World’s Best Eco Vegan Toothbrush! Eureka!

World’s Best Eco Vegan Toothbrush! Eureka!


How is it that some people who have never used a toothbrush have also never had a cavity.  At last – after wondering and researching casually for over ten years, I have found it!

Why the Stick? and Buy the Stick!

image source

The World’s Best Eco Vegan Toothbrush!

and guess what! It’s a STICK!  cut from the roots of the licorice plant!    see all about Licorice

i have found the STICK!  my search is over!

my search ended at Shipards Herb FarmLicorice Book   and    Licorice Root
from Shipards Herb Farm: How To Order –  If know what you are after, you may order or check the availability and price of any plants by emailing us at



Improvement is noticeable within a week! using the sticks naturally improves mouth hygiene dramatically.

i have been using my licorice stick now for three days. And my  teeth have taken on opalescent or perhaps a porcelain quality – and the faint patchiness of this new whiteness emerging indicate that there is more tooth whitening to come.
whitening was the last thing I was thinking of when I thought I would give this stick a real tryout!

PS miswak inspired me to find something here in australia.  and o dear, dare i say it? i think my licorice-root stick is even better than the best miswak. it is softer than most sticks, but i will reserve opinion until i test a few different miswak sticks.

for a period of about 1 year, i have had one tiny area at the base of one tooth which was seemed always to have an infection .  the dentist discovered it, and named it as pyorrhoea and cleaned under the skin at the base of the tooth. and it was gone. yet six months later, the pyorrhoea returned.

during this three days of using my lovely  licorice-root toothbrush, the most wonderful toothbrush of all,  i now do not have the beginnings of gum disease  … yeehah

Read more from these Fans of the Stick
1 Nadia, another fan of the STICK 
Growing up on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, my Mother was given the twigs of the hibiscus tree to use as a toothbrush – they referred to this as datwan
another possible fan, a learner’s diary blogger
3 the most excellent site all about Miswak and teeth

STOP PRESS!  UPDATE! march 2017

dawn of a new era = fancy MISWAK toothbrush    SWAK from Germany



Using Miswak has made me want to smile a lot more. Miswak has made my teeth a lot whiter. I wish I had taken pictures of my teeth two months ago. If I had, you would see a stark contrast between what my teeth looked like before I started using Miswak, and what they look like now. My teeth still aren’t perfect, but if I keep using Miswak, they will be.

Using Miswak has made me want to smile a lot more. Miswak has made my teeth a lot whiter. I wish I had taken pictures of my teeth two months ago. If I had, you would see a stark contrast between what my teeth looked like before I started using Miswak, and what they look like now. My teeth still aren’t perfect, but if I keep using Miswak, they will be.

A little history ….
Indigenous people, who typically possess a mouthful of flawless teeth, use herbs, twigs and roots to clean their teeth. Even the skulls of cavemen depict a mouthful of nearly flawless teeth. Our ancestors were using something natural to clean their teeth. Perhaps, something such as licorice root which is also an antibacterial herb that reduces plaque and has anti-cavity functions.

i have found the STICK!  my search is over!

UPDATE june 2017
because i have found my perfect toothbrush, the licorice-root, this site is now archived, still maintained. the only difference is that there are no longer any “contact” or “feedback” page. you can still comment on posts and pages.

thank you for your interest in this site dear readers – it is very widely read, so thank you for reading!       Cheers from marion


What Happens If We Don’t Clean Between Our Teeth


according to reports by dentist, some people who never even clean their teeth can have super healthy teeth. so i am not including them in this generalisation. in this introduction, i am referring to folks who regularly eat the usual western diet ……


If we do not clean in between our teeth, we end up with a hard substance on our teeth which is known as tartar. Unlike brushing to remove plaque, tartar can only be removed by our dentist. If tartar is left untreated or un-removed, more dangerous bacteria can continue to build up on it. These harmful bacteria produce harmful toxins which irritate and cause inflammation of our gums.

When our gums are irritated and inflamed we have what is called gingivitis.

If gingivitis is left untreated it can progress to periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is a condition in which bacteria and the harmful toxins they release invade the gums and the bone and other structures that surround our teeth supporting them. This can lead to bone loss, loose teeth, and eventually the teeth could fall out because now there is no bone or structure holding our tooth in place.

Why We Floss

The reason why we both floss and brush our teeth is to reduce the number of bacteria that reside in our mouths. There are millions of bacteria that live in our mouths and it is up to us to remove them to ensure optimal oral health. These bacteria, if left unremoved, feed on the food that gets left behind in our mouth after we have eaten. As a result of feasting on these food particles, these bacteria produce acid which eats up our tooth enamel resulting in cavities. These bacteria also cause bad breath by releasing what are called sulfur compounds. These bacteria attach to our tooth surfaces and are known as plaque. Plaque is the white, sticky substance that is found on our tooth surfaces which contain all these bacteria. Brushing the teeth will remove most these bacteria, but there are some that get left behind because the toothbrush can not get in between the teeth. This is why we need to floss. Flossing allows the bacteria in between the teeth to be removed. The American Dental Association recommends that we brush at least twice a day.

Importance of Flossing

You see next to brushing, flossing is the most important thing that you can do to ensure good oral health.
Flossing is important for several reasons:
Flossing removes plaque from those hard to reach places in between the teeth where the toothbrush bristles don’t go through. If we don’t floss through these areas then as time goes by plaque begins to accumulate and cavities begin to form.
. It reduces bad breath
. Prevents calculus from forming.
. If bacteria is not removed then it could lead to inflammation of the gums and even periodontal disease.


Various Methods of Interdental Cleaning

Wooden or Plastic Interdental Sticks

A modern adaptation of the toothpick is the triangular shaped wooden or plastic stick. Inter proximal cleaning can be aided with these triangular sticks. Wooden sticks are made of balsa or birch wood, and are more pliable than plastic sticks. Wooden sticks have another advantage over plastic sticks; the wooden tip can be softened in the mouth by moistening with saliva. A softer, more pliable stick can be adapted more easily to the proximal surface for more effective cleaning, and has less potential for gingival damage over time. These sticks are triangular in cross section to slide easily between the teeth, to conform to the shape of the embrasures space, and to reduce potential tissue trauma. Triangular wood or plastic tips should only be used on embrasures where the gum does not completely fill the space in between the teeth.

