Licorice

How does Licorice work?

The chemicals contained in licorice are thought to decrease swelling, thin mucus secretions, decrease cough and increase the chemicals in our body that heal ulcers.

Are there safety concerns?

Licorice is safe for most people when consumed in amounts found in foods. It seems to also be safe when consumed in larger amounts, short-term. Don't use licorice for more than four weeks without consulting your healthcare professional. Licorice can cause some side effects including tiredness, absence of a menstrual period in women, increased blood pressure, headache, water and sodium retention, decreased potassium in the blood, and decreased sexual function and libido in men.

Do not take licorice if:
  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • You have high blood pressure.
  • You have heart problems.
  • You have breast, uterine, or ovarian cancer.
  • You have endometriosis or uterine fibroids.
  • You have been told you have low potassium levels.
  • You are scheduled for surgery in the next two weeks.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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