The Sweet, Branch-like Thing

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What’s the sweet thing that looks like a branch?

  

If you can’t recognize the picture above, maybe these two pictures can give you a “Peter tingle.” (Seen Spiderman away from home? :)

  

   

  

Got it? This is what we call licorice, a plant and a common flavoring agent and food product. Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, an acid that may cause complications when taken in large quantities, which is the reason why licorice is not always safe as medicine but relatively safe as food.

   

What can licorice do?

   

Licorice is possibly effective for itchy and inflamed skin (eczema), heartburn (dyspepsia), recovery after surgery, bleeding, canker sores, dental plaque, and other conditions. People also take licorice to release cough or throat pain.

   

What should I pay attention to before taking licorice?

   

Licorice is likely safe for most people when taken by mouth as an additive in foods. If used as medicine, licorice is possibly safe if the dose is not too large.

   

If you have pregnancy or breast-feeding, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, a muscle condition caused by hypertonia, low potassium levels in the blood, kidney disease, sexual problems (for men), or surgery, stop taking licorice or ask your doctor for advice first.

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