How to use a Wooden or Plastic Stick

Moisten the end of the triangular wood stick to soften it. Insert it inter proximally from the cheek side. Place the flat surface, or base of the triangle on the gum in between the teeth. Use a finger rest to prevent applying too much pressure of the tip of the stick against the gingiva. Press against the gum to flatten it slightly. Angle the stick slightly towards the edge of the tooth. Move the triangular stick from the side of the toot facing the cheek ton other opposite side near the tongue. Apply approximately four brushing strokes with moderate pressure on each side of the embrasure or space. Discard the stick when it becomes splayed to prevent splinters from entering the gum. splaying or fraying usually occurs when you have used it on one side if the arch. Plastics sticks can be washed and reused. Using triangular wood or plastic sticks to reduce bacteria has demonstrated a reduction in inflammation and bleeding sites. Wood triangular sticks have been shown to remove build up 2 to 3 mm from inside the gum by pushing down slightly in to the gums.


Floss String or Floss Tape

tape is soft and wide. string is hard and narrow.



Dental floss holder

Note: floss can be used with “my floss friend” or another dental floss holder






Knitting Wool

In areas where the gums that are in between the teeth have be worn down or in areas where teeth are exceptionally far apart, white knitting yarn can be used in place of floss for cleaning the sufaces in between teeth. Synthetic knitting yarn is recommended because wool yarn leaves microfibers that could irritate the gums. Knitting yarn can be used around the abutment teeth of fixed appliance, under pontics when the space is large enough. It is also used for bridges, teeth with open interproximal spaces, exposed furcations, around malpositioned teeth or separated teeth, and the back of the last molars.

Pipe Cleaners

A pipe cleaner is an interdental aid that is used to clean in between tooth surfaces with wide spacing. It is important to note that pipe cleaners should not be inserted all the way between the teeth, but rather just far enough to massage the tissue and remove any plaque. Pipe cleaners are recommended for individuals with Class III embrassures and for exposed furcations.

The metal core of the pipe cleaner makes it easier in open space, but should be used with caution since it can damage soft tissues. Pipe cleaners should be cut into 3- inch lengths, and a section is inserted into the embrasure space or furcation area. Wrap around the inner root surface and move back and forth in a “shoeshine” motion.

Cotton Gauze Strip/Bandage

Gauze is used to loosen and remove plaque and debris

Gauze strip is a folded 6- to 8-inch piece of sterile gauze used to clean abutment teeth, teeth located at the end of a row, the space underneath dental appliances that cannot be completely removed, and between teeth that are exceptionally far apart. A gauze strip can be used to clean the sides of a tooth that are located near where a tooth is missing., teeth that are widely spaced, or implant abutments. Gauze strips have also been recommended to clean the farthest side of a tooth which is farther back in the mouth and for dental implant abutments.

How to use a Gauze Strip
A 1-inch wide gauze bandage is cut into lengths of 6- to 8-inches and folded into half or thirds. The length wise edge of the gauze is positioned with the fold toward the gingiva or gums, and the edges folded inward to avoid gingival irritation. The gauze is adapted by wrapping it around the exposed proximal surface to the facial and tongue side of the tooth in a c- shape..




Waterpik version



What’s the difference between plaque and tartar?



“What’s the difference between plaque and tartar?” is a frequently asked question. Patients often think they’re the same thing. And they are kind of— but not really. Let me explain.

What Is Plaque?

Plaque is that soft, sticky film (harmful bacteria) that builds up on your teeth and under your gums throughout the day.

Fortunately, harmful plaque can be easily removed during, twice daily, tooth brushing and flossing.

  Any plaque that’s missed while brushing can cause our gums to become inflamed, appear red and puffy, and cause them to bleed more easily. When this happens, this is called gingivitis.

  Gingivitis is a reversible stage of gum (or periodontal disease) disease. Gingivitis left untreated can lead to advanced stages of periodontal disease and even tooth loss.

note: Plaque is known also as Biofilm

What Is Tartar?

If plaque is left on your teeth for too long, it will harden and become calcified.

  Tartar is calcified plaque and is also commonly known as calculus.

  Tartar or calculus is not easily removed during tooth brushing and flossing. In fact, only a dental professional can remove tooth tartar. And tartar removal is one of the reasons why the American Dental Association recommends you to have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined by a dentist every six months.

What’s The Difference between plaque and tartar?

The primary difference between plaque and tartar is its age and how easy (or not) it can be removed from the surfaces of teeth and gums.

  Loosely attached plaque eventually hardens if not removed.

  Effective tooth brushing and flossing can remove dental plaque from teeth surfaces, whereas, tartar or calculus can only be removed by a dental professional.

  It’s worth repeating here how important it is to brush and floss daily.

Photo Source: Pinterest


How does dental plaque form?

When you eat—especially carbohydrates or sugar—mix with the saliva (containing bacteria and germs) in your mouth to produce an acid.

  Over time, frequent and repeated acid attacks on a healthy tooth will impact the strength and integrity of the outermost layer of a tooth known as tooth enamel.

  The higher number of acid attacks tooth enamel is exposed to, the greater the risk teeth have for developing a cavity (tooth decay).

  Tooth decay is an irreversible condition that requires a visit to your dentist for a restoration. Left untreated, tooth decay will eventually progress to the innermost layer of the tooth containing the nerve and become quite painful until resolved. There is no known cure for tooth decay.

What does plaque look like on teeth?

The appearance of plaque in the mouth varies person to person. Generally speaking, plaque appears in varying shades of yellow-brown. The variation in color of a person’s plaque is dependant upon a person’s diet, overall health, and effectiveness of one’s daily oral health care practices.

Before and after picture of teeth professionally cleaned.

Pictured right is a before and after picture of a person who had their teeth professionally cleaned. If you look closely in the before picture, you’ll notice how the gums appear red, puffy and irregular in shape. This is because the plaque was not removed and hardened into tartar.

  The after picture shows a marked difference in the appearance of the teeth following a professional teeth cleaning.

  PS. The bleeding you see in the after picture is residual bleeding from the inflamed gums. If we were to take another follow up picture within 24-48 hours, you would no longer see any bleeding. Instead you would see the gums to be light pink-coral in color and no more puffiness or swollen gums.

How to remove plaque

The American Dental Association recommends for us to brush our teeth for two minutes, two times per day (morning and before bed) and to floss once daily.Brushing and flossing teeth help

Cleaning smooth surfaces

  Several studies have shown that electric toothbrushes when used correctly remove plaque and food debris than using a manual toothbrush.

Cleaning between teeth

  String floss is not your only option for cleaning between teeth. For there is a wide variety of dental “toothpick” styles to choose from.

  Our favorite are soft picks by Gum. They are single use, flexible, and available in different widths. Their flat handle and compact size make it easy for men to keep a few in their wallets and for women to carry in the purse.

  Waterpiks are another great option that research has shown to be almost as effective as traditional string floss.  A waterpik has multiple tips and settings that help you to effectively remove food debris between your teeth and gums.

Don’t forget to clean your tongue too!

  There are a variety of tongue cleaners and scrapers available that clean the top surface of your tongue and cheeks better than toothbrush bristles.

Use an antibacterial mouthrinse

 t’s inevitable that there will be plaque left behind following tooth brushing and flossing. Vigorously swishing with an antibacterial mouthrinse for 30 seconds will help to reduce the potency of left behind plaque.

  Popular antibacterial rinses include Crest Pro-Health and Listerine. Look for an alcohol-free variety if you suffer from a dry mouth. Alcohol-free varieties are also recommended for kids.

Chewing gum with Xylitol between meals

  Chewing gum that contains Xylitol has shown to help reduce the formation of plaque and can help reduce the severity of an “acid attack”. People who are sensitive to sugar alcohols should avoid using Xylitol products.

What happens if plaque and tartar are not removed?

Having your teeth professionally cleaned every six months to help prevent decayIf not removed, plaque and tartar will inflame teeth and gums causing your mouth to become very sore and make it increasingly difficult to chew comfortably.

  Plaque is a harmful bacteria that accumulates on the surfaces of teeth and gums.

  If not removed, plaque migrates downward on the tooth till it reaches the bone that holds your teeth inside the jawbone. When this happens, you have a non-reversible condition called periodontitis (commonly known as gum disease).

  Additionally, the presence of acidic plaque on teeth surfaces impacts the integrity of tooth enamel. Weakened tooth enamel is at an increased risk for developing tooth decay (dental cavity).

  Tooth decay is not reversible and requires the placement of a restoration from a dentist.

Call to schedule a professional teeth cleaning appointment

Call Dentistry for the Entire Family at (763)710-2865 to schedule a professional teeth cleaning and exam today.

Notes by Editor:

don’t use listerine if you want to avoid toxic ingredients. make your own wash by saturating unprocessed sea salt in warm water.

toxic= any substance which is either made naturally in the body eg food grade hydrogen peroxide ….. or that the cells cannot use to nourish or hydrate the cells.


Buy a Natural Bristle Toothbrush


online shop – brilliant quality- all shops used to be like this

other stockist  of several recommended brands: fuchs, lactona

FUCHS Manufactured in Germany. Fuchs (pronounced like “Fewks”)  meaning “fox”
Pure Natural Bristle – Natural bristle brushes are especially useful for people who require soft-bristled brushes to avoid damaging tooth enamel or sensitive gums. Natural bristle brushes run softer than their nylon counterparts. A soft natural brush is equivalent to an extra soft nylon one etc.
Fuchs Toothbrushes represent the state of the art in toothbrush design. Fuchs comes from one of the world’s leading toothbrush companies domiciled in Europe. The line goes far beyond standard nylon toothbrushes to include natural bristle toothbrushes, unique head and handle shapes for optimal dental hygiene, and the patented EkoTec replaceable head toothbrush system. Fuchs represents the future of dental hygiene with a brush to fit every need.

Fuch’s online shop      USD $ 5 soft. med.

Natural Jr Childs Medium UDS $5


iiHerb  On Sale Price now AUD $6 – soft. med.

KOH-I-NOOR    Manufactured in Italy. Extremely high quality.

USD $15 – $26.
Soft- badger bristle. Med and hard -Boar bristle.

Sale on now


Soft – Badger bristle

from left.soft to hardest. badger, black boar, white boar, nylon.



AKKA KAPPA  manufacture in italy

Acca Kappa Heritage Toothbrush – Black

7 euro. .medium bristles only

REDEKKER Manufactured in Germany


LACTONA Manufactured by family company in US

med. firm. xfirm

#18 NATURAL.    $34.00  3 rows of bristles + rubber pick

Lactona’s #18 features a short tapered neck with three rows of 18 tufts on the head that are perfectly end-rounded and serrated. The design of this brush is great for effectively cleaning between small spaces as well as maneuvering within a smaller oral cavity. Available with extremely effective boars bristles, this brush features a rubber stimulator toothtip® for ultimate oral health.

Available in assorted colors.

The Lactona story began in 1932 in St Paul, Minnesota where the company’s founder and first president, Dr. Glenn Millard decided to manufacture the ideal dental tools that he would personally want to use on his patients. He derived the name, Lactona, from the chemical Galactonic Lactone, an ingredient in elementary toothpaste that was sold by Lactona when the company first started. During the 1940’s, Lactona Corp. was in the forefront of a major change in toothbrush handle manufacturing – injection molding – that created the more durable, simpler handles of today. Prior to the advent of nylon filament, the handles featured hog bristles. To this day, Lactona has carried the excellent cleaning capability of the hog bristle into current manufacturing. The hog bristles are responsibly and ethically harvested, then washed and dried, sorted by length and color, and bleached and treated which is primarily done by hand requiring considerable skill. Lactona is the only American toothbrush manufacturer that still offers the highly effective natural bristle brush.

What makes Lactona’s toothbrushes more safe on delicate gingiva? Take a closer look taken with scanning electron microscope photography

i like the idea of this brush but do not buy this brush – the bamboo “bristles” will scratch your teeth enamel for sure

Citridodiol Links




about mosi-guard company

Science Journal Articles

Where to Buy





  • Active Ingredient, Extract of Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE)
  • Aqua, Ethanol and Isopropyl Alcohol



Lemon Scented Gum Eucalyptus citriodora; Family Myrtacae


What is PMD?

PMD is the abbreviation for p-menthane- 3,8-diol, also known as para-menthane- 3,8-diol, and is an active ingredient used in insect repellents. It is found in small quantities in the essential oil from the leaves of the Eucalyptus citriodora tree, also known as Corymbia citriodora. This tree is native to Australia, but is now cultivated in many warm places around the world.

What is PMDRBO?

PMDRBO (PMD Rich Botanic Oil) is a generic name for Citriodiol®, a naturally sourced active substance containing p-menthane- 3,8-diol (PMD) and other naturally occurring components from the Eucalyptus citriodora tree’s oil (common name: Lemon eucalyptus).

Is natural PMD the same as synthetic PMD?

No. PMD in Citriodiol® is generated directly from essential oils. The PMD from this oil is sold along-side the other naturally occurring constituents in the raw oil as a combined product with 100% purity. This natural PMD product, which is called PMD rich botanic oil or PMDRBO, has been notified under the BPR as “a mixture of cis-and trans-PMD/Citriodiol” and is about 50% more effective in repelling insects than like quantities of synthetic PMD.

