Tasty Treat Becomes a Black Trick on All Saints Day: Don't Overindulge on Licorice!
At one point this candy was supposed to be good for you. Now, the day after Halloween, when candy and/or the thought of it is everywhere and your taste buds are hungering for something like licorice: not too caloric, not too sugary, unique flavor...think twice. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert about overindulging on the black kind. Too much of it can cause heart problems. (FDA warning)
Historically used as a natural remedy for heartburn, stomach ulcers, sore throat, eczema and some infections, several studies have linked black licorice to heart disease and high blood pressure in people over 40 — even if they had no history of these conditions. (Katie Moisse, ABC News) Depending upon which website you check, one may say licorice root's medicinal impact is unclear, Another may state that licorice has powerful healing benefits.
Many studies have been done on licorice root. Some have even found the herb reduces body fat. When fifteen normal-weight subjects consumed licorice for 2 months (3.5g per day) licorice was able to reduce body fat mass and suppress the levels of aldosterone, the hormone responsible for retention of salt and water in the body. (Barbara L. Minton, Natural News)
There is no doubt that licorice has the power to impact the human body. What is it about licorice? The black kind contains the chemical glycyrrhizin. Depending upon the person, its effects can be for good or ill. On the negative side, a news report states it can trigger a dangerous drop in potassium levels. Decreased potassium makes for uneven heart rhythms and rising blood pressure which in turn can cause swelling, lethargy, even congestive heart failure. (Katie Moisse, ABC News) On the positive side, it can have the healing benefits stated above.Continued on the next page