- Oct 11, 2017 at 1:25 pm #3496063
See next postOct 11, 2017 at 1:27 pm #3496064
A bit here and there is fine but if like me you really get into the stuff, be it the sticks, candy or tea, then you should read up on what can potentially happen to you. For the last year and a half I have been drinking six or seven cups of the tea a day . I know…I had been weaning off coffee and really like the stuff ( clearly). Among the milder symptoms then came headaches more hurtful than any migraine I had ever had and a rising BP that over this weekend went to 235/ 128!! My doc had me go to the ER . Scans came back mostly ok, one concern it being an aneurism. After much puzzlement over this; is the pain causing the BP or the other way around (??) turns out it most likely is the licorice. It could take a few weeks for things to go back to normal after quitting the tea but everything leads to that as the answer.
I thought it something odd to be aware of.Oct 11, 2017 at 2:12 pm #3496078
I have a tin of extremely strong licorice pastilles my wife brought back from Paris which have a warning on the back concerning people with hypertension. Luckily I’ve only eaten a couple because they taste is somewhere between ashtray and roadtar.Oct 11, 2017 at 2:29 pm #3496084
Katherina – I’m so sorry to hear about your experience and am heartened that you were able to identify the likely cause. I’m not a huge licorice fan (reference Matthews description of the taste), but do enjoy some the “soft eating licorice” form New Zealand which tends to be rather mild on the licorice scale. Luckily, none of my issues involve high blood pressure :) Thanks for the heads-up!
Wishing you a quick and thorough recovery.Oct 11, 2017 at 2:32 pm #3496086
I was late to read the warning about people with hypertension but that never was an issue with me anyway. The label should go beyond warning people that have high BP…it should warn that anyone can develop hypertension by overconsumption of the stuff.Oct 11, 2017 at 2:43 pm #3496088
MJ HBPL Member
I stick to Strawberry Twizzlers, so I should be fine.Oct 11, 2017 at 8:10 pm #3496149
Ken T.BPL Member
And that double salt kind….
Too much katjes kinders can give you the runs.
Mmmm, licorice. That red plastic is not licorice
Use to be a popular tooth powder flavor.Oct 11, 2017 at 8:55 pm #3496166
Franco DarioliBPL Member
Horses love that stuff…Oct 11, 2017 at 9:11 pm #3496168
To go from a BP of 125/70 to what I had is quite something. Just gave away 3 boxes of the tea…with a bit of warning.
Any herbal tea that won’t kill you at the rate I drink?Oct 11, 2017 at 9:20 pm #3496173
Dena KelleyBPL Member
@eagleriverdeeLocale: Eagle River, Alaska
I love the Stash licorice tea myself but always limited myself to a cup or two a day- I knew of the propensity for licorice to cause HBP.
Maybe mix up your teas? Otherwise- if you don’t mind spending the coin- Teavana has some absolutely awesome herbal blends that are totally delicious.Oct 11, 2017 at 9:25 pm #3496176
Thanks <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Dena, </span>I will look into that brand. I know I overdid it; that many cups of anything can’t be good. I quit coffee and don’t drink soda or alcohol and just loved the taste of licorice tea with cream. I would drink a couple cups when I got up at 4 am, then one around 10 am, one in the afternoon and a couple more during dinner or after. Kind of addicted to holding a warm cup of something so sweet and rich ( with the cream). Oh well, at least it is a simple solution.Oct 11, 2017 at 9:52 pm #3496181
Wow, this sort of thing is just frightening. Good sleuthing to figure it out! I’m on a ginger kick–I slice some raw ginger and boil it up into a ginger tea. Then, I’ll eat some of the softened ginger slices. Excellent for my stomach. No side effects that I’ve heard of…fingers crossed!
Here’s hoping for some normalcy in all things, for Kat especially and all of us! After a long run of bad luck, nothing sounds so good.
Oct 11, 2017 at 10:46 pm #3496190
- This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by jeffrey armbruster.
Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
ginger is like addictive
in stir fry
in ginger cookies – I put in 1 teaspoon instead of 1/2 – not enough, next I’ll try 2 teaspoons – I have no idea where this will goOct 11, 2017 at 11:02 pm #3496193
Ben CBPL Member
Couple of thoughts:
- Never thought I’d see that headline
- NEVER give up drinking coffee
I had a friend who’s older father had health problems relating to eating too many beets. I guess too much of really anything can be bad for you.
In the same vein, never try to eat a spoonful of cinnamon.
Glad you’re feeling better.Oct 11, 2017 at 11:17 pm #3496196
David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
“. . . warning from the FDA. Too much black licorice, the federal agency says, can lead to “abnormal heart rhythms, as well as high blood pressure, edema (swelling), lethargy, and congestive heart failure.”
“That’s because licorice — real black licorice, not the phony licorice-flavored stuff flavored with anise oil — causes a drop in potassium levels. It may also mimic the activity of the female sex hormone estrogen.”
“In addition to the FDA’s list of drastic possible too-much-licorice results, the NIH adds paralysis, brain damage, and erectile dysfunction.”
“NIH advises women NOT to eat black licorice while they are pregnant or breast feeding. People with hormone sensitive conditions, such as breast cancer or endometriosis, should avoid licorice.”
“The NIH warns people taking Coumadin (warfarin) never to eat black licorice, as licorice makes the drug less effective.”
