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Licorice root tea is commonly used as a remedy for digestive problems and to relieve sore throats. Although licorice root is considered generally safe as a food ingredient, when consumed in large quantities it can cause serious side effects and its consumption is not recommended during pregnancy.
According to information from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), licorice root has a long history of use, dating back to ancient Assyrian, Egyptian, Chinese, and Indian cultures. It was traditionally used to treat a variety of conditions, including lung, liver, circulatory, and kidney diseases.
Currently, licorice root supplements are promoted for conditions such as digestive problems, menopausal symptoms, coughs, and bacterial and viral infections.
The NIH warns that Excessive consumption of licorice during pregnancy has been associated with premature birth and health problems in the child.
According to WebMD, a Finnish study found that children of women who consumed large amounts of licorice during pregnancy had an increased risk of developing problems in the baby. they had more chances of suffering brain deficiencies in the future.
Pregnant women should avoid licorice supplements and limit their intake of licorice in foods and beverages.
Little is known about the safety of licorice consumption during lactation. Due to a lack of research, women who are breastfeeding should also avoid licorice products.
Licorice can be dangerous for people with heart or kidney disease
The NIH notes that when consumed in large amounts or for prolonged periods, licorice root could cause serious side effects, such as increased blood pressure and decreased potassium levels.
WebMD explains that eating licorice root lowers potassium levels in the body. Low potassium levels can cause an irregular heartbeat and can be dangerous if you have heart disease.
“The effects of licorice on potassium and blood pressure are a particular concern for people with high blood pressure or heart or kidney disease”, shares the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).
It is believed that some Licorice side effects are caused by a component called glycyrrhizic acid. To reduce the possibility of experiencing complications, you can opt for deglycyrrhizinated licorice.
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