Liquorice is a plant (Glycyrrhiza glabra) with the woody root having traditionally been either chewed for its juice or used to make a strong-tasting, black confectionery. It is native of the Mediterranean region and central and southwest Asia. Liquorice is a concentrated extract of the liquorice plant. Liquorice herb (Glycyrrhiza Glabra), the well known component of Liquorice sweets, is surprisingly one of the most important medicinal herbs on the planet. It has been used extensively in Chinese herbal medicine for thousands of years. The active ingredient in the liquorice herb is glycyrrhizin, a sweetener more than 50 times as sweet as sucrose (sucrose is esssentially cane sugar.