Blog: The Master Cleanse Express
by Zoebess

High Blood Pressure

and licorice

Date:   6/9/2006 12:37:51 AM   ( 16 y ) ... viewed 3419 times

If you have high blood pressure, you should note that Smooth Move contains Licorice Root and may not be appropriate for you. Senna or other teas which have a laxative effect WITHOUT licorice may be a better choice.


Active Ingredients: 20 mg per cup Sennosides A & B (from senna leaf)

Inactive Ingredients: Licorice Root, Fennel Seed, Orange Peel, Cinnamon Bark, Coriander Seed, Ginger Rhizome, Natural Orange Flavor



Though radically different in flavor from garlic, licorice is another well-known food which has great medicinal properties. Known botanically as Glycyrrhiza glabra, licorice has a reputation for two actions: anti-ulcer and anti-inflammation.

Licorice `licks' pain & inflammation

Whole licorice root, consumed in the form of an extract or a strong tea, acts like a steroid. It prolongs the action of cortisol, the body's anti-inflammatory, adrenal steroid hormone. Because cortisol decreases pain and inflammation, licorice can act as an herbal anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic agent. In some ways, licorice behaves similarly to the medication hydrocortisone.

In my practice, I often use licorice in patients with severe hypersensitivity reactions, chronic pain, arthritis, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine use licorice to replenish the qi (vital force within the body), to remove toxins, to reduce spasms and pain, and in the treatment of hepatitis.

A note of caution

One must be cautious in the use of licorice; its cortisol-like action can also result in recorded negative effects. Large doses or long-term use of licorice can cause the body to over-excrete potassium and retain sodium. This results in fluid retention, and can even cause edema (excess fluid in connective tissues and surrounding organs) and high blood pressure.

Side effects from licorice candy are more common in Europe where this candy is still made with real licorice extract. Americans are more likely to have problems from over-consumption of licorice tea or extract. If you choose to use licorice regularly, it is wise to inform your doctor, and to pay attention to your blood pressure and overall health. Most at-risk for side effects are people with pre-existing high blood pressure or kidney disease, women on oral birth-control pills, and the elderly.

Be happy, be well,


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