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4 December 2014 | Permalink

A hangover cure, an ingredient in lipstick, a flavouring for liquers and a favourite of Napoleon!

  • Napoleon is said to have always chewed liquorice root, which is said to have blackened his teeth. His valet wrote: “I gave him his handkerchief, snuff box, and another little tortoiseshell box containing small pieces of Liquorice.
  • The TV Chef, Gary Rhodes, visited Prontefract as part of his Rhodes Round Britain series and created Liquorice ripple ice cream.
  • The early Prontefract cakes were also known as Yorkshire pennies because of their size and shape.
  • Researchers in Chicago in 1998 looking into the effect of smells on sexual arousal found that a blend of liquorice and cucumber was the most effective aroma in turning women on.
  • Louis XIV’s doctor at Versailles recommended that the “King should only use liquorice from Pontefract as Spanish Liquorice was less medically effective”.
  • A Liquorice stick was also the name for a clarinet.
  • In 2003 Policeman Simon McEvoy prevented a gas explosion in a street in Oldham by plugging a leak with a liquorice all sort.
  • In the James Bond film Moonraker, the character Jaws, played by Richard Kiel, had to bite through a cable car cable. To achieve this, the cable was mad from liquorice strands braided together!
  • One innovative wartime use for liquorice was that some women used red liquorice sweets in place of scarce lipstick. If you licked a red liquorice comfit, you could rub the colour off onto your lips and then eat the sweet!
  • Liquorice was used from 1906 in the production of foam for fire extinguishes.
  • Liquorice has been used in beer for its foaming properties as well as flavouring for liqueurs (Sambuca) and other spirits such as Bombay Sapphire Gin.
  • Liquorice has been an ingredient in shoe polish, lipstick, insulating board, compost for mushrooms, jacquard loom cards, an adhesive agent in insecticides and a soothing ingredient in aftershave.
  • In Turkey, Syria and Lebabnon, liquorice is boiled with water to make sous, a popular refreshing drink, which is served ice cold.
  • Work was being carried out in 1944 in the USA, Canada and Japan to investigate the value of the liquorice plant in connection with stomach and colon cancer, AIDS, prostate cancer cells and strangely, the prevention of tooth plaque and the development of a pill to help quit smoking.
  • Liquorice forms part of a Korean hangover cure. Supporters of the concoction of liquorice root and honey reckon that it gets rid of a headache in 30 minutes by clearing toxins out of the liver