By comparison, what is commonly referred to as synthetic PMD is not derived from an essential oil, but rather is typically a by-product of far more complicated multi-step chemical processes, for example making menthol. The resulting material contains only PMD and has no essential oil co-constituents.

Why is natural PMD (PMDRBO) better than synthetic PMD?

Simply put, in our view it is better for the consumer and better for the environment. Consumers benefit because naturally sourced PMD (i.e. PMDRBO) performs significantly better than synthetic PMD. An independent study published comparing synthetic PMD with PMDRBO shows that with like amounts of PMD, PMDRBO performed 50% better in repelling the target organism (in that case Aedes mosquitoes). (Drapeau 2011). In this study a 20% PMDRBO (which at a min 64% PMD contained ca. 13% PMD) alcohol spray offered over 5 hours complete protection against Aedes mosquitoes whereas the 13% synthetic PMD product provided only 3 ¼ hours of protection.

While both forms of PMD are rapidly biodegradable, the real benefit to the environment from PMDRBO is that it actually exists in nature in its final form. This means nothing is being added to the environment that has the potential to upset its natural order and balance. In addition, because the material used to make Citriodiol® is Eucalyptus citriodora oil, and this oil is distilled just from the leaves of some of the branches of the tree, allowing the tree to continue growing, using PMDRBO actually encourages the growth and maintenance of healthy trees to reduce the overall carbon dioxide content of our atmosphere. Even the waste product from the oil distillation process, known as “bagasse,” is added directly back to the soil around the trees as fertilizer, and is also dried and used to fire the boiler.


Homemade Vegan Toothpaste by Limitless Vibrations


this looks great!

around 3 tab. coconut oil

calcium magnesium with trace minerals.

2 tab. diatomaceous earth

1 teaspoon neem oil

vanilla extract (for nice taste)

clove oil 10 -20 drops

Mix and Serve! Yum Yum

How to Avoid Failing Teeth as Fruitarians



Don’t Eat Unripe Fruit
Don’t Brush the teeth after eating citrus – Instead swill mouth out with water – and when the mouth is definitely clean ie no food, then floss.

The Truth About Your Biodegradable Bamboo Toothbrush


following is an extract from My Plastic – Free Life. go here for full original article.

There’s no perfect toothbrush, but some toothbrushes are less perfect than others, and sadly, a few of them aren’t even what they claim to be.  Here are a few disappointing facts I have learned recently about other companies’ toothbrushes.  

Fully Compostable = Animal-Based

Right now, the only completely compostable toothbrush has a handle made from sustainably harvested wood and bristles made from pig hair.  (Here’s an example.)  The pig hair is a by-product of the Chinese meat industry.  It would normally have been thrown away.  If you eat meat, perhaps this toothbrush would be the right decision for you.  I personally have chosen not to use it because the only meat I eat comes from humanely raised animals from local farms in Sonoma or Marin Counties.  Since I don’t know how the Chinese pigs are treated, I don’t feel comfortable using their bristles for a toothbrush.  Perhaps one of the local pig farms out here could team up with a toothbrush manufacturer to develop a toothbrush I’d be more likely to trust.

What About Nylon-4?

Several toothbrush manufacturers claim that their bristles are made from Nylon-4, a petroleum-based plastic that has been shown in lab studies to biodegrade in the environment under certain conditions.  However, lab studies and real life are not the same things, and none of these manufacturers has provided any third-party proof that their toothbrush bristles actually will biodegrade, especially not in the cold waters of the ocean.  Furthermore, it is questionable whether all of them really contain Nylon-4 in the first place.

read the whole article >>>>>>>>>>

Many Benefits of Using a Toothstick

Many Benefits of Using a Toothstick

What Are the Benefits of Using a Toothstick?

Removes Bad Breath:

Bad breath is known as the condition of halitosis, is also eliminated if you use a toothstick for rubbing the teeth and gums. The refreshing and antibacterial property of Miswak helps you to get rid of the bad breath. Also, it increases the saliva production

Strengthen The Gums:

There are various gum diseases from which you may suffer if you don’t take proper care of the oral cavity. Disease like gingivitis (swelling and inflammation in the gums) is extremely painful. The gums are the only thing holding in your teeth. Use a toothstick instead of any other teeth cleaning method to strengthen your gums. Rub along the gums all over, back and front, especially where the teeth emerge from the gumline.

Protect Against Germs:

There are some bad bacterias or germs in the mouth which destroy the gums giving ways to various gum diseases. Using a toothstick regularly can help your teeth fight against those bad bacteria thereby, strengthening the gums.

Good To Treat Plaque:

Plaque is the colourless bacteria that forms on the teeth. Regular brushing removes the same however, a deposit of it causes ‘tartar’ which can worsen the teeth health and cause gum problems or teeth loss in future. Using a toothstick regularly helps in the removal of plaque due to its antibacterial properties.


• teeth whitening
• pigment removal
• killing off caries-associated bacteria
• bad breath neutralization
• polished teeth effect
• treatment and prevention of gum disease, canker sores and oral herpes
• balancing the pH in your mouth
• creates a fragrance in the mouth
• help in reversing tooth decay
• increases salivation and hence inhibits dry mouth (Xerostomia)
• rebuilding cracked tooth enamel
• natural remineralisation of tooth enamel
• caries and dental plaque reduction/prevention
• possibility to brush your teeth anywhere and in any situation
• living more sustainably and ecologically

why keep the stick on a PEG and
why NOT in an airtight container?

• bacteria will breed, creating mould, which also breaks down the fibres
• where is my stick? where did i leave it. have you seen my toothstick?
• if the stick is hanging on the wall next to your keys, you will remember to take it with you
• teeth cleaning is meant to be done when you are resting or relaxing or even laying down on the bed or floor. it is a pleasurable relaxing pastime. teeth cleaning is not meant to be done standing up, on the run or when you are in a locked room with people bashing on the door telling you to “hurry up! i want to use the bathroom!”

toothbrush o toothbrush!

toothbrush o toothbrush!

the toothbrushes, along with plastic water bottles are the most ubiquitous plastic items contributing to the floating  “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”
do not despair! we can stop using toothbrushes! and i think most of us no longer buy bottled water.

after 40 years of recycling, we know don’t we that it is better not to manufacturer the things in the first place?!

image and text extract:

Working along a single stretch of coastline in Sian Ka’an, Mexico’s largest federally-protected reserve, artist Alejandro Duran collects countless bits of trash that washes up from locations around the world. So far he’s discovered plastic debris from dozens of countries on this shore of the Caribbean coast which he utilizes for site site-specific installations for an ongoing project titled Washed Up. By creating aesthetically pleasing landscapes from a disheartening medium, it’s Duran’s hope to create a harsh juxtaposition that draws attention to the global catastrophe of ocean pollution. #washedupseries

image and text extract:

After collecting whatever trash she could carry with her, Thomas turned the debris into various designs that she hoped would challenge designers to rethink the way they view and use plastics.

