Valentine.gr/The Greek Flowers Portal
 

flaglogo-gr.bmp (910 bytes)  

Unitedkingdom_sm.gif (528 bytes)  

Loading

Welcome To The Greek Flowers Portal

Home   Info   Contact

   

Join Valentine mailing list!
Enter your email address below,
then click the 'Join List' button:



 
ADVERTISEMENT...

 

  LINK OF THE MONTH

Valentine.gr  

November 2015

Did you know that Alexander the Great supplied his troops with rations of liquorice root whilst marching because of its thirst-quenching qualities?

Liquorice - Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabras)

Liquorice - Licorice - Glycyrrhiza glabra

Liquorice, or licorice, is the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra from which a sweet flavour can be extracted. The liquorice plant is a herbaceous perennial legume native to southern Europe, India, and parts of Asia. It is not botanically related to anise, star anise, or fennel, which are sources of similar flavouring compounds. Most liquorice is used as a flavouring agent for tobacco, particularly American blend cigarettes. Liquorice flavours are also used as candies or sweeteners. Liquorice extracts have a number of medical uses, and they are also used in herbal and folk medications.

Liquorice is a perennial, robust, herbaceous plant growing up to 1.5 m high with an extensive root system consisting of a tap root, root branches, and long runners. The woody stalk bears a loose foliage with unpaired pinnate, narrowly lanceolate leaves, about 7–15 cm (2.8–5.9 in) long, with 9–17 leaflets, covered with sticky glandular hairs.  The leaflets (like those of the False Acacia) hang down during the night on each side of the midrib, though they do not meet beneath it. The erect, 10 to 15 cm long blossom clusters grow from the leaf axils and bear numerous blue-lilac, blue-violet, or white-pink blossoms 0.8–1.2 cm (1/3–1/2 in) long. Licorice flowers from June to July. Flowers followed by small pods somewhat resembling a partly-grown peapod in form. In the type species glabra, the pods are smooth, hence the specific name; in others they are hairy or spiny.

The underground system, as in so many Leguminosae, is double, the one part consisting of a vertical or tap root, often with several branches penetrating to a depth of 3 or 4 feet, the other of horizontal rhizomes, or stolons, thrown off from the root below the surface of the ground, which attain a length of many feet. These runners are furnished with leafbuds and throw up stems in their second year. The perennial downward-running roots as well as the long horizontal stolons are equally preserved for use. 

The liquorice bush is native to Asia Minor and the Caucasus. It is found in the Mediterranean region, in the Balkans, and in the Near East. It loves sandy soil and grows in wasteland and dry river beds. Its feral occurrence from old cultivation is so widespread that it seldom must be cultivated today.

Liquorice grows best on sandy soil near streams, usually not being found in the wild condition more than 50 yards from water. Various indications point to the habit of this plant of fixing atmospheric nitrogen, as do many others of the family. It will not flourish on clay and prefers the rich, fine soil of bottom lands in river valleys, where there is an abundance of moisture during the growing period, but where the ground bakes hard during the hot, late summer months, when the dry heat is very favourable for the formation of the sweet constituents.

Liquorice is harvested in the autumn two to three years after planting. Countries producing liquorice include Iran, Afghanistan, the People’s Republic of China, Pakistan, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Turkey

The word liquorice is derived (via the Old French licoresse) from the Greek γλυκύρριζα (glukurrhiza), meaning "sweet root", from γλυκύς (glukus), "sweet" + ρίζα (rhiza), "root", the name provided by Dioscorides. It is usually spelled liquorice in British usage, but licorice in the United States and Canada. The species name glabra is derived from the Latin glaber, which means "smooth" or "bald" and refers to the smooth husks. 

Licorice plants were known in Chinese medicine as early as 2800 B.C. In Tibet they were considered a classical medicine. In the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutanchamon (1350 B.C.), the healing power of licorice roots is described. The use of licorice preparations to alleviate throat and bronchial infections is documented for more than 2000 years!

The use of the Liquorice plant was first learnt by the Greeks from the Scythians. Theophrastus (369-285 B.C.), in commenting on the taste of different roots (Hist. Plant. lib. IX. c. 13), instances the sweet Scythian root which grows in the neighbourhood of the Lake Maeotis (Sea of Azov), and is good for asthma, dry cough and all pectoral diseases.

