camerarius 1586 --- Nicolas Lémery 1699/1721 --- Onomatologia medica completa 1755 --- William Cullen 1789/90 - - Jean-Louis Alibert 1805/05 --- Hecker 1814/15 --- Pereira / Buchheim 1846/48 --- August Husemann / Theodor Husemann 1871 --- Bentley / Henry Trimen 1880 --- Theodor Husemann 1883
- Pharmacopoeia : Pharmacopoea Borussica 1805 --- Pharmacopoea Borussica 1865 --- Pharmacopoea Germanica 1872
Vienna Dioscurides 6th century
Pseudo-Dioscurides de herbis femininis manuscript 14th century
Tacuinum sanitatis manuscript 14th century
Garden of Health 1485
Hortus sanitatis 1491
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- innovations-report.de: Licorice prevents herpes cancer disease , March 2, 2005.
- F. Curreli, AE Friedman-Kien, O. Flore: Glycyrrhizic acid alters Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus latency, triggering p53-mediated apoptosis in transformed B lymphocytes. In: The Journal of clinical investigation. Volume 115, number 3, March 2005, pp. 642-652, doi : 10.1172 / JCI23334 , PMID 15765147 , PMC 1051998 (free full text).
- Gerhard Handschuh: The history of the Bamberg liquorice cultivation. In: "Because wos ä rightä gardening, ...". Festschrift for the 125th anniversary of the Upper Gardeners Association Bamberg 1864–1988. Römerdruck, Bamberg 1988, pp. 107-127.
- Michael Witt: Naschkatzen, Süßholzraspler , in Die Rheinpfalz on Sunday, August 12, 2007, p. 19
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- Franz Köcher : The Babylonian and Assyrian medicine in texts and studies. I-VI, Berlin 1963-1980, BAM 574: I 1-3.
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- Pedanios Dioscurides . 1st century: De Medicinali Materia libri quinque. Translation. Julius Berendes . Pedanius Dioscurides' medicine theory in 5 books. Enke, Stuttgart 1902, p. 265 (Book III, Chapter 5): Glykyrrhiza (digitized version )
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- Avicenna , 11th century: Canon of Medicine . Translation and adaptation by Gerhard von Cremona , Arnaldus de Villanova and Andrea Alpago (1450–1521). Basel 1556, Volume II, Chapter 445: Liquiritia (digitized version )
- Constantine the African , 11th century: Liber de gradibus simplicium . Pressure. Opera . Basel 1536, p. 347: Liquiritia (digitized version )
- Circa instans 12th century print. Venice 1497, sheet 200v: Liquiricia (digitized)
- Pseudo-Serapion 13th century, print. Venice 1497, sheet 118 (No CXLVII): Sus. Liquiritia (digitized version )
- Abu Muhammad ibn al-Baitar , 13th century, Kitāb al-jāmiʿ li-mufradāt al-adwiya wa al-aghdhiya. Translation. Joseph Sontheimer under the title Large compilation on the powers of the well-known simple healing and food. Hallberger, Stuttgart, Volume II 1842, pp. 66-67: Sus. Glycirrhiza glabra (digitized version )
- German Macer . After: Bernhard Schnell, William Crossgrove: The German Macer. Vulgate version. Niemeyer, Tübingen 2003, S. (Chapter 89). Cpg 226 , Alsace, 1459–1469, sheet 205v (digitized version ) . Transcription: (.lxxxiiij. Ljquiricia is called lackericz he is hotter and fuchter natural / and is good and sweet before the cough and mustard the kele and rumble the chest and also the way to the lungs and dispel the thirst (What makes the stomach so if it is spread and boiled with water it is good for all these things
- Charles Victor Daremberg and Friedrich Anton Reuss (1810–1868). S. Hildegardis Abbatissae Subtilitatum Diversarum Naturarum Creaturarum Libri Novem. Physica , Book I, Chapter 19: Liquiricium . Migne, Paris 1855. Sp. 1138 (digitized version ) - Translation: Herbert Reier: Hildegard von Bingen Physica. Translated into German after the text edition by JP Migne, Paris 1882. Kiel 1980, p. 56: Liquiricium is of moderate warmth, gives people a clear voice, no matter how you eat it, makes your sense friendly, your eyes clear and softens your stomach for digestion. It is also very useful to the madman if he eats it often because it wipes out the anger in his brain.
- Innsbrucker (Prüller) herb book , 12th century: Liquiricia . Friedrich Wilhelm (Ed.): Monuments of German prose of the 11th and 12th centuries . Munich 1914/16. Department A: Text, pp. 44/45; Section B: Commentary, p. 114. Transcription: Liquiritia iſt gŏt uur die hůſten. below wr the bruſtſweren . Translation: Licorice is good for coughs and chest problems.
