Black licorice has been a favorite confection for thousands of years. According to Healthline, licorice root which is used as a sweetener in many candies and beverages, has been used for its medicinal benefits for centuries. The ancient Egyptians used licorice root in tea to soothe gastrointestinal problems. The glycyrrhizin acid in licorice boasts anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.
Licorice is also touted as an excellent treatment for respiratory problems, reducing stress and assisting in the treatment of both breast and prostate cancers, according to ongoing research by the American Cancer Society. Topically, gels containing licorice can help treat eczema because of its antibacterial properties. Many holistic health practitioners suggest applying licorice to tooth decay to kill bacteria.
But the FDA has issued a stern warning if you are 40 years or older, eating two ounces of black licorice a day for at least two weeks could land you in the hospital with an irregular heart rhythm or arrhythmia.