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Product Description

"Licorice root, American Licorice, Sweet Wood"

Glycyrrhiza is from the Greek word glycys meaning "sweet" and rhiza meaning "root". Lepidota means "scaly".

Sun Exposure               Prairie, Savanna
Soil Moisture Wet Mesic, Mesic, Dry Mesic, Dry
Bloom Time

Summer                          June, July

Bloom Color Cream
Max Height 2 feet
Wetland Code FACU-
Germ Code  A,H, I
Seeds Per Packet  75
Seeds Per Ounce   3,900


Common plant to the Great Plains and Prairies and outward to both coasts. Yellow-white, alfalfa-like flowers bloom from May to August . Wild Licorice loves disturbed areas like railroad right-of-ways and roadsides. Can reach 3 feet; stem is covered with tiny sticky hairs. There is more to this plant below the ground than above - the widely-spreading roots can reach down more than 5 feet.

An extract made from the roots of Wild Licorice has been used as an expectorant. Early settlers used a decoction from the roots to treat fevers in nursing Mothers. The Blackfoot tribe made a tea from the leaves and drank it to treat earaches. Wild licorice was also used as a purgative, as an agent to aid blood-clotting and as a treatment for inflamed mucous membranes and stomach ulcers.

The root was quite popular with Native Americans who chewed it raw or rasted in ashes. Early settlers also chewed the root raw and used it to flavor medicine, candy, root beer and chewing tobacco.

Edible Uses: Root - raw or cooked. Long, sweet and fleshy, when slow roasted they are said to taste like sweet potatoes. They can be used as a flavouring in other foods and can also be chewed raw as a masticatory, making an excellent tooth cleaner and also very good for teething children. The root contains 6% glycyrrhizin, a substance that is 50 times sweeter than sugar.

The tender young shoots can be eaten raw in the spring.

Medicinal Uses: American liquorice was widely employed medicinally by a number of native North American Indian tribes who used it in the treatment of a range of diseases. All parts of the body are medicinal, but the roots are the most active part. This species has properties similar to other liquorices which are widely used medicinally, though this species is rather neglected in modern literature. An infusion of the root is used to speed the delivery of the placenta after childbirth, it is also used to treat coughs, diarrhoea, chest pains, fevers in children, stomach aches etc. It is also used as a wash or poultice on swellings. The chewed root is retained in the mouth as a treatment for toothache and sore throats. The mashed leaves are used as a poultice on sores.

The leaves have been placed in the shoes to absorb moisture.

Herbal Uses: Unknown

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