WILD LICORICE

 

Scientific Names:  Glycyrrhiza lepidota

Common Names:   American Licorice, Sweet Rice, Amolillo

 

 

Appearance:  A large, sweet-pea looking plant that forms large colonies connected by creeping rootstalks. Leaves are pinnate and odd numbered , with a single leaflet at the tip and pairs of leaflets along the stem.  The entire foliage tends to be sticky-waxy to the touch with scale like roughening.  The plant stalk is about 2 ft in height with elongated flower clusters growing in the axils between the stalk and leaf stems.  The flowers are white to light yellow green, clover like blossoms that mature to dense cluster of finely barbed seeds. 

 

Collecting:  The roots should be dug in the autumn as carefully as possible to make sure to leave hole root intact.  They should be dried loosely out of the sun , and the large tape roots should be dried after splitting into sections.

 

Medical Uses for Asthma:  It is an excellent remedy for inflammatory upper respiratory conditions, and can be used singly or with other remedies, and has peculiar ability to facilitate the effects of other herbs or drugs increasing there strength.  i.e.  Used with Horehound or Mullein they are more effective for early dry throat and inflamed bronchial when combined.  The roots can be boiled to make a tea or smaller roots can be chewed on to help decrease asthma symptoms.

 

 

Caution:  Large amounts of wild licorice can be toxic.  Consumed in large amounts over time it can act like a steroid hormone, raising blood pressure, increasing sodium retention and depleting potassium levels, elevate blood pressure, lower energy levels, and even cause death.  Pregnant or nursing women, people with heart disease, high blood pressure, glaucoma or kidney or liver disease, and people taking hormones or digitalis should not use this herb.