Alexander the Great supplied his troops with rations of liquorice root whilst marching because of its thirst-quenching qualities.

In the Middle Ages, licorice was cultivated in Central Europe much more frequently than today. Remnants of this cultivation continued into the beginning of the 20th century. In Europe, the drug was long used only as an expectorant and flavoring agent. The beneficial effect of licorice in stomach diseases was not described until 1950.

The scent of liquorice root comes from a complex and variable combination of compounds, of which anethole is up to 3% of total volatiles. Much of the sweetness in liquorice comes from glycyrrhizin, which has a sweet taste, 30–50 times the sweetness of sugar. The sweetness is very different from sugar, being less instant, tart, and lasting longer. The isoflavene glabrene and the isoflavane glabridin, found in the roots of liquorice, are phytoestrogens.

Most liquorice is used as a flavouring agent for tobacco, particularly American blend cigarettes. Liquorice provides tobacco products with a natural sweetness and a distinctive flavour that blends readily with the natural and imitation flavouring components employed in the tobacco industry. It represses harshness and is not detectable as liquorice by the consumer. Tobacco flavourings such as liquorice also make it easier to inhale the smoke by creating bronchodilators, which open up the lungs. Chewing tobacco requires substantially higher levels of liquorice extract as emphasis on the sweet flavour appears highly desirable.

Liquorice flavours are also used as candies or sweeteners, particularly in some European and Middle Eastern countries. 

In the Netherlands, where liquorice candy (drop) is one of the most popular forms of sweets, only a few of the many forms that are sold contain aniseed, although mixing it with mint, menthol, or with laurel is quite popular. Mixing it with ammonium chloride (salmiak) is also popular. The most popular liquorice, known in the Netherlands as zoute drop (salty liquorice), actually contains very little salt, i.e., sodium chloride. The salty taste is probably due to ammonium chloride and the blood pressure-raising effect is due to glycyrrhizin. Strong, salty sweets are popular in Nordic countries.

Pontefract in Yorkshire In England was the first place where liquorice mixed with sugar began to be used as a sweet in the same way it is in the modern day. Pontefract cakes were originally made there. In County Durham, Yorkshire, and Lancashire, it is colloquially known as 'Spanish', supposedly because Spanish monks grew liquorice root at Rievaulx Abbey near Thirsk.

In Italy (particularly in the south), Spain, and France, liquorice is popular in its natural form. The root of the plant is simply dug up, washed, dried, and chewed as a mouth freshener. Throughout Italy, unsweetened liquorice is consumed in the form of small black pieces made only from 100% pure liquorice extract; the taste is bitter and intense. In Calabria a popular liqueur is made from pure liquorice extract.

Liquorice is also very popular in Syria and Egypt, where it is sold as a drink, in shops as well as street vendors. It is used for its expectorant qualities in folk medicine in Egypt.

Dried liquorice root can be chewed as a sweet. Black liquorice contains about 100 calories per ounce (15 kJ/g). Liquorice is used by brewers to flavour and colour porter classes of beers, and the enzymes in the root also stabilize the foam heads produced by beers brewed with it.

Glycyrrhizin has also demonstrated antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, and blood pressure-increasing effects in vitro and in vivo, as is supported by the finding that intravenous glycyrrhizin (as if it is given orally very little of the original drug makes it into circulation) slows the progression of viral and autoimmune hepatitis. In one clinical trial liquorice demonstrated promising activity, when applied topically, against atopic dermatitis. Additionally, liquorice may be effective in treating hyperlipidaemia (a high amount of fats in the blood). Liquorice has also demonstrated efficacy in treating inflammation-induced skin hyperpigmentation. Liquorice may also be useful in preventing neurodegenerative disorders and dental caries.

The antiulcer, laxative, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antitumour and expectorant properties of liquorice have been investigated. The compound glycyrrhizin (or glycyrrhizic acid), found in liquorice, has been proposed as being useful for liver protection in tuberculosis therapy, but evidence does not support this use, which may in fact be harmful.

In traditional Chinese medicine, liquorice is believed to "harmonize" the ingredients in a formula and to carry the formula to the 12 "regular meridians". Liquorice has been traditionally known and used as medicine in Ayurveda for rejuvenation.

