Blessed Thistle – The Monk’s Tonic
A Bit of History
The licorice plant arrived in North America with the British in the 1600s. Native Americans quickly adopted the licorice plant as did the enslaved African Americans. Roots and barks have always been used as toothbrushes, remedies, tea, and spice, and the licorice root was one of them. In the mid-1800s, at the start of today’s candy industry, the licorice root became a penny candy, and the extract was used to flavor sweets. Licorice eventually played a leading role in one of the nation’s top soda flavors: root beer.