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Distanskurs i örtterapi.

Licorice side effects.

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Let's get sane about herbal side effects, mmkay?

A note on the medicinal herblist, in June 2004:

> Here is the article that prompted me to try the DGL: "Deglycyrrhizinated (DGL) licorice: ...
One chemical in licorice, carboxenoxolone cimetidine, is associated with numerous side effects including edema (fluid retention, swelling), high blood pressure, and lowered potassium levels. ..."

My reply to that:

Repeat after me:

The single constituent is not the herb.

Now find me real live people who actually have had all those "numerous side effects" from taking licorice root the herb, in tea or tincture.

You'll find that even most of the "licorice causes hypertension" reports in medline are about licorice the candy ... which again, is not the herb: it's either

  • salt, sugar, flour and anise oil, or
  • made from licorice concentrate, salt, and other things.

And it's very easy, for people who like licorice candy, to eat half a kg (a pound) a day, or more. More salt, anybody? It's difficult to eat those amounts of licorice root.

Very many people get hypertension from eating loads of licorice candy. Which may never even have seen licorice.

Very few people get any side effects at all from licorice the herb, including the all-too-often repeated "but it causes hypertension!".

Yes, licorice root can, in very few susceptible individuals, cause hypertension. It's however rare.
If you're one of the very few unlucky ones, use your common sense and stop using licorice root.

If you're not, well, it's good for your lungs, your adrenals, your gut, and it tastes good - and you stop doing it because somebody who has no clue about herbs tells you it has a single constituent that's been causing whatever in rats?

Get sane.

If you follow that paradigm you can't eat anything at all. Because in that world, butter causes cancer, carrots do your liver in, potatoes are outright toxic, and don't let me get started on cabbage - I could, if I so liked, come up with one "it's dangerous, dangerous I tell you" study for every food there is, including water.

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