Dried rhizomes and roots of a legume, Glycyrrhiza glabra, distributed from Europe to western Asia and North Africa, are the source of licorice, used to flavor tobacco and confectionery. In India, licorice is chewed with betel nut. Medicinally, it has been valued against indigestion. Derivatives of licorice have been used to treat stomach ulcers. "Spanish" (including Italian and Greek) licorice is considered the best quality. Lower quality "Oriental" licorice is cultivated in the Middle East, the Caucasus, and north China. In the United States, roots from different regions are blended to make various brands of licorice extract.
See: Plants as Medicines, p. 220
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