Candy In the 1800s - Licorice Root - True Treats Historic Candy

Ginger Root Tea – Tasty Panacea


Ginger has a long, much documented history, used for spiritual and physical health and for protection against evil spirits.  A cultigen, ginger does not grow wild but is dependent on humans to cultivate it. Its was carried around the world starting in the year 5000 BCE in Southeast Asia. It eventually wound up in China, the Mediterranean, the British Isles and North America, carried by 17th century British sailors to relieve sea sickness. Throughout this time, it was used to prevent scurvy, ease upset stomach, and ignite lust, as it was used as an aphrodisiac. So important was ginger, Confucius (475–221 BC) reportedly ate ginger daily. Today, ginger is widely used for a variety of purposes, most commonly to ease nausea, relieve congestion and, above all, provide its spirited flavor!

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.

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