Licorice – A Sponsor of Happy Birthdays!

Licorice – A Sponsor of Happy Birthdays!

When I went to Italy, I recall having an upset stomach one evening after one of many fantastic meals made by my Italian friends. One of those friends reached in her purse & said, “Ecco.” (“Here.”) She handed me a tiny tablet that was smaller than a tic tac, and said “Put it under your tongue & suck on it.” It was so black, it actually looked like she might be giving me a “pill of death.” (ha!) It had a pretty bitter taste for a short while, but it ended on a VERY sweet note. It also ended with me wearing a black tongue for about 2 days. (I accidentally let it slip out from under there a few times. It stains the tongue.) I’m not completely sure what it was called, but it was a licorice tablet of some sort. Within 15 minutes – my tummy was better. I just didn’t talk as much for two days, so I wouldn’t have to explain my black tongue!

I bring up this story, because a strong and beautiful woman I know is celebrating her birthday today! She also happens to be a big fan of LICORICE flavored foods! When I was a kid, I thought of black jelly beans as being the discard of the bag, but as my taste buds have grown, I like licorice flavoring. After researching a bit on the health benefits of licorice, it turns out the birthday girl has been indulging in a mega health booster ever since she was a little girl!

‘Don’t Like the Black Jelly Bean?  Try licorice tea! One of my favorites is Egyptian Licorice Mint Tea by YogiTea. Click here to check it out!

Licorice Allsorts: confections made from licorice, sugar, aniseed jelly, coconut, fruit flavorings & gelatin. Very tasty!

Anise = The Black Licorice Flavoring

The star anise is botanically known as Illicium Verum. It is dark-brown in colour with eight segments. It is usually spicy-sweet and very aromatic.  It has a lot of uses outside the black jelly bean: seasoning for poultry & fish, cakes/pastries/biscotti, & many more!

 

 

 

 

Health Benefits of Anise:

~It’s prescribed as an digestive aid, promoting reproductive health, especially lactation.

~The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of star anise is useful in the treatment of respiratory issues.

~The “oil of star anise” is can provide relief from rheumatism and lower back pain.

~Chewing on Anise seeds after a meal freshens the breath naturally. In Indian restaurants, you’ll most likely be offered some. One of my favorite Indian restaurants has it in a sugar shaker mixed in with tiny sugar candies that are about the same size.  idea…….

~Shikimic acid, a compound present in star anise is also found in treatments for the flu.

~It contains a compound called Linalool that is a good anti-oxidant and keeps the body’s systems running properly.

~Mild cognitive problems that occur with some folks who battle type-2 diabetes, have been reported to be reversed or lessened with licorice candy!

~Anise seed water (steeped) is very helpful in relieving infants who have a runny nose!

~The spicy ones are filled with good minerals like calcium, iron, copper, potassium, manganese zinc, and magnesium.

 

Resources:

The Times of India – Star Anise Benefits

Live Strong– Licorice Candy

Nutrition and You – Anise Seeds

 

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