What are the Side Effects of Licorice Tea?

What are the Side Effects of Licorice Tea

Licorice tea has gained popularity as a delicious and soothing beverage with potential health benefits. However, it’s important to be aware of its possible side effects. In this article, we will explore the potential risks associated with consuming licorice tea and the importance of moderation.

Understanding Licorice Tea and Its Components

Licorice tea is made from the roots of the licorice plant. The main active compound in licorice root is glycyrrhizin, which gives the tea its characteristic sweet taste. Licorice root also contains flavonoids and other beneficial compounds that contribute to its potential health benefits.

Potential Side Effects of Licorice Tea:

  1. Increased Blood Pressure:
    Consuming excessive amounts of licorice tea can lead to an increase in blood pressure. Glycyrrhizin has been found to affect hormone regulation in the body, resulting in the retention of sodium and water and the loss of potassium. This imbalance can cause hypertension or exacerbate existing high blood pressure.
  2. Low Potassium Levels:
    Licorice tea can cause a decrease in potassium levels due to the effects of glycyrrhizin. Low potassium levels can lead to symptoms such as muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, and fatigue. Individuals with heart or kidney problems may be particularly susceptible to these effects and should exercise caution.
  3. Hormonal Imbalance:
    The impact of licorice tea on hormone regulation is another concern. Glycyrrhizin can interfere with the production of cortisol, a hormone involved in stress response. Excessive consumption of licorice tea may disrupt the adrenal glands’ functioning and lead to hormonal imbalances. This can result in symptoms like fatigue, mood swings, and hormonal disorders.
  4. Interactions with Medications:
    Licorice tea can interact with certain medications, potentially affecting their effectiveness or causing adverse reactions. Drugs such as diuretics and blood thinners may be particularly susceptible to these interactions. It’s important to consult a healthcare professional before consuming licorice tea if you are taking any medications to ensure there are no potential complications.

Precautions and Moderation

To enjoy licorice tea safely, it is crucial to exercise caution and moderation. Here are some recommendations:

  1. Stick to Recommended Dosages: Follow the guidelines provided by health authorities regarding the daily intake of licorice tea. Excessive consumption should be avoided.
  2. Consider Individual Health Conditions: If you have pre-existing health conditions such as hypertension, kidney disease, or hormonal disorders, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional before consuming licorice tea. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances.
  3. Monitor for Adverse Reactions: Pay attention to your body’s response when consuming licorice tea. If you experience any unusual symptoms or side effects, discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional.


Licorice tea can be a delightful and potentially beneficial beverage when consumed in moderation. However, it’s essential to be aware of the potential side effects, including increased blood pressure, low potassium levels, hormonal imbalances, and interactions with medications. By exercising caution and consulting a healthcare professional when needed, you can enjoy licorice tea safely and minimize any potential risks.

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