Licorice has a lot of health benefits in our body. But, it also has bad effects on our body. Excess consumption of licorice root extract can cause a no. of health issues in our body. Since these side effects mostly come from glycyrrhizic acid. However, using DGL can help avoid these side effects. Consumption of licorice daily for a few weeks or more can cause these side effects.
- Reduces potassium level in the blood
Licorice root can reduce potassium in the blood.
Lowering the levels of potassium in our body, this causes muscle weakness. This condition is called hypokalemia. Licorice-induced hypokalemia can lead to irregular heartbeat and cause heart problems.
Still, these have been found to vary among patients. The total impact of licorice on potassium level depends on the person’s health, and the medicines they are consuming, and different factors.
According to some studies, people who take excess licorice root experienced fluid retention and metabolism abnormalities within 2 weeks.
- Licorice Increases Cortisol
Consuming too much licorice can increase cortisol levels.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone also known as the “stress hormone.” It can increase or decrease blood pressure, glucose levels, immune responses, etc. in response to stress (R).
Glycyrrhizic acid and glycyrrhetinic acid, a licorice extract, acts like aldosterone; which stops the conversion of cortisol to cortisone. This might lead to increase in cortisol.
And, excess cortisol can cause hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction. This might cause chronic stress, depression, alcohol addiction, and other problems.
Licorice might interrupt the blood pressure control during & after surgery. Therefore, stop having it at minimum of 14 days before a surgery.
- Increases stress level and depression-
It has been found that 10 years old children have been hospitalized due to hypertension after having too much licorice.
People with hypertension should also avoid licorice root.
- Licorice causes high blood pressure
A longer half-life for cortisol, this means that it takes more time for the absorption of cortisol in the blood. This leads to hypertension (high blood pressure). These effects are greater in women than in men.
Excess cortisol might also cause pseudo-hyperaldosteronism. This problem is associated with elevated blood pressure, lower blood potassium levels, and the reduction of water and sodium.
- Cause problems during pregnancy
Women who gave birth to premature babies, excess consumption of licorice was found to be associated with this shorter pregnancy. The glycyrrhizic acid present in licorice increases cortisol levels, which increases the prostaglandin levels in the uterus which leads to contractions.
However, other factors may also have contributed to the premature delivery.
One study found that the pregnant lady who consumed licorice had low placenta which is the reason for nourishing the baby. It is also found that their babies have behavioral problems related to HPA axis dysfunction. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are advised by the FDA to avoid licorice. Licorice extract keeps you at higher risk of early delivery or a miscarriage. When you are breastfeeding, it is better to avoid using it.
- Side effects in men- Extreme consumption of licorice may reduce testosterone levels in men.
- Hormone-related conditions such as uterine fibroids, breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, or endometriosis: Licorice act as estrogen in the body. So, if you are suffering from any of the above conditions, it will become worse due to high estrogen.
9. Kidney disease: An excessive consumption of the licorice root might make kidney disease condition more badly.
- Licorice slows down drug metabolism
Elements found in licorice, have been found to slow down drug metabolism, increase their percentage in the blood, which increases the risk of drug side effects.
- Some other and rare side effects
- Heart attack and stroke
- Heartbeat irregularity
- Brain damage
- Absence of a menstrual cycle in women
People who are suffering from heart-related problems, high BP, or kidney disease or consume a lot of salt just 5 grams a day can also cause these side effects.
Author: Hiten Patil
Hiten is Content Writer and He write about all platform like health and wellness related blog and other platform as well