From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet – Liquorice Root

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

I don’t normally write about herbs/spices/woods/roots that are more predominantly used in HooDoo/Conjure spells or witchcraft as I’m not 100% familiar with this kind of sorcery, however, I have a love affair with Liquorice root which I must write about!  No matter what kind of witchcraft you’re into – Green, Hedge, Kitchen, etc – this root is easily applied to most in one form or another.  And, most of all, it can be an excellent health aid when necessary.

Liquorice Allsorts

Liquorice Allsorts ~ heaven!

Liquorice root [Glycyrrhiza glabra], which means “sweet [glykys] root [rhiza]” in Greek and “glabra” is Latin for “smooth”, is a legume. It is native to the Mediterranean and parts of  South-West Asia and particularly to the Indian subcontinent, where it is called “Mulethi”.  It is a perennial herb/spice that grows to over a metre and a half tall.  It is not botanically related to Anise, Star Anise, or Fennel, which are sources of similar flavouring compounds. As many of you know, Liquorice root is the primary flavour you find in… Liquorice! And, growing up, I was the odd child who adored Liquorice Allsorts, along with horehound, and boiled sweets of any sort.  Most children were after anything with chocolate in it, but not the oddity that was my small self.


Liquorice Root

Liquorice Root ~ Photographer Unknown

The first thing you’re ever taught in little witches’ school is to carry a piece of Liquorice root in your pocket to attract love.  I highly expect that was from back in the time when a young lad would smell the sweet scent of Liquorice and be extra nice to the young lady who smelled of it!  But oh, is there ever much more you can use Liquorice root for.

In HooDoo, it is used primarily for compelling or dominating someone.  I personally don’t do this kind of magick, but if you do, this apparently is the one for making a lover do your bidding or anybody for that matter.   It is alleged to grant the bearer control over a person or situation. Because of this, Liquorice root is an ingredient in formulas used for controlling others, including Commanding Powder and Essence of Bend-Over Oil. I read that one can mix Liquorice root with Commanding Powder and sprinkle it around the room where they will meet someone they wish to control. You can also add Liquorice root to a conjure bag filled with so-called Love-Herbs, in order to dominate in a love affair. And, of course, chips of Liquorice root can be burned as an incense while doing a domination candle-spell.

Not judging those who wish to practise this kind of magick, but not my cup of tea.

A way to use Liquorice root/powder that is more up my street is that you can use it in spell-work to empower yourself and to strengthen your own will.  By this, after enchanting the root or powder for your purpose to strengthen your will or to empower you to do a necessary task, make a tea of it and as you drink, imagine yourself having the power to pass that test or to ace that job interview.  If you feel your will has been lagging, the same principle applies.  Or, if for health purposes you feel you should not drink the tea, you can either sprinkle it over yourself before the task.  You can also carry the root in a pouch which you have already cleansed and consecrated and enchanted for your purpose – yes, much like a HooDoo mojo bag.


Planet:  Mercury, says Culpeper, Cunningham says Venus

Gender:  Male [Feminine according to Cunningham]

Zodiac:  Gemini and Virgo

Element:  Fire [Water according to Cunningham]

Powers:  Love, Lust, Fidelity, Commanding, Control, Domination

Deity: Cliodhna, Freya, Hathor, Eros, Pothos, Mercury

Other Names:  Lacris {Welsh], Lycorys [probably medieval English with a Latin bent], Reglisse [Welsh], Sweet Root


In Nicholas Culpeper’s book, The Complete Herbal and English Physician, he writes:

Liquorice Plant

Liquorice Plant ~

It [Liquorice] is under the dominion of Mercury.  Liquorice boiled in fair water, with some Maiden-hair and figs, makes a good drink for those that have a dry cough or hoarseness wheezing or shortness of breath, and for all the griefs of the breast and lungs, phthisic or consumptions caused by the distillation of salt humours on them  It is also good in all pains of the reins, the stranguary, and heat of urine: The fine powder of Liquorice blown through a quill into the eyes that have a pin and web [as they call it] or rheumatic distillations in them doth cleanse and help them.  The juice of the Liquorice is as effectual in all the diseases of the breast and lungs, the reins and bladder, as the water, with some Gum Tragacanth, is a fine licking medicine for hoarseness, wheezing, &c.”

[Reins, if you’re wondering, dates back to Biblical times as the name for the kidneys]

Exactly as it is still used today.  As in regard to Fisherman’s Friend throat lozenges which contain sugar, liquorice extract, menthol, eucalyptus oil, dextrin, tragacanth, and capsicum tincture.  And, believe me, these work a treat on any sore throat and cough.

