While true licorice (and I use that term because many products, including candy, that have "licorice" on the label actually use other ingredients) does have proven health benefits, it can also have dangerous side effects.
The benefits include: soothing a sore throat and upper respiratory infection (because licorice is considered a mild anti-inflammatory), soothing stomach ulcers and lowering cholesterol.
Potential side effects, however, include: causing or increasing high blood pressure, signs of congestive heart failure (retaining water with swelling hands and feet, difficulty breathing), severe muscle pain, low blood potassium and irregular heart rhythm. All of these can be life-threatening.
It seems to me that the risks are severe enough to outweigh any possible health benefits, so I stay away from licorice!
Everything you need to know about licorice (or liquorice): Where it is from, what is it used for, and its health benefits and dangers. read more
I'm with Jaye on this one. Licorice can cause dangerous increases in blood pressure. A coworker's father ate a bag of licorice candy prior to a doctor's appointment and was rushed to the hospital because they thought he was having a cardiac emergency! You really have to be careful with the stuff.
It helps to balance the estrogen hormones by reducing it. You know the higher estrogen level can cause many PMS problems.
It is helpful in cold sore, reducing ulcers.and Respiratory infections.
What Jaye said is true. It is used for sore throat and respiratory ailments. It does raise blood pressure, and if someone already has a blood pressure issue, they should stay clear. It is a wonderful herb, and can beneficial to may BUT, it has to be used in correct doses. Be sure to seek a qualified health care person who deals with herbal medicine.
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