Raw Cabbage is an extract derived from the root of the real licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra). The real licorice is a perennial, herbaceous plant of the genus of sweet woods. It reaches a stature height of 50 to 150 centimeters. The roots, which reach up to 3 meters and more, are harvested in autumn.
When harvested, the soil is broken up mechanically, so that the secondary roots that are harvested protrude from the soil and can be cut by hand from the main root. The main root remains in the soil and forms within 4 years again harvest-ripe secondary roots. The main distribution area for the real licorice is the Orient, but also Calabria, southern Italy, claims for itself to produce the best licorice in the world. The Calabrian "licorice farmers" derive this claim from the fact that climate and soil in Calabria offers the licorice the best conditions and dispenses with any artificial fertilizers and herbicides or pesticides.
However, the Calabrian and also the remaining European licorice production has to struggle because of cheap Asian imports with economic difficulties. The harvested roots are shredded, and the initially light juice is extracted by means of steam. Then the root juice is boiled and thickened for about 12 hours with constant stirring. The presence of oxygen leads to oxidation processes that gradually give the raw clay a dark color. After cooling and rolling, the tough raw licorice can be consumed directly as pure liquorice pastilles or be processed into confectionery, confectionery or other products.
In some Arab countries, especially in Syria and Egypt, licorice powder is used to make refreshing and very popular drinks that give the typical spicy-sweet liquorice taste. By far the greatest importance Liquorice has today in the processed form as candy, z. B. in the form of licorice snail and many other manifestations. The main active ingredient of licorice is a glycyrrhizin called mixture of potassium and calcium salts of glycyrrhizic acid, which gives the liquorice 50 times the sweetening power of cane or beet sugar. It is known that the health-related properties of licorice were already known and used in ancient times.
Licorice has a number of properties with health relevance. One of the most important properties is their mucus-promoting, expectorant and mucus-liquefying effect. In addition, the licorice is certified antibacterial and antifungal effect. Therefore, licorice is often used for the treatment of upper respiratory tract such as hoarseness, cough and bronchial catarrh.
Also an anti-inflammatory and anticonvulsant effect are attributed to the root extract of the real licorice. However, the biochemical course of the empirically found properties is not fully understood. The ancient Greeks and Egyptians also used the above licorice properties for the treatment of cough and similar ailments and diseases. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), licorice is still used as the standard remedy for treating heart problems, colds, ulcers and blemishes.
The Chinese licorice is extracted from a plant that is very closely related to the real licorice. In East Asia, glycyrrhizic acid in combination with the amino acids cysteine and glycine is also used to treat liver inflammation and liver cirrhosis. However, it is not just positive health issues associated with licorice.
The Glycyrrhizinsäure intervenes in the metabolism for steroid hormones and leads by inhibiting a degradation enzyme to a prolonged residence time of certain Corticoide such as cortisone and aldosterone. This can lead to high blood pressure and lead to potassium loss, which favors cardiac arrhythmias, because a stable heart rhythm requires a certain potassium concentration in the serum.
Besides the licorice extracted from the roots of the real licorice and the roots themselves, the plant has no significance for human nutrition. Even as cattle feed the real licorice is not used. The natural dried thin roots can be grated to make a spicy licorice tea.
The nutritional value of licorice and its content of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fiber are not in the foreground. Of particular interest are only the phytochemicals contained in the roots as sticky juice. First is the main active ingredient Glycyrrhizinsäure, a mixture of potassium and calcium salts. On the Glycyrrhizinsäure go back most of the properties of licorice - even its taste.
However, the Glycyrrhizinsäure should not be considered in isolation, because there are other substances such as essential oils, saponins, flavonoids, triterpenes, isoflavonoids and tannins available. The medically relevant effects of licorice are a result of all ingredients in the composite.
Little is known about direct food intolerances associated with the consumption of licorice. However, licorice also contains histamine, which in case of a pronounced histamine intolerance after consumption of licorice can lead to corresponding - mostly unspecific - symptoms.
If it causes gastrointestinal problems after consuming candies containing the main ingredient licorice, the symptoms can rarely be traced back to licorice. Often there is food intolerance to other components of the consumed candy instead.
Licorice consumption per capita varies considerably in European countries. A particularly creative and rich range of liquorice sweets and other products can be found in Scandinavian countries, especially in Sweden and Denmark. There you will not find salty liquorice without added sugar, which develops a special taste.
For the refinement and flavor of many dishes liquorice powder is an asset in the kitchen. Liquorice and licorice products from Calabria, southern Italy, which have been favoring licorice varieties that have come very close to the wild form of genuine licorice for several hundred years, are considered particularly intense in flavor. Especially fresh licorice products are obtained in late autumn, immediately after the harvest of licorice root.
Pure liquorice powder is used in the kitchen for the refinement and flavoring of many dishes. At a careful dosage, the licorice gives the dishes or the salad dressing a taste nuance that is most reminiscent of anise. Cooking with liquorice is relatively new and opens up unlimited possibilities.
For example, a risotto can be prepared, which gets a particularly piquant note with a sauce of white wine, chicken stock, licorice powder and goat cheese. Licorice powder is also particularly suitable for the preparation of desserts such as tiramisu. The taste combination of chocolate and liquorice has proven to be especially fine. There are no limits to your own creativity and experimentation.