Thomas sorted pieces of trash into simple yet striking color schemes to show the potential for beauty. For example, deteriorated toothbrushes, bristles in tact, are lined against a faded pastel purple.

image and text extract:

It’s a sunny afternoon and a crew of kids is building an epic sand castle on Willows Beach in Victoria, British Columbia. Using a fleet of toy trucks, they haul in moist sand from the shoreline to construct their masterpiece. One child pulls a toothbrush from the tipper and triumphantly sticks it in the sand castle like a flag on a turret. It’s hard to image what country the flag would represent; the ocean is full of toothbrushes and other plastic waste that know no borders.

Every minute, the equivalent of one real-life garbage truck full of plastic is dumped into the ocean.

image and text extract:

The world’s oceans have gyres, where much of our trash ends up. Is most of this debris plastic? What’s the estimated tonnage in these trash patches (some of which are said to be larger than the entire U.S.), and how densely are they packed?

—Georgene in Clinton, Washington

There’s a popular image of the oceans’ garbage patches as huge, solid islands of disgusting trash, but only somebody who thinks he’s Jesus would be crazy enough to try to walk on one. In fact, clots of closely packed debris are rare in the vast oceans, except in occasional eddies where fishnets, bottles, balls, and toothbrushes — and much more — agglomerate.

Between 60 to 95% of marine litter is plastic, and about 270 species are harmed or killed by becoming entangled in it or ingesting large pieces. Nobody knows the total tonnage, but some estimates say that 7 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans every year. (One whale washed up on the coast of France with a whole ton of plastic, including supermarket bags, in its belly.)

image and text extract:

According to NOAA and others, plastic debris in the oceans comes from many sources, including fishing lines, PET bottles, polyester clothing, detergent bottles, plumbing pipes, drinking straws and toothbrushes. The photo below comes from the website of a group called Heal the Bay


The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” is a commonly used term for what should be more accurately described as “The Eastern Pacific Trash Vortex.






VIDEOS worth watching
alison’s adventures



Licorice by Isabell Shipard



SCIENTIFIC NAME: Glycyrrhiza glabra




more on licorice   General usuage  coronavirus and all respiratory inflamations

For over 2000 years Licorice, the famous ‘sweet root’ was the basis for

by Isabell Shipard, currently out of print

sweets. As a claimed cure for ills it had an even longer history. Hippocrates mentioned licorice in 400 BC and Theophrastus “Father of the Greek Botany” considered it as being a valuable medicinal.

Pliny wrote 1900 years ago that licorice juice is first rate for clearing the voice, good for the lungs, liver and stomach. In the first World War, the French provided their troops with a beverage made of licorice root. Licorice has been attributed as containing rejuvenating, healing and nutritive properties, and it has been given to aid endurance and strength and has often been called a ‘cure-all’ in history.

The ancient Chinese divided their drugs into three classes, according to their reputed properties. Licorice was listed amongst drugs of the first class, because “They preserve the life of Man, and therefore resemble Heaven. They are not poisonous. No matter how much you take and how often you use them, they are not harmful. If you wish to make the body supple, improve the breath, become old in years without ageing in body, then make use of this class.”

Like the Chinese, the Hindus considered licorice an excellent general tonic, beautifying agent and elixer of life.

When the 3000 year old tomb of King Tut-Ankh-Amen of Egypt was opened, archeologists found quantities of licorice stored with fabulous jewellery and art works.

Licorice was often called ‘Scythic’ because the ancients declared that the Scythians, the redoubtable warriors of antiquity, could by chewing licorice, go for ten days without eating and drinking, for licorice allays both hunger and thirst.

The licorice plant originally came from the East and has been grown since early times in China, Persia, Turkey and the Mediterranean countries. In the present time it is propagated commercially in Spain, France, Russia, Germany, the Middle East and Asia. Licorice was first introduced in England in the Middle Ages and became a popular medicine. In the early 16th Century, licorice began to be cultivated in the monastery garden at Pontefract, which later became the centre of the licorice confectionery industry and of lozenges, for which it is still renowned. Licorice juice constitutes a large industry, although in the future, the cost of hand-harvesting in countries with high labour costs, may change the viability.

The name ‘licorice’, Glycyrrhiza glabra, comes from the Greek word glukos, which means ‘sweet’, and rhiza, which means ‘root’.

Licorice is a perennial shrub and grows to 1.5-2 metres high. Being a legume, it has the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen, and because of its deep-rooting tap root, it is considered very hardy. Creeping stolons or rhizomes from the main tap root can go down in the earth many metres, particularly in loose soils. The roots are brown and wrinkled and yellow on the inside. The extensive horizontal roots may form shoots with leaf buds and stems when well-established, usually in the second year. For this reason, in the home garden it is wise to allow the plant ample room to spread.

The long horizontal stolons can be used equally as well as the tap root. The root can be used fresh just by digging, washing and scraping as desired. It is very sweet.

The round stems are dark green, growing singularly or in groups above the ground. Once established, it makes an attractive bush with its graceful, light, pinnate foliage, presenting an almost feathery appearance.

The erect stems bear 4-7 pairs of leaflets 2-5 cm long. From the leaf axils, racemes of pale blue to lavender, or yellow-white flowers appear in late summer, followed by small brown pods containing 3-8 seeds.

The plant goes dormant in autumn and comes to leafy life again in spring. Length of dormancy depends on the coolness of the climate where it is grown.

Propagating, cultivation
Plants can be grown from seed, but propagating by means of cuttings from younger parts of the rhizome usually gives better results. Cutting 8-25 cm long are set perpendicularly in the soil. A deep, loose, moist, loamy soil is ideal. It is an advantage to enrich the soil with compost, or well rotted manure and to have a neutral pH level by adding dolomite, lime or ashes. Rocky and clay soils have grown licorice, but the root formation will be slower or restricted. The plant should not be placed in waterlogged or swampy conditions.

Licorice thrives in a warm climate, but adapts to cooler climates and withstands frost because it is dormant in winter. Plants grown commercially are usually set 7-12 cm apart in rows 45 cm apart. For home use, larger spacing is recommended.

