Botanical Name – Glycyrrhiza uralensis
Chinese Name – GAN CAO
English Name – Chinese Liquorice Root
Tincture made by a process of hydro-ethanolic percolation, with a ratio of 1 part Chinese Liquorice Root to 3 parts liquid. Liquid comprises of 75% water and 25% sugar beet derived ethanol.
Glycyrrhiza uralensis, also known as Chinese liquorice, is a flowering plant native to Asia. It is used as a sweetener and in traditional Chinese medicine. It is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. It is considered to be second in importance only to Panax Ginseng.
Liquorice root is most commonly produced in the Shanxi, Gansu and Xinjiang regions of China. It is most commonly found growing in Meadows, riparian woodlands and solonetzic slopes in Siberia, Mongolia, China and Japan.
Used in excess, it can cause cardiac dysfunction and severe hypertension.
The root contains glycyrrhizin, which is 50 times sweeter than sugar.
Medicinal Action and Uses
Detoxifying – Liquorice root is great for de-toxifying the body. It can remove over twelve hundred toxins.
Expectorant – The root is best known for its expectorant and demulcent activity. It is beneficial for treating cold, flu and sore throat and any illness caused by virus or bacteria due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Immunostimulant – This Chinese herb can also enhance the immune system by naturally boosting interferon levels. Interferon is a chemical that fights viruses. It’s Glycyrrhizinic acid content also stops the growth of harmful bacteria and viruses.
Stomachic – Chinese Liquorice root has been widely used in China for the treatment of ulcers. It possesses the ability to lower acid levels in the stomach, relieve indigestion and heartburn. It is also has mild laxative effects. It is good for relieving inflammation and irritation in the digestive tract. It also helps the liver by increasing the flow of bile.
Topical Uses – Externally, it is used to treat acne, boils and sore throats. Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties can assist in treatments for fungal infections like athlete’s foot and skin conditions such as rash, eczema and shingles and psoriasis.
Product is supplied in amber PET bottles with tamper evident screw tops.
Product is supplied in amber PET bottles with tamper evident screw tops. This keeps the contents fresh and protected from light. Look out for the QR code on the label - you can scan this with your smartphone to download the Certificate of Analysis document for this product.
What is a Tincture?
A herbal tincture is a concentrated extract of one or more herbs. The liquid in a tincture is a combination of alcohol and water. A tincture must contain at least 20% alcohol for preservation purposes. Alcohol concentrations tend to vary between 20% and 60%, but can be as high as 90% in some circumstances. At Herbal Apothecary we generally produce tinctures with alcohol concentrations of 25% - 45%. We use ethanol derived from sugar beat.
How Is A Tincture Made?
To produce the Glycyrrhiza uralensis / GAN CAO / Chinese Liquorice Root Tincture we combine a quantity of herb with a proportional amount of liquid. Depending on the herb and the strength of tincture required this ratio can be 1:2, 1:3 or 1:4. The herb, alcohol and water is placed in a production vessel suitable for the size of the batch.
Traditionally, tinctures have been made by a process of maceration. This is where the herb sits in the liquid and over a period of time the plant cells break down. This allows the plant matter to be released into the liquid. Occasionally the producer might agitate the mixture to help the process along.
At Herbal Apothecary we have spent decades improving our tincture production processes. We use a system called Hydro-Ethanolic Percolation. Percolation is where liquid slowly passes through the herb, from top to bottom. In our case, the liquid is not simply passed through the herb once and then collected. Instead, it is continually cycled through the herb. Hydro-Ethanolic Percolation is a combination of maceration and traditional percolation. The circulation of liquid through a spray head agitates the herb, helping the key chemical compounds to be released into the liquid.
Our production vessels are primarily stainless steel. We use low voltage (24v) pumps to circulate the liquid. We have also developed a system of float switches and relays. These ensure the pumps only activate when an adequate level of liquid is present in the sump at the bottom of the vessel. It can take some time for the liquid to filter through the herb.
We produce most of our tinctures using dried herbs, although we sometimes use fresh. It's important that the size of the pieces of herb in the production vessel are small enough for the alcohol to thoroughly penetrate. No prior processing is required for flowers and leaves which are smaller and more delicate. However, for roots, bark and berries which tend to be tougher and larger we use herbs which are diced up into small pieces. This ensures that the maximum amount of plant material can be extracted into the liquid.
The manufacturing process takes 7 days to complete. Once the process is finished, the herb is pressed to extract every last drop of precious liquid. The Glycyrrhiza uralensis / GAN CAO / Chinese Liquorice Root Tincture is filtered and then stored in bulk containers, before being bottled in smaller 250ml, 500ml and 1000ml quantities.
Click here if you'd like to know more about our herbal tincture manufacturing technology. At Herbal Apothecary we are committed to research - we want to provide a robust evidence base for the products we produce. As a result we review our manufacturing systems and processes in order to ensure we're making best use of the raw ingredients.