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Is licorice healthy?

  1. Licorice is a very popular sweet in the Netherlands that is often seen as unhealthy, which makes sense because sweets are unhealthy, right? Or is drop an exception to this rule? Since we Dutch people consume more than thirty million kilos of licorice per year, it would be nice if there were also some advantages to licorice.

What is drop?

  1. Licorice is one of the most popular sweets among the Dutch, something that people who are not from the Netherlands continue to amaze about. Together, the Dutch eat about thirty million kilos of licorice per year. Yet it is certainly not a Dutch invention; licorice is many centuries older than the Netherlands! Licorice is made from an extract of the licorice root. This was already widely used in the days of the Greeks and Romans because it helped against coughs and stomach ulcers. Thirty centuries ago, the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun received a large amount of licorice root into his tomb. Other rulers also often took licorice extract with them on expeditions and campaigns. Over the centuries, more and more ingredients have been added to the licorice extract, and eventually licorice was created from this.

Is licorice healthy?

  1. On the internet you come across sources that indicate that licorice is healthy and on the other hand sources that indicate that there are many disadvantages, below are the pros and cons. drawbacks are listed in order to clarify this.


  1. The camp that believes that licorice is healthy, for example, argues that licorice is good for the teeth: Researchers at the University of California have discovered certain substances in licorice. Glycyrrhizole A, for example, which inhibit bacteria that cause cavities. There are of course also positive effects of licorice that people notice more in daily life; for example, licorice works very well against a cold or sore throat. The reasons that the ancient Greeks and Romans already had for using liquorice extract still apply to us; licorice helps against stomach ulcers and coughing.


  1. As with many things, licorice is of course not healthy in large quantities. Too much licorice causes your body to retain more moisture, and the salt in the licorice causes high blood pressure. It is also true that licorice contains a lot of sugar. This is of course not bad for one or two liquorice, but often it does not stop at one or two liquorice, and the number of calories quickly increases into the hundreds. For people who have a genetic predisposition to cardiovascular disease, it is even more disappointing how healthy licorice is; there have been several cases of people ending up in hospital after eating too much licorice. These people suffered from the above symptoms, more fluid retention and / or higher blood pressure, but much more extreme than someone without this genetic predisposition would have.

Sweet vs. salty liquorice

  1. It is often said that sweet licorice is healthier than salty licorice, because the salt in licorice causes increased blood pressure. Sweet licorice, however, contains almost as much salt as salty licorice, but this cannot be tasted due to the large amount of sugar. Furthermore, there are no vitamins in both types, but some minerals. Salt liquorice contains 110 mg of potassium per 100 grams, and sweet liquorice contains 320 mg. Both have 20 mg of magnesium and 30 mg of calcium. It is also striking that sweet licorice contains more sodium than salty licorice. So you can see salty liquorice as healthier.

Never eat licorice again?

  1. In short, licorice is very unhealthy in large quantities. In small quantities it is not too bad. It is certainly not the case that licorice is healthy, but small amounts of licorice can help against a cold or annoying cough, but they are also very tasty without a cold!

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