"Natural Healing with Herbs for a Healthier You"
THE BENEFITS OF THE USE OF LICORICE
IN HERBAL PREPARATIONS
CONTRA-INDICATIONS OF LICORICE
There have been some reported negative results from people who have ingested too much concentrated Licorice extract for long periods (more than 3 grams per day for more than six weeks). It can produce headache, lethargy, sodium and water retention, excessive loss of potassium and high blood pressure. The hazard lies in the aldosterone-like effects of licorice. This is increasing the sodium, chloride and water retention and potassium excretion by the kidneys. This action is due to glycyrrhizin content. People vary in their susceptibility to the symptom producing effects of glycyrrhizin. Adverse effects are rarely observed at levels below 100 milligrams per day, while they are quite common at levels above 400 milligrams per day. People who are using anthraquinone or digitalis glycoside drugs, thiazide diuretics or doing corticoid treatments may find interference when Licorice is also used. Health agencies warn that licorice should not be used in cases of high blood pressure, potassium deficiency in the blood, or chronic liver inflammation and liver cirrhosis.
Prevention of the side effects of glycyrrhizin may be possible if the person is following a high-potassium, low sodium diet (mucusless diet). Dr. Christopher always cautioned people to be moderate and wise in their applications of herbs. Anyone who takes large amounts of any substance over a long period of time should be prepared for some negative reactions. Many times experiments and side effects come from the use of an isolated active principle of an herb and not the herb in its whole state.
by Mishelle Knuteson