Licorice and Pregnancy

Because there is some evidence that licorice may stimulate uterine contractions or affect estrogen levels, women who are pregnant should probably avoid consuming real licorice. Also, licorice can cause serious side effects, especially in people who have high blood pressure or heart problems. If you are consuming licorice and pregnancy occurs, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider.

Licorice and Pregnancy: An Overview

It is not known if real licorice (not red licorice or "licorice" products flavored with anise) is safe for pregnant women. There is some evidence that real licorice may increase the risk of premature labor.

Is Licorice Safe During Pregnancy?

Licorice can stimulate uterine contractions and may also affect estrogen. Sometimes, licorice has estrogen-like effects, and sometimes it has anti-estrogen effects. Some research suggests that women who consume a large amount of licorice have an increased risk of premature labor and delivery. It is probably safe to eat a little licorice candy now and then, but regular consumption or taking licorice extracts or supplements should be avoided during pregnancy.
It's important to keep in mind that real licorice can cause very serious side effects, especially in people with high blood pressure or heart problems. Therefore, if you have high blood pressure or heart problems during pregnancy, you should definitely avoid licorice.

Licorice and Pregnancy: Final Thoughts

If you are pregnant, it is always a good idea to have a discussion with your healthcare provider before taking any medication or supplement, including licorice extracts or supplements.
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