Licorice root is harvested from the rhizome of a semi-tropical plant in the bean family that comes from Europe and some parts of Asia. This species, also known as sweet wood licorice and European licorice, is the one most familiar as a culinary herb.
In addition to tea, licorice root lends its flavor to simple syrups and lozenges, although the conventional licorice hard candies and “rope” sweet treat actually feature oil of anise as the primary flavoring agent with licorice added for sweetness. Licorice is also used in the pharmaceutical industry as a natural sweetener and flavor enhancer. In fact, due to the presence of glycyrrhizic acid, a compound that’s many times sweeter than sugar, licorice is also known as a sweet root.
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