hist-brewing: Gruit and unhopped ale recipes

NeophyteSG at aol.com NeophyteSG at aol.com
Fri May 5 11:47:15 PDT 2000

This *might* help:

Licorice [Glycyrrhiza glabra] -- The most common variety from southern Europe 
and southwest Asia and the primary source for commercial licorice.

Chinese Licorice (Gan-cao) [Glycyrrhiza uralensis] -- One of the most 
commonly used Chinese medicinal herbs.  Benefits most organs and improves the 
taste of medicines.

Russian Licorice (Roman Licorice) [Glycyrrhiza echinata] -- A source of 
Russian and German licorice roots.

Northern Wild Licorice (Bedstraw) [Galium kamtschaticum] -- "Bedstraw" 
derives from "Our Lady's bedstraw," the common name of G. verum.  Legend has 
it that the Virgin Mary lay on a bed that was a mixture of bracken and G. 
verum.  The bracken did not acknowledge the child's birth and lost its 
flowers, but the bedstraw welcomed the child and blossomed.

So, given the context of a historical brew of European origin, I'd concur 
with the previous post that commercial licorice extract [Glycyrrhiza glabra] 
is right on the mark.  If you're interested in the actual dried root, a good 
source for the dried root (and most herbs) is Richters in Ontario, Canada 
<www.richters.com>.  You can get 50 grams (~1.75 oz.) for $8, and they ship 
anywhere in the US and Canada.  

Warm Regards,

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