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  • Basic Info
Licensed from
Generic: licorice
an herbal product - treats Viral hepatitis, Bleeding stomach ulcers caused by aspirin, Functional dyspepsia, Adrenal insufficiency, Reducing body fat mass, Inflammation, Polycystic ovarian syndrome, Familial Mediterranean fever, Apthous ulcers / canker sores, Peptic ulcer disease, High potassium levels resulting from abnormally low aldosterone levels, Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, Hyperprolactinemia, HIV, Aplastic anemia, Herpes simplex virus, Atopic dermatitis, Dental hygiene, and Upper respiratory tract infections

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DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.


People should avoid licorice if they have a known allergy to licorice, any component of licorice, or any member of the Fabaceae (Leguminosae) plant family (pea family). There is a report of rash after applying a cosmetic product containing licorice to the skin.

Side Effects and Warnings

Licorice contains a chemical called glycyrrhizic acid, which is responsible for many of the reported side effects. DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) has had the glycyrrhizic acid removed, and therefore is considered safer for use.

Many of the adverse effects of licorice result from actions on hormone levels in the body. By altering the activities of certain hormones, licorice may cause electrolyte disturbances. Possible effects include sodium and fluid retention, low potassium levels, and metabolic alkalosis.

Electrolyte abnormalities may also lead to irregular heartbeats, heart attack, kidney damage, muscle weakness, or muscle breakdown. Licorice should be used cautiously by people with congestive heart failure, coronary heart disease, kidney or liver disease, fluid retention (edema), high blood pressure, underlying electrolyte disturbances, hormonal abnormalities, or those taking diuretics.

Hormonal imbalances have been reported with the use of licorice, such as abnormally low testosterone levels in men or high prolactin levels and estrogen levels in women. However, study results conflict. These adverse effects may reduce fertility or cause menstrual abnormalities.

Reduced body fat mass has been observed with the use of licorice, but weight gain is also possible. Acute pseudo- aldosteronism syndrome has been associated with licorice. Paralysis has been reported in a patient taking licorice that contributed to low potassium levels. Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis (TPP) has been associated with licorice. Metabolic alkalosis and seizure has been reported from licorice in antacid.

Licorice has been reported to cause high blood pressure, including dangerously high blood pressure with symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, and hypertensive encephalopathy with stroke- like effects (for example, one- sided weakness).

High doses of licorice may cause temporary vision problems or loss. Ocular side effects have been reported. Central retinal vein occlusion has been associated with licorice. A case report exists of licorice- induced hypokalemia associated with dropped head syndrome (DHS).

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Licorice cannot be recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding due to possible alterations of hormone levels and the possibility of premature labor.

Hormonal imbalances reported with the use of licorice include abnormally low testosterone levels in men and high prolactin levels/ estrogen levels in women. However, study results conflict. 17- OHP and LH levels may also be affected.

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