Q. What health concerns may be related to eating a lot of black licorice, especially for children?

A. Natural black licorice contains glycyrrhizin. Regular consumption of this compound can have serious health consequences, including fluid retention, high blood pressure, low potassium levels and hormone imbalance. Lethargy, fatigue, weakness and irregular heart rhythms may also result. Elderly people and young children may be especially susceptible to licorice complications.

Not all licorice candy contains natural licorice extract. Red licorice is not a problem and neither is licorice flavored with anise.

Join Over 56,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

  1. Sheri M. M.

    This article made me wonder if my regular consumption of 8-10 mg of Chinese Licorice extract root (in a green tea concentrate), may be doing me harm. My blood potassium levels have been reading in the low range for years.I also have Lethargy, fatigue, weakness and irregular heart rates that have sent me to the emergency ward BPM 240.
    I would appreciate feedback.

What Do You Think?

Share your thoughts with others, but be mindful of protecting your own and others' privacy. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from web visitors is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. In posting a comment, you agree to our commenting policy and website terms and conditions.