Licorice: Herbal Remedies

Licorice Preparations and Warnings

Like all herbs, there are some precautions you should take before using licorice medicinally.

Licorice Preparations and Dosage

Licorice may be purchased encapsulated, dried, and tinctured. Licorice also is processed to form elixirs and syrups. The dosages for licorice vary a great deal: Small amounts are used as a flavoring and to balance herbal formulas; large amounts -- up to 3 or 4 cups per day -- are used for an ulcer flare-up or irritable bowel episode. Licorice is more often used by herbalists in a formula with other herbs, rather than used alone. Seek an herbalist's advice on the appropriate dosage for you.

Side Effects of Licorice

Licorice may raise blood pressure in people who have hypertension. So if you have high blood pressure, even if it is controlled with medication, avoid using licorice as a medicine. Licorice does not tend to raise blood pressure in people who do not have high blood pressure. Licorice also may occasionally cause bloating and fluid retention, but this usually occurs only with very high doses, such as more than five cups of tea per day, or long-term use of lower doses, such as several months of daily consumption. Avoid licorice during pregnancy.

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Jennifer Brett, N.D. is director of the Acupuncture Institute for the University of Bridgeport, where she also serves on the faculty for the College of Naturopathic Medicine. A recognized leader in her field with an extensive background in treating a wide variety of disorders utilizing nutritional and botanical remedies, Dr. Brett has appeared on WABC TV (NYC) and on Good Morning America to discuss utilizing herbs for health.This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies.   Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Each state and each discipline has its own rules about whether practitioners are required to be professionally licensed. If you plan to visit a practitioner, it is recommended that you choose one who is licensed by a recognized national organization and who abides by the organization's standards. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before starting any new therapeutic technique.