I don’t want to make root beer I just want to know if licorice root and sassafras root are the same thing.


1 Answer 1


Sassafras is the plant with the botanical name Sassafras albidum, which is native to eastern North America and eastern Asia.

Licorice/Liquorice is the plant with the botanical name Glycyrrhiza glabra, native to Western Asia, North Africa and Southern Europe.

Both are traditionally used in herbalism and folk remedies, but they are not the same plant.

  • Can be a reasonable sub though. I cannot taste the difference between star aniseed and liqourice either.
    – Neil Meyer
    Apr 20, 2022 at 9:23
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    @NeilMeyer The question was very specifically whether they were the same plant, that's what I answered. I am not familiar with the flavour of sassafras, it isn't common in the UK, but more liquorice confectionary is also flavoured with aniseed oil, liquorice root itself doesn't have a pronounced aniseed flavour. I've chewed a lot of liquorice root in my life and it tastes, to me at least, nothing like the flavour of Star Anise. I would have no difficulty distinguishing them in a blind test.
    – Spagirl
    Apr 20, 2022 at 11:24
  • I only ever tried root beer once, when McDonald's tried to introduce it to the UK in the 80s. Apparently what it tastes/smells of is wintergreen not sassafras, which to anyone old enough to remember it in the UK, was what Germolene graze ointment smelled of. Needless to say, they didn't sell much of it & have never tried to reintroduce it. I cannot begin to describe how revolting it was.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 20, 2022 at 14:05
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    @unlisted Depends a lot on the brand. If you got it at McDonald's it was probably Mug brand (at least around here they serve Pepsi products, which would include Mug). It also may have been low on syrup, which often happens at fast food joints. I don't particularly care for Mug. Try bottled IBC or A&W if you can find it, your opinion might change. Anyhow, it's not licorice at all. Only licorice beverage I'm aware of is Ouzo, which is also alcoholic, so not quite the same as soda. (Though hard root beer does exist.) Apr 20, 2022 at 20:19

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