Excessive consumption of liquorice (more than 2 mg/kg/day of pure glycyrrhizinic acid, a liquorice component) may result in adverse effects, and overconsumption should be suspected clinically in patients presenting with otherwise unexplained and muscle weakness.


Source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquorice
https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/liquor32.html
http://www.avogel.ch/en/plant-encyclopaedia/glycyrrhiza_glabra.php

 

  LINK OF THE MONTH

 

Suicide Tree - Cerbera odollam
Konjac - Amorphophallus konjac
Madagascar ocotillo - Alluaudia procera
Water Banana - Typhonodorum lindleyanum
Salak - Salacca zalacca
Natal Plum - Carissa macrocarpa
Ashanti blood - Mussaenda erythrophylla
Duranta - Duranta erecta
Maqui - Aristotelia chilensis
Manuka - New Zealand Tea Tree - Leptospermum scoparium
Suriname cherry - Eugenia uniflora
Australian Finger Lime - Citrus australasica
Sacred Flower of the Incas - Cantua buxifolia
Job's tears - Coix Lacryma-jobi
Velvet Bean - Mucuna pruriens
Java Apple - Syzygium samarangense
Screwpine - Pandanus utilis
Marimo - Aegagropila linnaei
Achocha/Caigua - Inca cucumber - Cyclanthera pedata
Rubber Tree - Hevea brasiliensis
Sugar cane - Saccharum officinarum
Sacha inchi - Plukenetia volubilis
Coffea - Coffee Tree - Coffea arabica
Liquorice - Licorice - Glycyrrhiza glabra
Mullein -Verbascum thapsus
Iceplant - Mesembryanthemum crystallinum
Chayote - Sechium edule
Roselle - Hibiscus sabdariffa
Black Goji - Lycium ruthenicum Murray
Rose Cactus - Pereskia grandifolia
Durian - Durio zibethinus
Jackfruit tree - Artocarpus heterophyllus
Cassabanana - Sicana odorifera
Chilean myrtle - Arrayan - Luma apiculata
Kurrajong - Brachychiton populneus
Rice-paper Plant -Tetrapanax papyrifer
Shell Ginger - Alpinia zerumbet
Harlequin Glorybower - Clerodendrum trichotomum
Coco de Mer - Lodoicea maldivica
Silver Tree - Leucadendron argenteum
Buffaloberry - Shepherdia argentea
Himalayan Honeysuckle - Leycesteria formosa
Raisin Tree - Hovenia dulcis
Borojo - Alibertia patinoi - Borojoa patinoi
Butterfly Pea - Clitoria ternatea
Honey Flower - Melianthus major
Ombu - Phytolacca dioica
Lion's Ear - Wild Dagga - Leonotis leonurus
Moringa - Miracle Tree - Moringa oleifera
Sea Daffodil - Pancratium maritimum
Spear Lily - Gymea - Doryanthes
Camphor tree - Cinnamomum camphora
Waterwheel - Aldrovanda vesiculosa
Flowering rush - Butomus umbellatus
Four o'clock - Marvel of Peru - Mirabilis jalapa
Dead Man’s Fingers - Decaisnea
Bitter Melon - Momordica charantia
Shoapnuts Tree - Shoapberry - Sapindus
Acerola - Malpighia
Monkey Ladder - Sea Heart - Entada gigas
Cherimoya - Annona cherimola
Caper - Capparis spinosa
Lithops - Living Stones
Chaste Tree - Vitex agnus-castus
Chilean Lantern Tree - Crinodendron hookerianum
Parrot's Beak - Lotus berthelotii
Water Hyacinth - Eichhornia crassipes
Guaiac Tree - Guaiacum officinale - Lignum-vitae
Mickey Mouse bush - Ochna serrulata
Cow's Udder - Solanum mammosum
Miracle fruit - Synsepalum dulcificum
Akebia - Akebia quinata
Chilean Firebush - Embothrium coccineum
Caesalpinia - Caesalpinia pulcherrima
Welwitschia - Welwitschia mirabilis
Saguaro - Carnegiea gigantea
Schisandra - Schisandra chinensis
Monarda - Bee balm - Bergamot
Tamarind - Tamarindus indica
Neomarica - Walking Iris
