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What Is Organic Licorice?

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  • Written By: Brandon May
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 02 September 2016
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Organic licorice is licorice grown and processed without the use of chemicals, pesticides or artificial sweeteners or additives, and is often minimally processed compared to its non-organic counterparts. Licorice is often sold as a health supplement for several different ailments, and its organic form can be found as a whole root or in a dried and powdered capsule form. Licorice candy that is labeled as organic is made with organic licorice or licorice extract, as well as organic sweeteners like evaporated cane sugar or malt syrup and various other organic additives.

The use of licorice root is often involved in alternative medicine, supposedly to help ease ailments such as poor digestion, immune system disorders and weak energy levels. Many health-conscious consumers purchase organic licorice root, whether fresh or ground into a powder, to avoid the complications of consuming any pesticides or added chemicals. When licorice is grown organically, it is grown without the use of pesticides or artificial fertilizers and instead uses natural methods for insect control and healthy growth. Supplemental organic licorice root is often sold in a powdered, capsule form and uses dried and powdered licorice that has not been treated with chemicals and carries an organic certification seal.

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Health foods stores may sell licorice candy that is made without the use of pesticides and often labeled as organic. Most of this licorice candy is made with organic licorice root extract, as well as organic sweeteners such as evaporated cane juice or organic malt syrup. Natural and organic flavorings and spices, such as mace and cloves, are also added to organic licorice candy to bring out the overall flavor. Many times, organic candy like licorice is processed minimally compared to its conventional and non-organic counterparts.

There are many governmental and government-recognized agencies that certify licorice to be legally labeled as organic, so seeking this seal is important if organic licorice is desired. Licorice labeled as being all-natural or grown without pesticides does not mean it is organic, as these terms are not heavily regulated by any organic certification agency. Although licorice grown organically may help reduce the chemical exposure an individual receives from pesticide residue consumption, any proposed health benefits of conventional licorice are not compromised in any way due to pesticide exposure. Also, most nutritionists point out that organic licorice candy is not a health food, despite its organic certification, as it still contains a significant amount of unnecessary sugar.

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