For most of us who use the holistic approach to medications, a simple cup of Liquorice tea will do a world of good.  And the good thing about Liquorice tea is, apart from all its healing qualities, that you do not need to add sugar.  Liquorice root is said to be fifty times as sweet as caster sugar which you would normally use in your tea.  There are more than 300 different compounds in Liquorice, some of which have antiviral and antimicrobial properties.  It is said to help eczema, impetigo, cellulitis, and folliculitis which are believed to be caused by Staphylococcus aureus. 

Other uses for Liquorice [not only the root but the leaves as well] is for stomach discomfort/ulcers, Hepatitis C, and tooth decay.  It was found that an extract containing glabridin and glabrene, which are flavonoids present in Liquorice root, is effective in relieving stomach discomfort. The extract reduced nausea, stomach pain, and heartburn. Glycyrrhizin may help treat hepatitis C, a virus that infects the liver. Without treatment, Hepatitis C can cause inflammation and long-term liver damage. Researchers have reported that glycyrrhizin demonstrates antimicrobial activity against hepatitis C in cell samples and may hold promise as a future treatment for this virus. Doctors in Japan have used the injections in patients with Hepatitis C which improves their health where no other drug does.  Some research suggests that Liquorice may help kill bacteria in the mouth that cause tooth decay.

And, of course, Liquorice is phenomenal for soothing a sore throat and many people think of Liquorice as a sore throat remedy, as such.  To prove a point,  a small study recruited people who were having a breathing tube inserted into their oesophagus before surgery. Following its removal, the breathing tube can cause a postoperative sore throat, known as POST. The researchers showed that gargling a Liquorice solution for 1–15 minutes before surgery was as effective as a ketamine gargle in reducing the incidence and severity of POST.  Another similar study found that solutions with a higher concentration of Liquorice were more effective than less concentrated solutions in improving POST.  I know which I would rather gargle with in light of all the bad business with ketamine!

Now, for the side effects and admonishments, which you know are coming…

Number one – if you have high blood pressure, it is best to avoid Liquorice tea or any product with real Liquorice in it [many sweets claiming to be Liquorice are flavoured with Anise oil as it tastes similarly].   Recently in the UK, a woman fell ill with nausea, headaches, and dizziness.  When she went to her GP she was diagnosed with hypertension.  It was caused by her drinking three cups of Liquorice tea a day!  As soon as she stopped drinking it, her symptoms disappeared.  Please, DO NOT make this mistake.  Yes, it is a delicious tea but too much of a good thing is not good as we all know.

I won’t tell you not to have a cup of Liquorice tea if you only use it for a sore throat or cough if you use it in moderation.  Even if you do have mild high blood pressure.  My blood pressure can get a bit spikey at times, but I would never avoid the Liquorice tea altogether if I needed it.  Still, I do want you to be forewarned that it is not a drink to have because you like it.  It is, in my mind, a completely medicinal tea and should be used only as such.

With that said, if your potassium levels are low, it is recommended not to eat or drink Liquorice as it causes your potassium levels to lower.   This can lead to abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, swelling, lethargy, and worst still – congestive heart failure – the path that poor woman in Sheffield was headed toward drinking three cups of the tea a day!

Pregnant women should not consume large quantities of Liquorice or take Liquorice root as a supplement. One study found that the glycyrrhiza in Liquorice could harm the developing brain of the foetus, leading to cognitive problems later in life. An older study found that heavy Liquorice consumption during pregnancy could lead to preterm birth.

Potential drug interactions

drugs that lower potassium

blood pressure medications

diuretics, also called water pills

heart rhythm medications

blood thinners, such as warfarin [Coumadin]

oestrogen, hormone therapy, and birth control pills


Please always use any tea or supplement under the advice of your healthcare provider.  Unless you are a licensed holistic or Aruyvedic practitioner, or at least a long-term practitioner of holistic healthcare, you may not always know what does or doesn’t work well with prescription medications.  Please do not take any chances with your health.

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to those whom this way wander. x


Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham

The Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicholas Culpeper

About Isabella

Everything worth knowing, I learned from my Nana. I'm a sixty-six year old cunning woman who practises a solitary English hedgewitch life in as near the old ways as I can. I do not sacrifice small animals, neighbours, nor eat children. I'm more interested in visiting my ancestors on hedgewalks. And, I am owned entirely by my lovely feline companion, Pippa [Lady Philipa Cattington].
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2 Responses to From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet – Liquorice Root

  1. solo666 says:

    I love you! And i am not gay:)

    ons. 11. mar. 2020, 08:38 skrev Speaking of Witch Wands & Magickal Things :

    > Isabella posted: “By Isabella @TheWandCarver Instagram: @thewandcarver I > don’t normally write about herbs/spices/woods/roots that are more > predominantly used in HooDoo/Conjure spells or witchcraft as I’m not 100% > familiar with this kind of sorcery, however, I have a lov” >

    Liked by 1 person

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