Red hot poker - Kniphofia - Tritoma
Sikkim rhubarb - Rheum nobile
Reseda - Mignonette
Paulownia - Paulownia tomentosa
Belamcanda chinensis - Leopard lily
Blue Poppy - Meconopsis
Cannonball Tree - Couroupita guianensis
Tamarillo - Cyphomandra betacea
Goji - Wolfberry - Lycium barbarum
Vanilla - Vanilla Planifolia
Stevia - Stevia rebaudiana
Pachypodium
Physalis
Ceropegia
Sturt pea - Swainsona formosa
Clematis
Grevillea
Jade vine - Strongylodon macrobotrys
Sansevieria - Snake Plant
Trochetia
Yareta - Azorella compacta
African tulip tree - Spathodea campanulata
Angel's Trumpets - Brugmansia
Achiote - Annato - Bixa orellana
Sausage Tree - Kigelia pinnata
Castor Oil Plant - Ricinus communis
Firewheel Tree - Stenocarpus sinuatus
Bat Flower - Tacca
Snake gourd - Trichosanthes cucumerina
Sedum
Hydnora - Hydnora africana
Pickerel Weed - Pontederia
Argan - Argania spinosa
Astilbe - False Goats Beard
Feijoa - Pineapple Guava - Acca sellowiana
Aquilegia - Columbine
Cassiope
Sweet Box - Sarcococca
Christmas Cactus - Schlumbergera
Foxtail Lily - Eremurus
Rue - Ruta graveolens
Pittosporum
Ylang-Ylang - Cananga odorata
Rose of Jericho - Anastatica hierochuntica
Gunnera
Waterlily - Nymphaea
Calico Flower - Aristolochia
Daylily - Hemerocallis
Contorted hazel - Corylus avellana Contorta
Torch Ginger - Etlingera elatior
Mistletoe - Viscum album
Devil´s claw - Harpagophytum procumbens
Teasel - Dipsacus
Pampas grass - Gynerium argenteum - Cortaderia Selloanna
Purple coneflower - Echinacea purpurea
Coral Tree - Erythrina crista-galli
Portulaca
Lobelia
Field Poppy - Papaver Rhoeas
Narcissus - Daffodil
Mimosa pudica - Sensitive Plant
Boxwood - Buxus sempervirens
Firethorn - Pyracantha
Star of Bethlehem - Ornithogalum
Cosmos
Muscari - Grape Hyacinth
Papyrus - Cyperus papyrus
Zinnia
Honeysuckle - Lonicera
Passiflora - Passion Flower
Calendula - Marigold
Lupine - Lupinus
Canna - Indian Shot
Witch Hazel - Hamamelis
Oak - Quercus
Brunsvigia - Candelabra Flower
Tree peony - Paeonia suffruticosa
Olive - Olea europaea
Cornflower - Centaurea cyanus
Desert rose - Adenium obesum
Oleander - Nerium Oleander
Abutilon
Sweet Pea - Lathyrus odoratus
Chaenomeles - Flowering Quince
Forsythia
Amaryllis - Hippeastrum
Butchers broom - Ruscus aculeatus
Bay Laurel - Laurus nobilis
Gloriosa
Bamboo
Gladiolus
Artichoke - Cynara scolymus
Clivia - Clivia Miniata
Dipladenia - Dipladenia sanderii
Date palm - Phoenix dactylifera
Peach - Prunus persica
Almond - Prunus amygdalus
Willow - Salix
Pomegranate - Punica granatum
Protea cynaroides
Colchicum autumnale
Bird of Paradise - Strelitzia reginae
Cardon - Pachycereus pringlei
Wolffia arrhiza
Puya raimondii
Fuchsia
Asphodelus - Asphodel
Primula - Primerose
Dicentra spectabilis - Bleeding Heart
Edelweiss - Leontopodium alpinum
Helleborus Niger - Christmas Rose
Zantedeschia - Calla Lily
Fritillaria imperialis - Crown imperial
Aster
Heliconia
Common Sunflower - Helianthus annuus
Bee Orchid - Orphys apifera
Convalaria majalis - Lily of the Valley - Muguet
Syringa Vurgaris - Lilac
Viola
Impantiens
Snowdrop - Galanthus
Poinsettia - Euphorbia pulcherrima
Dionaea muscipula
Banksia
Sea anemone
Amorrhophallus titanum
Rafflesia arnoldi

 

ADVERTISEMENT...



 

Valentine.gr/The Greek Flowers Portal
....

Home | Information | Advertise | Contact Us | Greek Version | English Version