Healthy Living

What are the benefits of drinking licorice and the risks?

Licorice is a familiar herb that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine since ancient times. Licorice is not only a medicine but also used by many people to make a daily drink. So what are the effects and risks of drinking licorice? Let’s find out together.

1. Learn about licorice

Licorice is a very popular medicine in Eastern and Western medicine. Licorice contains glycyrrhizic acid.

Licorice is fragrant and sweet, average, so many Vietnamese people use it to drink every day to cool off.


2. What are the effects of drinking licorice?

Research has proven that licorice contains a number of substances that help reduce swelling, relieve cough and increase the amount of substances in the body, speeding healing of ulcers.

Licorice has the effect of nourishing the body, reducing cholesterol, detoxifying, protecting the liver, inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, increasing the body’s resistance.

The use of licorice will vary depending on how it is made:

– Grilled licorice: Has warm properties, used to treat weak spleen, poor appetite, abdominal pain due to diarrhea, cough due to lung weakness, fever due to fatigue…

– Use raw licorice: Licorice has cool properties, used to help cool down, lower the body’s fire, cure gastrointestinal ulcers, detoxify.

In particular, herbal licorice also has the ability to support detoxification of tetanus toxin caused.

3. Side effects when using herbal licorice


Licorice is almost safe for users, but if used daily, it will cause some side effects such as:

– Asthenia, low potassium levels, paralysis or brain damage,… in healthy people.

– Chewing licorice directly can cause high blood pressure

– Loss of menstruation in women

– Symptoms of headache, water and sodium retention

– Decreased sexual ability and sexual function in men.

4. Should I Use Licorice Regularly?

Many Vietnamese people use licorice as a daily cooling water. However, improper or regular use of licorice will cause harmful risks to the body instead of being a good medicine for health.

In the summer, many Vietnamese people combine celandine and licorice to make drinking water. According to Oriental Medicine, this combination will cause hypertension because: Licorice is sweet, has water-retaining properties, while the ceiling has a bitter, pungent taste and helps to eliminate. Therefore, the habit of drinking more licorice causes drug interactions, potentially dangerous for users, especially hypertension.


Licorice should not be used for a long time because licorice contains 6-14%, some licorice contains up to 23% glycyrizine. Glycyrizine is a substance with a sweet taste 50 times more than sucrose, when taken orally has a weak toxicity. Therefore, if you drink too much concentrated licorice, it will increase blood pressure and reduce potassium in the blood.

Licorice helps bile, liver laxative. When the body is completely normal, drinking licorice will cause the liver and bile to secrete themselves, leading to overactivity, easy damage to the liver, bile, imbalance, thereby causing disease.

5. Who should not use licorice?

  • Pregnant women
  • As mentioned, using oral licorice will secrete the glands in the body, the mother has a high risk of losing milk completely or only very little.
  • Licorice diuretic, if taken, will lead to a lot of waste, leading to water and nutrients being excreted, there will be no nutrients to feed the fetus, easily causing the fetus in the abdomen to be deficient in substances, easily at risk of premature birth, malformations, low birth weight, even stillbirth,…
  • People with high blood pressure, unstable blood pressure
  • People who have been constipated for a long time: If using constipation, it will be worse
  • Elderly
  • People with bronchitis, coughing a lot, having trouble breathing
  • Men: In men, if using licorice at a dose of more than 8g/day for a long time, it will affect physiological function, reduce immunity, increase blood pressure and stomach ulcers.

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