Aromatic plants

Licorice plant

The licorice plant

The licorice plant is a perennial herb that grows up to one meter in height. It is resistant to low temperatures and grows mainly in Mediterranean areas and in calcareous and clayey soils. The plant is formed with a long rhizome from which branches and roots extend that reach about two meters. It comes from antiquity: licorice was already known in ancient Egypt, China and Assyria. Greek medicine already used it but it was introduced in Europe by the friars. The term “licorice” comes from ancient Greece and means sweet root, it is significant that since ancient times a name was used that indicated only the root, which is the only thing that is used of the plant. The term therefore indicates everything that can be extracted from the plant.

How to plant licorice root

Like all plants, licorice can also be safely grown on the balcony of the house, like all aromatic plants. It needs little care and grows quickly. It can grow even where the winters are very harsh, but it does so more slowly. On this occasion, however, it will lose all the leaves keeping only the trunk, the leaves will return when spring arrives. At this point, how to plant licorice root? We must first make sure that the plant has a good exposure to the sun, for the heat it needs, then we check that the soil has no weeds and its pH is at 6. In the event that the pH does not meet the required canons fertilize the ground properly. Between February and early March, dig a hole in the ground and place the purchased plant vertically.

Periodic fertilizations

Since the root is used from the plant, we must preserve it during daily care. Watering must be sporadic, usually every two to three days, but before wetting it, we must make sure that the earth has been dry for at least two days. If this is the case then we pour three glasses of water to wet the earth, thus avoiding the roots from rotting, making us lose all the work! To keep the plant alive, it is necessary to carry out periodic fertilizations, at least twice a month, by adding nitrogen-based fertilizers to the water. However, we can also choose to fertilize once every three months, but we must use extended release granular fertilizers. Although it is an evergreen plant, there are times of the year when it loses some of its leaves. Let’s not be alarmed; it’s normal,

Licorice plant: Collect our licorice

After three years have passed, during which time our plant forms its roots in the best possible way, we can finally harvest licorice. First of all, we must eliminate the aerial parts of the plant, that is, we must remove the leaves. Once this is done, we can uproot the roots. It is usually impossible to remove them all, so we can be sure that we will get a next production. The roots thus extracted must be cut into medium-sized pieces, washed and dried in the sun or in the oven at a low temperature. We can now benefit from the effects of the licorice plant, and its uses, which are manifold. First of all, the liquorice juice is used to flavor and color beer, and also to obtain a satiating effect during diets. In medicine it is used in products to counter the onset of herpes. Let’s not forget that licorice stick is often used as a cigarette substitute for those looking to quit smoking.

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