The spice licorice comes from the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra, a perennial herb native to southern Europe and parts of Asia. Licorice is popular in candy, with its taste reinforced by aniseed oil, and is used as a flavoring agent for tobacco.
Licorice helps fight cavities. In Spain and southern Italy, the fresh root is chewed as a mouth freshener.
Licorice is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective (good for the liver), and beneficial to the cardiovascular system. In traditional Chinese medicine, licorice is commonly used in herbal compounds to “harmonize” ingredients.