Benefits of Licorice
Real licorice products are claimed to help treat several health conditions, such as stomach ulcers, a sore throat, and high cholesterol. Other benefits may include lowering cholesterol and affecting certain hormones. Although it has many health benefits, licorice can also be quite dangerous and cause negative effects, such as high blood pressure and low blood potassium.
What Are the Benefits of Licorice?
Licorice may provide numerous health benefits. However, it can also be quite dangerous, causing serious side effects (see Licorice Side Effects). Many "licorice" products in the United States contain little or no actual licorice.
Instead, many licorice candies or other products contain anise flavoring, which tastes much like licorice, but does not have the benefits (and side effects) of real licorice. In addition, red licorice does not contain any real licorice.
People have claimed that licorice is beneficial for treating the following conditions:
- Stomach ulcers (gastric ulcers)
- Small intestine ulcers (duodenal ulcers)
- Sore throat
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Adrenal insufficiency (underactive adrenal gland function)
- High cholesterol
- Viral infections, such as hepatitis
Some of these uses are more valid than others, but few have been extensively studied (see Does Licorice Work? for more information).