Plants can be fertilised in Autumn and Spring. Young plants should be kept weed-free. Mulching is beneficial. Watering can be carried out in Spring and Summer if no natural rainfall has been recorded. Young plants will thrive with plenty of water. Dry periods during Autumn are quite favourable for the formation of the sweet content.

The root is usually dug in the 3rd or 4th year, although for home use, the 2nd year would yield a considerable quantity of useful root.

The sweet content of the root will be at its best if the flowers are pinched out as they develop. Plants that are allowed to flower and seed use up some of the sweet sap from the root system. If not dug out after the 4th year, roots take on a tough, coarse and woody character. Grown for commercial or home use, the shoots (often called canes) and leaf stems are cut back to soil level each year in Autumn until ready to be pulled.

about the book

unfortunately out of print.
there is one on ebay for $40

The booklet gives the history and the many health benefits of the plant and how to grow. For hundreds of years licorice has been one of the most used Chinese herbs

Licorice is a very special plant, the nutritive and rejuvenating properties have made it one of the most universally consumed herbs.

Since earliest recorded history, it has been valued as a beautifying agent, aphrodisiac, used for vitality and longevity, and often called an elixir of life. It is one of the oldest and best-known remedies for coughs and respiratory conditions.

Glycyrrhzin in the licorice root is a natural sweetener, and although 50 times sweeter than sugar cane, can be utilized by diabetics.

In Egypt, licorice water was a popular sweet drink in the time of the pharaohs. Roman legions considered licorice indispensable ration for their long gruelling campaigns; and it was said soldiers could go up to 10 days without eating or drinking as the licorice properties helped to build stamina and energy, which allayed both hunger and thirst.

It is a time-honoured herb in Chinese medicine, dating back thousands of years. Chinese herbalism applied the principle of prevention, by emphasising the use of tonics and adaptogens, using plants, like licorice, that can regulate, strengthen and invigorate the whole body.

Ten different bio-flavanoids have been found in licorice which are known to have an effect of strengthening the glands, hormone function and immune system, fight cancer cells and protect from cancer and cancer, to name a few. Numerous studies have been carried out on its therapeutic benefits particularly for duodenal and peptic ulcers, hormonal imbalances, respiratory and liver diseases. Studies show that it assists the liver to neutralise toxins.

Aleisha Stewart, Isabell's granddaughter Giving her full approval to licorice lollies

Aleisha Stewart, Isabell’s granddaughter giving her full approval to licorice lollies

Also, mentioned is the potential of licorice as a commercial crop. Most Australians have never tasted licorice root in its natural form. Only a small amount is grown in Australia, with most being exported to Japan for sweetening foods. There is an opportunity for growers to supply processors, city markets, health food shops, tourist attractions, food expos, country markets, and school tuckshops.

Licorice is one of nature’s many-facet natural remedies and sweet flavourings.

and more …..  source of text and images below


It is believed the plant originates from the East, however, it has been grown since early times in China, Africa, Europe, India and the Middle East.

Cut Licorice Root & Leaves

A very hardy, deciduous perennial to 1 metre or taller, growing from a strong root system made up of a taproot and many horizontal-spreading roots, spanning out 1 metre or more. Roots are 1-5cm thick, have a brown woody appearance, a yellow colour internally with fibre that can be pulled apart like long string. Above ground foliage forms on upright thin stems, pinnate leaves with 4-8 pairs of dark green elliptic leaflets 2-3cm long of fern-like appearance. Young leaves feel slightly sticky to touch. Lavender/blue pea flowers 1cm long form as axil clusters, followed by 2-3cm long smooth, brown pods containing 1-7 brown kidneyshaped, pinhead-sized seeds.

Plant licorice in well-limed, well-drained, loose, deep soil; preferably in a sunny position. If soil tends to be clayey, plant on raised beds or hills. Enriching the soil with compost and well-rotted animal manure is beneficial. Licorice should be given room to spread, at least 1-3 square metres. It is a good sign when the plant starts to sucker and send up new shoots, as it signifies roots are growing, with potential for future harvesting. It is the root that gives the flavouring, sweetness and therapeutic uses. Low growing annual herbs or vegetables can be grown around it for 1-2 years.

…  … see How can I use HERBS in my daily life? for full text.

Licorice will do well in temperate, warm and sub-tropical climates; also in

Licorice Patch

tropical areas provided the soil is free draining during wet humid weather. Licorice is not bothered by frosts, as it is dormant in winter, and actually benefits by the defined cold period, which induces the translocation of properties to the underground rhizomes. If plants are mulched thickly, to deter weeds and retain moisture, they will require little attention; but do take time to talk to them and encourage them to produce lots of yummy roots. Roots are dug, washed, and dried in the sun, shade or artificially. Fresh roots are pliable and cut easily. Once dried, roots must be stored away from heat, light and moisture (moisture from the atmosphere can cause mould to grow on roots), and the roots will keep their properties and flavour indefinitely. Licorice can be called a survival food, not only because it stores well, but for its use as a sugar replacement, a refreshing beverage, and its potential to quench the thirst, allay hunger, and its benefits for endurance. There are over 15 species of glycyrrhiza, but not all have sufficient sweetness to be of commercial use, or recognised for medicinal use.


volatile oils, fixed oils, linoleic and linolenic acid, resins, coumarins, alkaloids, tannins, tryptamine, indolo, pyrazine, pyrrolidine, phenols, saponins, flavonoids, salicylic acid, asparagine, betaine, chelite, glycyrrhizin, bitters, isoflavones, oestrogen-like steroids, mucilage, lecithin, protein


A, B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, E


calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chromium, cobalt, selenium, silicon, zinc


tonic, pectoral, alterative, expectorant, demulcent, emollient, diuretic, aperient, laxative, refrigerant, antiinflammatory, antispasmodic, antifungal, and antibacterial, emmenagogue, oestrogenic, cathartic, stomachic, antiviral, expectorant

Medicinal Uses

Licorice is a very special plant with many healing properties. The rejuvenating and nutritive properties have made it one of the most universally consumed herbs; widely used by practitioners of eastern and western herbalism. Since earliest recorded history, licorice has been valued as an aphrodisiac, beautifying agent, used for vitality, and longevity, often called an elixir of life. The earliest clay tablets found in Mesopotamia, tell of licorice as a panacea potion. It is one of the oldest and best-known remedies for coughs and chest complaints. In Egypt, licorice water has been a popular sweet drink since the time of the pharaohs.

