Is Licorice Root Safe For Consumption During Pregnancy?

Image : Shutterstock


Are you keen to strictly use natural medications during your pregnancy? Do you know a few natural remedies too can prove dangerous while you are expecting? Well, if you are clueless and anxious reading this post is a good idea!

While you are pregnant, your grannies will recommend many home remedies to beat your pregnancy blues! One of them may be licorice. Do you want to know whether it is safe to consume licorice root during pregnancy or not? Go ahead and give this post a read!

What Is A Licorice?

Licorice is the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra plant. It not only has a sweet flavor but is replete with many anti-depressant compounds too. (1)

What Are The Health Benefits Of Licorice?

Licorice root is an excellent natural remedy for several health conditions including heartburn, body odor, asthma, athlete’s foot, fungal infections, and viral infections. It can also offer therapeutic benefits for treating ulcers, liver problems, tuberculosis, yeast infections, cough, chronic exhaustion, canker sores, Lyme disease, arthritis, baldness, melancholy and even HIV! Licorice is an effective cure for depression and nervousness as it helps in regulating the stress hormones. It is also beneficial for preventing the following health complications:

  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Symptoms of Menopause
  • Skin problems
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Herpes
  • Shingles
  • Digestive issues
  • Weight loss
  • Allergies

[ Read: Herpes During Pregnancy ]

Is Licorice Root Safe During Pregnancy?

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, pregnant women must avoid the consumption of licorice. While this root offers multiple medicinal benefits, it also contains glycyrrhizin that can cause health problems like headaches, fatigue, high blood pressure, water retention, edema, and even heart attack!

While only high consumption of licorice root in pregnancy can cause the above health issues, smaller amounts of it may cause side effects like numbness or pain in the limbs(2).

Side Effects Of Licorice Consumption During Pregnancy

Recent studies reveal the side effects associated with licorice root and pregnancy can lead to the following health complications:

  • A high dose of licorice extract during pregnancy may cause a miscarriage or a preterm delivery. (3) A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology links high licorice consumption to a shorter gestation period. Licorice can double the risk of premature birth! (4)
  • Experts from Edinburgh and Helsinki universities state that the consumption of licorice root during pregnancy can impair the placenta. The compound glycyrrhizin could allow the mother’s glucocorticoids or stress hormones to reach the baby and adversely affect the fetal brain development. Hence, it can lower the intelligence levels and increase the behavioral problems in the child (5).
  • Another study reveals consuming high amounts of licorice root when pregnancy can take a toll on a child’s cognitive skills. It can also make children prone to suffering from conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD (6).

Scientists strongly advise pregnant and lactating women to avoid consuming this herb in order to safeguard their babies from potential health hazards.

[ Read: Herbs During Pregnancy ]

Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry especially during pregnancy. Since your baby’s growth and your health is at stake during this critical period you should strictly avoid consuming any unsafe food. If you are keen to try natural remedies to cure any ailment during pregnancy, it is better to seek a go-ahead from your doctor first.

We hope this article helped you understand that the use of licorice during pregnancy can spell danger for you and your baby. So, why wait? Go ahead and spread the word!

Did you consume licorice during your pregnancy? How did this article on licorice root and pregnancy helped you in clearing your doubts? Please, share your experience and advice with us.

Recommended Articles: