Review of Organic Licorice Root

6 of 104 of 53 of 564 of 100

A co-worker who is into the natural, herbal-wellness scene offered me a bag of this tea to try, which of course is irresistible when it's something I haven't reviewed in this medium before. Looking up licorice root online, it's advertised as beneficial to gastrointenstinal difficulties. My response: "I ain't got digestive problems, so I'll just try it for the taste." The mystery: does licorice root taste like the candy (or a favorite of mine, anise, which it is supposed to resemble chemically, and which often flavors such candy)? [Hint: no!]

Now, I like to steep teas for a long time regardless of origin, just to haul out every last microgram of flavor possible. It was rather peculiar, however, for the directions specifically to request a 10-15-minute soaking (which I obliged). Often I'll also squeeze the wet bag into the tea, in another bid to coerce every possible fleck of flavor. Curiously, the directions called for that too. The suspicion arose: Why should it take that long just to extract the recommended level of effect? Does licorice root, in ground-up form, somehow lock in its amazing tonic powers until it is boil-soaked sufficiently to coax out the desired herbal wizardry, as if mandating a form of aqueous biochemical safe-cracking?

Between those directions and the way the tea is labeled and packaged, it felt like the occasion for some sort of ritual: light beeswax candles in formation in a dark room, sit cross-legged, utter a few unintelligible chants, count to ten by twos, forward and backward, touch my pinky-finger tips to my ear lobes with thumbs out, and recite: "Work that magic, O mighty hot water, and yield to me the mysterious potion of well-being."

The bag-squeezing exercise yielded a rather slick, almost soapy feel to the resulting liquid, similar to what I've experienced with linden-flower tea. Finally I drank the stuff. What do you know--it tastes like linden flowers! The resemblance of the two flavors is so striking that licorice root and linden flowers might as well be at least fraternal twins gestated from the same herb-tea womb. Since I like the latter, I have to grade licorice root similarly. If you like linden-flower tea and can't find any, this is an ideal substitute. If not, ignore all the impertinent rubbish you're reading in this assessment. ;-) Though soothingly and pleasantly flavored, my grade does reflect some drag against value due to expense (based on what my co-worker paid at a health-food store) and the faintness of the aroma.

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