Medical Mythbuster: Can eating black licorice really increase your blood pressure?

It certainly can! Glycyrrhizin, a compound found in licorice root, can raise your blood pressure significantly. Consuming too much licorice can cause the body’s potassium levels to fall, which can cause abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, swelling, lethargy and other problems. That’s why the US Food and Drug Administration has issued strict regulations on the use of licorice in foods.

Those who have high blood pressure and enjoy licorice-flavored candies, teas, and lozenges on a regular basis should always be aware of the dangers of glycyrrhizin. Fortunately, many food manufacturers use anise to flavor their food, which has a similar flavor to black licorice and does not raise blood pressure or cause other health issues.

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