- Herbarius Moguntinus , Mainz 1484, Part II, Chapter 20: Liquiricia (digitized version )
- Gart der Gesundheit . Mainz 1485, Chapter 224: Liquiricia (digitized version )
- Hortus sanitatis 1491, Mainz 1491, Part I, Chapter 258: Liquiricia (digitized version )
- Otto Brunfels : Contrafayt Kreüterbůch . Johann Schott, Strasbourg 1532, p. 327: Süßholtz (digitized version )
- Hieronymus Bock : New Kreütter Bůch . Wendel Rihel, Strasbourg 1539, Part II, Chapter 119: Süßholtz (digitized version )
- Leonhart Fuchs : New Kreütterbuch ... Michael Isingrin, Basel 1543, Chapter 70: Süßholtz (digitized version )
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- Nicolas Lémery : Dictionnaire universel des drogues simples. , Paris 1699, pp. 328-329: Glycyrrhisa (digitized version ) ; Translation. Complete material lexicon. Initially drafted in French, but now after the third edition, which has been enlarged by a large [...] edition, translated into high German / By Christoph Friedrich Richtern, [...]. Leipzig: Johann Friedrich Braun, 1721, Sp. 496–497: Glycyrrhisa (digitized version )
- Albrecht von Haller (editor): Onomatologia medica completa or Medicinisches Lexicon which explains all names and artificial words which are peculiar to the science of medicine and the art of pharmacy clearly and completely [...]. Gaumische Handlung, Ulm / Frankfurt am Main / Leipzig 1755, Sp. 910–913: Liquiritiae radix (digitized version )
- William Cullen : A treatise of the materia medica. Charles Elliot, Edinburgh 1789. Volume II, pp. 406-407: Glycyrrhiza (digitized) . German. Samuel Hahnemann . Schwickert, Leipzig 1790. Volume II, pp. 452-453: Liquorice . Glycyrrhiza (digitized version)
- Jean-Louis Alibert : Nouveaux éléments de thérapeutique et de matière médicale. Crapart, Paris, Volume II 1804/05, pp. 109–112: Réglisse (digitized version )
- August Friedrich Hecker 's practical medicine theory. Revised and enriched with the latest discoveries by a practicing doctor . Camesius, Vienna, Volume I 1814, pp. 84–88: Radix Liquiritiae (digitized version )
- Jonathan Pereira’s Handbook of Medicines Doctrine. From the point of view of the German Medicin edited by Rudolf Buchheim . Leopold Voß, Leipzig 1846-48, Volume II 1848, pp. 603–605: Glycyrrhiza glabra (digitized version )
- August Husemann / Theodor Husemann : The plant substances in chemical, physiological, pharmacological and toxicological terms. For doctors, pharmacists, chemists and pharmacologists. Springer, Berlin 1871, pp. 678-680: Glycyrrhizin. Glycyrretin (digitized version )
- Robert Bentley , Henry Trimen : Medicinal plants. J. & A. Churchill, London 1880, Volume II, No 74 (digitized version)
- Theodor Husemann: Handbook of the entire drug theory. Springer, Berlin 2nd ed. 1883, pp. 349–352: Radix Liquiritiae (digitized version )
- Carl Wilhelm Juch: Pharmacopoea Borussica or Prussian Pharmacopoeia. Translated from Latin and accompanied by comments and additions by Dr. Carl Wilhelm Juch , Stein, Nuremberg 1805, p. 120: Radix Liquiritiae. Licorice (digitized) ; P. 141: Succus Liquiritiae. Licorice juice (digitized version) ; P. 210: Elixir ex Succo Liquiritiae. Liquorice juice elixir (digitized) ; P. 295: Pasta Liquiritiae. Liquorice paste (digitized) ; P. 300: Pulvis Liquiritiae compositus. Compound licorice powder (digitized) ; P. 305: Species ad Decoctum Lignorum. Species for the wood potion (digitized version) ; P. 306: Species ad Infusum pectorale. Species for breast potion (digitized version ) ; P. 317: Succus Liquiritiae depuratus. Purified liquorice or liquorice juice (digitized) ; P. 325: Syrupus Liquiritiae. Licorice root syrup (digitized version)
- Friedrich Mohr : Commentary on the Prussian Pharmacopoeia: together with a translation of the text ... Friedrich Vieweg, Braunschweig 1865. After the seventh edition of the Pharmakcopoea borussica. Third edition in one volume. Friedrich Vieweg, Braunschweig, p. 245: Extractum Glycyrrhizae crudum. Raw licorice extract (digitized) ; P. 246: Extractum Glycyrrhizae depuratum. Purified licorice extract (digitized) ; P. 524: Pulvis Glycyrrhizae compositus. Compound licorice powder (digitized) ; P. 531: Radix Liquiritiae. Licorice root (digitized) ; Pp. 572-573: Species ad Decoctum Lignorum. Species to the wooden potion. - Species ad Infusum pectorale. Breast tea. (Digitized version) ; P. 621: Syrupus Glycyrrhizae. Licorice Syrup (digitized version )
- Hermann Hager : Commentary on the Pharmacopoeia Germanica . Julius Springer, Berlin, Volume I (1873), p. 656: Extractum Liquiritiae Radicis. Licorice extract (digitized) . Volume II (1874), p. 535: Pasta Liquiritiae. Liquorice pasta (digitized) ; P. 559: Pulvis Glycyrrhizae compositus. Breast powder (digitized) ; P. 586: Radix Liquiritiae. Liquorice (digitized) ; P. 587: Liquorice sugar (digitized version ) ; P. 684: Species ad Decoctum Lignorum. Wood tea (digitized) ; P. 686: Species pectorales. Breast tea (digitized version ) ; P. 761: Syrupus Liquiritiae. Licorice syrup (digitized version )
- Transcription and translation Unterkircher: Liquiritia : complexio calida et humida temperate. Electio: recens, cuius radix media inter grossam et subtilem, lenis, equalis substantie. Iuvamentum: confert raucedini vocis et asperitati gutturis et provocat urinam, aperit opillationes nutritiuorum et renum. Nocumentum: eius sucus facit abominationem et debilitat appetitum. Remotio nocumenti: cum passulis. Quid generat: bonum sanguinem. convenit omnibus complexionibus, omni etati, tempore et regione. Licorice : Complexion: warm and moderately moist. Preferable: fresh, the roots of which are neither too thick nor too thin, soft and of uniform substance. Benefits: good against roughness of the voice and rough throat, urges the urine, opens blockages of the nutritional pathways and the kidneys. Harm: its juice provokes disgust and weakens appetite. Prevention of harm: with grapes. What it creates: good blood. Beneficial for all complexions, for every age, every season and in every area.