Taste the World's Best Licorice without leaving home.

Licorice International

What Is Licorice International?

Licorice International offers the largest selection of licorice in the United States. The company began as a mail-order business in New York City in 1996 and moved to its present headquarters in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2002.

Licorice International opened its online store in June 2002 and its retail shop in July 2003. The company ships to customers throughout the United States.

Licorice International brings the wonderful world of licorice right to your door. With more than 160 types of licorice available from 14 countries, you can taste the world's best licorice without leaving home. Visit us online at: www.licoriceinternational.com

We're here to serve YOU–the licorice lover, so if you don't see what you're looking for, please let us know. We'll do our best to bring the world's best licorice to you.


What Is Licorice?

The licorice plant is a perennial herb and a member of the pea family. Native to southern Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean, it is extensively cultivated in Russia, Spain, Iran, and India. The plant is prized for its roots, which contain glycyrrhizic acid. This acid, which is extracted from the roots, is fifty times sweeter than sugar. Licorice extract is used as a flavoring in food, tobacco, alcohol, cosmetics, and, of course, in licorice candy

How Licorice Is Made

There are two ways to produce licorice candy: the cornstarch molding process and the rope extrusion process.

In the starch molding process a tray with long rows of molds is filled with cornstarch to keep the licorice from sticking. Next, hot syrup containing
licorice is poured into the molds and cooled. How the syrup is cooked determines if the candy is tough, chewy or soft. After the cooling process, the licorice is dumped onto a packaging table and given a glaze.

Did You Know?

  • The licorice plant, a shrub, is officially a weed. It is about four feet tall with purplish flowers and grows in hot, dry places.
  • Licorice root is one of the most popular herbs in the world. Its botanical name comes from the Greek words meaning "sweet root."
  • The ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese, and Hindus recognized the natural medicinal qualities of licorice.
  • Licorice helps relieve the pains that accompany certain types of ulcers, and it is good for the adrenal glands.
  • Carbenoxolone, a compound derived from licorice root, may help slow the effects of aging on the brain.
  • Licorice root is a botanical ingredient in modern Chinese medicines used to manage cancers. Current research conducted at Rutgers, the
    State University of New Jersey, supports the use of licorice in the treatment of prostate and breast cancer.
  • In the United States, anise seed is a popular substitute flavoring for licorice. Although the anise seed has an unmistakable licorice flavor, it is not related to the European plant whose roots are the source of true licorice.


The licorice rope extrusion process is another way to make licorice candy. It starts with boiling a mix containing licorice root extract to an exact temperature. Next, flavorings and colorings are added and the mix is slowly cooked until it is a dough-like consistency. Afterwards, it is placed in an extruder that resembles a meat processor. The mix is forced out of tiny holes making it into a rope. The rope is sometimes twisted to give a more interesting form.

The History of Licorice

Licorice is not a recent discovery. The ancient Egyptians used it as a pharmaceutical, and copious supplies were found in King Tut’s tomb.Egyptian hieroglyphics record the use of licorice as a popular beverage among the men of the time.

Manuscripts from 360 A.D. talk of licorice helping eye ailments, skin diseases, coughs, and loss of hair. Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar are on record as endorsing the benefits of eating licorice. Since the 14th century, it has been used to soothe coughs, colds, and bronchitis.

Napoleon Bonaparte found licorice soothing during battle; he allegedly ate so much of it that his teeth turned black. (Don’t worry. The amount of licorice found in most of today’s licorice candy will not discolor your teeth.)

Modern licorice candy dates from 17th century Holland. At the time, Holland was one of the world’s most powerful countries. Her intrepid sailors spread this wonderful delicacy to other European nations. Today, licorice candy is manufactured throughout Europe, America, and Australia.

The Health Benefits of Licorice

Licorice is especially useful in fighting bronchitis, upper respiratory catarrh, and coughs. It stimulates mucus production and helps to loosen sticky phlegm. It also contains a chemical that has cough-suppressant properties.

Licorice also helps reduce stomach acid and increases mucus secretion in the gastric tract, soothing irritation and inflammation. It can be used to fight heartburn, indigestion, and gastric and duodenal ulcers. It may also shorten the healing time of mouth ulcers.

Small amounts of licorice, such as those found in candies, do not pose a risk. However, licorice is a powerful drug, and serious health problems can result from taking it at medicinal levels for long periods of time. People who have high blood pressure, glaucoma, diabetes, kidney or liver disease, as well as anyone who is taking digitalis or who has had a stroke or heart attack should limit their licorice intake.

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