Impotence, low potassium levels, and heart problems are some of the side effects of black licorice that may occur if the herb is used frequently or taken in high doses.
Black licorice is a herb, well-known for its sweet root. Licorice extracts are commonly used as a flavor enhancer. The root of this herb is believed to have medicinal properties and hence it is cultivated on a large-scale in various European countries.
Taking black licorice in any form, be it supplements, extracts or tincture can cause some serious side effects, if taken on a regular basis. With too much intake of this medicinal herb, women may suffer from missed periods.
Some of the worrisome side effects of this herb are given below:
High Blood Pressure
Gorging on licorice candy can also cause hypertension. Why does this occur? It is observed that the herb behaves like a corticosteroid, which is notorious for inducing hypertension. Basically, the herb prompts the body to retain more sodium, which eventually raise the blood pressure, thus putting the person in the risk zone of heart attack and stroke.
This herb when taken in supplemental form stimulates the elimination of potassium through urine. As potassium in the body falls below the normal levels, it can lead to persistent fatigue, paralysis, and even heart failure.
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
The herb can also interfere with the normal functioning of the heart. As we all know, the heart is responsible for supplying fresh oxygenated blood to different parts of the body. However, in CHF, the heart is incapable of pumping sufficient amount of blood and its symptoms manifest in the form of swollen hands or feet, unexplained weight gain, breathing problems and low potassium levels.
Poor Sex Drive
Sexual life may get drastically affected in men if black licorice is taken frequently. This happens because testosterone levels in men reduce considerably. As appetite for sex is completely dependent on the amount of testosterone in the body, decline in testosterone levels may cause lack of sex drive.
People who are allergic to this herb may suffer from skin rashes, breathing problems and this may be accompanied by inflammation in the throat and mouth.
An ingredient glycyrrhizin found in black licorice is believed to be responsible for causing these worrisome side effects. Herbal supplements (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) that do not contain glycyrrhizin might not produce these side effects.
Although some studies have pointed its medicinal value, FDA has not granted any permission for its usage as a medicinal product. So, it would be wise to talk to a doctor, instead of hastily taking it to cure any ailment.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.