It contains a unique substance called glycyrrhizin; by analysis found to be 50 times sweeter than refined sugar. It is detectable if only one drop is added to 15,000 drops of pure water. The glycyrrhizin has no calories, but the natural licorice root (from which the glycyrrhizin comes) does contain a few calories due to the presence of a very small amount of dextrose (1.4%) and sucrose (3.2%). This sweetener can be utilized by diabetics. Due to its sweetness and flavouring properties, it is used to make the bitterness of other medicines more palatable.

Roman legions considered licorice an indispensable ration for their long grueling campaigns. It was said soldiers could go up to 10 days without eating or drinking as the licorice properties helped to build stamina and energy, which allayed both hunger and thirst. In the year 1305, King Edward I, placed a duty on licorice sales, which went to help finance the repair of London Bridge. Ancient Hindus believed it increased sexual vigour when taken with milk and sugar. In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, herbs were used as special foods, serving to eliminate excesses as well as strengthen deficiencies, restore and rejuvenate. Licorice works on the digestive, respiratory, nervous, reproductive and excretory systems. It is an effective expectorant, often combined with ginger to help liquefy mucus and facilitate its discharge. Combined with cardamom and ginger it is considered a tonic for the teeth. Licorice is used to calm the mind, nourish the brain and increase cranial and cerebrospinal fluid, and to benefit vision, voice, hair, complexion and stamina. Licorice is a time-honoured herb in Chinese medicine, dating back thousands of years. Chinese doctors divided their medicinals into 3 classes, according to their reputed properties. Licorice was listed amongst drugs of the first class because it preserved the life of man. The first class herbs were considered not poisonous, so no matter how much you took or how often you used them, they were not harmful. This supreme group of herbs was used to strengthen the respiratory system, keep the body agile and alert, allowing one to age in years without ageing in body. One longevity formula was made of 20% licorice, 40% gotu kola, 30% ginseng, 10% cayenne, with 2-4g of the formula taken 3 times a day. Chinese medicine was often called the medicine of harmony, as the whole focus was on the creation and expression of harmony, a most meaningful basis of health care. Almost all Chinese herbs are used in mixed formulas that may combine 2 or more herbs. Licorice was in many of these formulas, as I was told by a Chinese herbalist, “You always throw a bit in, it helps to detoxify very strong herbs”. Chinese herbalism applies the principle of prevention by emphasizing the use of tonics and adaptogen, using plants that regulate, strengthen and invigorate the whole body. Ten different bioflavonoids have been found in licorice, that have an effect of strengthening the immune system, fighting cancer cells, and protecting from cancer.

…  … see How can I use HERBS in my daily life? for full text.

Licorice has been given many remedial applications: coughs, colds,

Licorice Products

wheezing, lung complaints, hoarseness, mucus congestion, tonsillitis, abdominal pain, nausea, poor appetite, fatigue, food poisoning, fevers, fluid retention, edema, burning urine and kidney, bladder ailments, gall stones, allergies, cancers and melanomas, conjunctivitis, earache, toothache, age spots, senility, hyperglycemia, menstrual discomforts, vaginal thrush, endometriosis, infertility, candida, ankylosing spondylitis, muscular dystrophy, skin allergies, hemorrhoids, mouth ulcers, nervous tension, insomnia and anxiety, depression, hysteria, indigestion and gastritis, diabetes, drug withdrawal, malaria, inflammations, cramps, Addison’s and Parkinson’s diseases, epilepsy, poor circulation, to lower cholesterol, headaches, earache, herpes, wounds, burns, cold sores, psoriasis, carbuncles, syphilis, abscesses, shingles, and to fight staphylococci. Licorice infusion as a wash has been used on acne scars.

The intricate, multiplex chemistry in licorice gives it a wide-spectrum of properties and actions. Large numbers of studies have been carried out on its therapeutic benefits particularly for duodenal, and peptic ulcers, hormonal imbalances, respiratory and liver diseases. Studies show it assists the liver to neutralize toxins. Numerous trials have been done with patients with gastric ulcers in a number of countries. A twelve-week study of 874 duodenal-ulcer sufferers published in the Medical Journal, Ireland, showed licorice healed ulcers faster than the drug Tagament, with no hormonal side effects. Other studies showed relief to complete cure in 2-6 weeks with patients taking up to 20-25g daily. Licorice assists the healing of stomach ulcers by spreading a protective gel lining over the stomach wall, lowering acid levels, as well as easing painful spasms. Another report showed that the size of ulcers could be reduced 70- 90% in size in one month, and healing had occurred in patients who were not confined to bed, many even able to carry on working during treatment.

Researchers at John Hopkins University U.S.A. found that people suffering with chronic fatigue and low blood pressure benefited with licorice. A Russian study confirmed licorice root used as an ointment, gave good results for the treatment of chronic eczema.

Research shows its usefulness as an expectorant and a cough suppressant, with action resembling codeine. Doubleblind trials showed glycyrrhizin an effective means of treating viral hepatitis. Licorice has been found to heal mouth ulcers, as an infusion to gargle. Clinical trials reported in the ‘Townsend newsletter for doctors’ of using glycyrrhizin intravenously for the treatment of AIDS, which gave significantly marked improvement for patients. Glycyrrhiza in licorice has valuable anti-inflammatory properties, which many people find effective for arthritic and rheumatic pain. A folk remedy is made by dissolving over low heat, 1/2 a stick of licorice (break into small pieces with a hammer, this must be the pure licorice extract), 1 tablesp. celery seed, 4 cups of water in a saucepan. Strain liquid off and bottle. Refrigerate. Take 1 tablesp. three times a day until relief is obtained; then cease taking the mixture until pains in the joints return. If mixture is very thick, a little more water can be added.

Licorice root helps prevent adrenal failure by maintaining electrolyte balance. Research shows benefits for Addison’s disease sufferers. Rather than contributing to adrenal atrophy, as synthetics do, licorice helps to preserve adrenal integrity. Licorice is a herb that can have marked effect upon the endocrine system. The glycosides in the plant have a structure that is similar to the natural steroids of the body. Overworked adrenals in hypoglycaemic cases with nervousness, irritability, stress, fatigue, and depression can be helped with licorice. Many who have taken licorice to support the adrenals find stress, worry and negative attitudes fall away, and that they have strength and energy to cope with daily life, and without the doped out sensations caused by tranquilizers and drugs. A lady called at the farm, and shared that she found licorice helped her to keep hyperglycaemia under control. She also said it helped calm her grandchildren who came to stay, as they tended to be rather hyperactive.

It is the opinion of La Dean Griffin, the American author of a number of natural health books, ‘that many who suffer in mental institutions could be helped with this wonderful herb’.