-webmd.comOct 11, 2017 at 11:48 pm #3496203
Ken T.BPL Member
“NEVER give up drinking coffee“
As I sit here with my afternoon cup I agree 100%Oct 12, 2017 at 12:49 am #3496217
Thanks Jeffrey . It’s been quite the couple years; some wonderful things and some difficult ones.
Ben, yeah I might just go back to one or two cups of coffee a day. Beets, I think they make it harder for our bodies to absorb calcium. Same with too much spinach and other plants in the Chenopidiacea family.
David, that is what I read too but only after this ordeal…. it felt like I was exploding and painfully so..Oct 12, 2017 at 2:19 am #3496229
“That’s because licorice — real black licorice, not the phony licorice-flavored stuff flavored with anise oil — causes a drop in potassium levels.”
Kat, I’m sure that your doctors checked these levels in your blood. From personal experience I can say that you want your potassium. And it’s hard to get a good boost. Oddly enough, low sodium V-8 juice is one of the few very good sources for easily digestible potassium available as a supplement. But it’s gotta be the low sodium version. Of course, potassium is abundant in veggies and beans and bananas.Oct 12, 2017 at 6:17 am #3496256
Nick SmolinskeBPL Member
@smoLocale: Rogue Panda Designs
I love licorice tea as well, but I mostly only drink it when I have a sore throat for the reasons outlined above. I have a toxicologist mother so once I told her I was using it for sore throats, she told me all about the risks right away.
But for sore throats, it’s fantastic – especially if you have a job where you have to talk all day. I was a teacher a couple years back and you can’t teach a class with a lozenge in your mouth, so licorice tea is a godsend.
Another nice coffee substitute is Roastaroma tea (from Celestial Seasonings). I really like that one with some cream in it.Oct 12, 2017 at 7:08 am #3496259
Ethan A.BPL Member
@mountainwalkerLocale: SF Bay Area & New England
Kat sorry you had to go through this and glad you’re OK.
FYI you may not have to give up on licorice tea so long as you make sure it doesn’t have the active ingredient glycyrrhizin. As already mentioned, if the flavor comes from anise oil, anise oil has a similar flavor to licorice but isn’t supposed to have the active ingredient glycyrrhizin, but always check.
This is why DGL Licorice tablets, which are handy to keep at home and bring traveling and backpacking to heal a bad stomach, are sold “DGLed” or deglycyrrhizinated. They are very effective.Oct 12, 2017 at 4:12 pm #3496315
Tom KBPL Member
“Oddly enough, low sodium V-8 juice is one of the few very good sources for easily digestible potassium available as a supplement. But it’s gotta be the low sodium version.”
An easy way to get substantial potassium, in addition to lots of fruits and veggies is Mortons Lite salt. 1/4 tsp yields 350 mg of potassium, ~10% of the RDA, and 290 mg of sodium, ~12% of the RDA. If you routinely season your food with salt, this is a good alternative that cuts down on the sodium while supplying a goodly amount of potassium in the bargain. That said, if your diet includes the recommended amounts of fruits and veggies, you should not have to worry about a potassium deficiency. Potassium occurs in abundance in both categories.
Oct 12, 2017 at 7:25 pm #3496360
- This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by Tom K.
“An easy way to get substantial potassium, in addition to lots of fruits and veggies is Mortons Lite salt. 1/4 tsp yields 350 mg of potassium, ~10% of the RDA, and 290 mg of sodium, ~12% of the RDA.”
Yep, good stuff. And there’s a NoSalt version that has a goodly amount of potassium too–I’m not sure how much but comparable or a bit more. You don’t want to overdo it so use a measuring spoon–but it’s harder to OD on potassium than is generally believed. Nevertheless there is a legal limit on how much potassium can be contained in supplemental pills, which makes them effectively useless. V-8 and LIght (or No) Salt are the only way around this that I know. I use the No-salt as an easier form of supplement than V-8. And Salt sticks when I backpack.
Backpackers might consider carrying either version as a lightweight electrolyte replacement.Oct 12, 2017 at 7:40 pm #3496362
Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
You can get too much potassium, especially if you consume potassium chloride like in Lite Salt
If you take blood pressure medicine like Lisinopril, the way they work is to raise blood potassium level, so if you also take potassium chloride, your blood potassium level can be excessive
If you eat fruits and vegetables, it’s almost impossible to get excessive blood potassium level
That being said, I take Lisinopril, but a low dose, and I use Lite salt, and my blood potassium level is normal.
I use Lite Salt in cookies or soup that I take with me backpacking which should help with blood electrolyte levels. For summer, I put in extra.
And to get back to OP, I can’t stand licorice. Or Anise. I can’t imagine how people can consume so much that it’s unhealthy : )Oct 12, 2017 at 9:34 pm #3496386
Of course there’s always the possibility of contracting gingervitis from consuming too much…
never mind.Oct 12, 2017 at 10:18 pm #3496396
Jim ColtenBPL Member
Kat: YIKES! Good to know you’re coming out of the other side of that tunnel.
Tom K: 350mg sodium is 10% of the average American’s daily sodium intake. CDC’s RDA is 2300mg and I’m pretty sure that is for a 2000 kcal daily food intake. Folks needing fewer calories for stable weight should scale down that RDA.
Most (all?) salt substitutes are high in potassium which should be a concern for folks who’ve trained their tongue to like a lot of salt. It is better to retrain the tongue, A recent VERY LOUD wakeup call has got me on that path (and <1500mg sodium per day)
A low sodium diet is d*mn hard … sodium and sugar are the most heavily used preservatives in packaged food. My grocery store has become my new scariest place in town.
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