Licorice has been found to assist the pancreas by stimulating exocrine secretions. Another valuable action of licorice is oestrogen support. This hormone helps to build the endocrine glands, and has been found to be especially helpful in post hysterectomy cases, and the discomforts of menopause. One research report stated that when oestrogen levels are too high, licorice will inhibit oestrogen action, and when oestrogen are too low, it will potentiate oestrogen action, and that administration of glycyrrhiza during the midluteal phase may reduce PMS symptomatology.

Licorice together with alfalfa, dandelion, gotu kola, red clover and sheep sorrel has been used as a blood purifying tea. Licorice combined with barley and couch grass has been brewed in a drink called cure-all. As a metabolic mix for weight loss, licorice, dandelion and fennel are used as a tea.


A general medicinal dose is 1-2 cups of licorice tea a day. 1/2 to 1 teasp. of licorice root or powder is infused to 1 cup of boiling water. Tincture: 1/2 to 1 teasp. twice a day. For therapeutic use, it is recommended that licorice be taken before meals.

Is licorice safe? Licorice is one of the most beneficial, and also controversial, healing herbs. Advocates and users say it has been used safely around the world for thousands of years to treat a multitude of ailments. Critics cannot deny the herb’s effectiveness shown in research, but insist that it can have dangerous side effects. Licorice preparations and even licorice lollies should be avoided in cases of high blood pressure, cardiac or kidney insufficiency, pregnancy, fluid retention, or myasthenia gravis sufferers (rare muscle disease). Licorice may be incompatible or interfere with prescription drugs used for the treatment of hypertension or heart failure. If wishing to use licorice while under medication, use under the guidance of a health care practitioner. Pregnant women are wise to avoid licorice, as it may create fluid retention. One adverse effect of over-indulgence of licorice lollies at any one time, can mean extra tripping to the toilet, as it can act quickly as a laxative. But then, I guess even this for some people could be a health benefit, as most natural health practitioners will tell us, a clean colon is top priority! When licorice root is taken daily, it is recommended that the dose does not exceed 3 grams. Use for 4-6 weeks, and have 1-2 weeks break. If taking licorice in large doses be sensitive to any of the following adverse reactions and symptoms: puffy ankles, facial swelling, shortness of breath, headaches, and general weakness. Be aware some people can be quite sensitive with any herb or drug and may have adverse reactions. In 20 years, I have only heard of one person experiencing rather severe reactions with using licorice as a tea, taking approximately 11/2g of herb daily. He experienced shortness of breath, fatigue, frontal headache, swelling from toes to knees, and burning sensation in legs and hands. In moderation, most people can use licorice safely.

Culinary Uses

Chew on a stick of licorice root as a snack. Many people, who visit the farm seeking out licorice plants, remember with nostalgia, how, in their childhood, they could purchase natural licorice roots, and enjoyed sucking the sweet sticks. During World War II, when food and sugar were rationed, licorice was often the only sweet treat available in Europe, and at 1 penny a piece it gave many hours of chewing pleasure. As one Englishman told me, “I could buy a pennyworth of licorice, chew on it all day, it was better then chewing gum”.

…  … see How can I use HERBS in my daily life? for full text.

Licorice can be used to sweeten foods, such as when stewing rhubarb, tart plums, apples, other fruit and baked goods. Regard licorice as a useful replacement for calorieladen sugar. Diabetics and weight watchers have found licorice useful for sweetening and flavouring. Use licorice to flavour drinks, puddings, confectionery and sherbets. A friend, Andrew, enjoys flavouring icecream with natural licorice root. Brew a cup of licorice tea and sip after a meal to aid the digestion. Even chewing on a chip of licorice root at the beginning of a meal is beneficial, as it activiates salivary glands in the mouth. To make a tea, use 1/2 to 1 teasp. of root chips to 1 cup of boiling water. If the chips are placed in a tea infuser, this can be dunked in the boiling water, the sweetness and the flavour strength made to your liking. These chips can be used a few times over to brew several cups, as the flavour is strong and will be released when placed in boiling water. Try the tea chilled over rocks (ice) in summer. Remember, it is a thirst quencher, and it may also give you more get-upand- go when suffering from heat fatigue! Use the chilled tea as a base for a fruit cup. Make into ice blocks for the children. Add a little licorice root to other refreshing herb teas; the licorice will sweeten the brew naturally. A friend enjoys drinking licorice root and ginger tea. Licorice leaves, fresh or dried (called nakhalsa) are used as a substitute for China tea.

…  … see How can I use HERBS in my daily life? for full text.

Use natural licorice root in place of lollies or chocolates when feeling like something sweet. Chew on a stick when feeling stressed studying for exams, as licorice can help to calm the nerves. Several years ago, I had a man call and asked if I had anything that would help him give up smoking, as he had quit smoking that morning and was having severe withdrawal symptoms. As we had just dug some licorice and had it drying, I offered him a stick that we had cut into 8cm lengths (similar length and size as a cigarette) and suggested he hold it in his mouth like a cigarette and suck the end. Within a couple of minutes of giving him the stick to smoke, his nerves had calmed down, and he said he no longer had the desire for a cigarette. For the next 10 minutes, he kept sucking on the stick, and looking at it, wondering why it did not have smoke coming from it! He was able to kick the habit of smoking. I have shared this incident with other people, who have done likewise and given up smoking. Also, worth noting is the cost of licorice compared to cigarettes. A licorice stick can be used over and over, many times, whenever the quitter has the urge to light a cigarette. Maybe we can set a new trend in Australia, a health trend of smoking licorice sticks. Licorice lollies, like allsorts, twists or straps, that we see in shops, may have a considerable amount of sugar and little real licorice flavouring, due to artificial means of flavouring. Probably Dutch and English Pontefract licorice are some of the purest brands. To make licorice lollies from the natural root, the root is cut finely and boiled, which makes a dark essence, which is used in a recipe together with gum arabic and other ingredients.

Licorice is a favourite flavour for many people, and perhaps we need to consider the benefits of the aroma too. Research at Auburn University USA, when looking for ways of boosting milk production found that dairy cows, when sprayed with licorice-scented aniseed oil are more at ease with each other, reducing aggression and pecking order habits involving biting, pushing and shoving. Researchers found that, as the smell faded, usually after 3 days, the pecking order traits were evident again. Think of other uses of this concept? No doubt about it, licorice aroma is pleasing to the body. Pleasant aromas can have a profound effect on our emotions and the chemistry in our bodies, and have been well used for calming and soothing the mind and the nervous system.