Licorice herbal tea causes high blood pressure, study claims

Licorice tea

Licorice tea is one of the most popular herbal drinks which is being consumed widely all across the world. But a new report revealed that this tea may cause a sudden elevation in blood pressure. Researchers made this conclusion after an 84-year-old man was taken to the hospital after consuming the tea.

In the report, researchers revealed that high blood pressure in his body was induced after he consumed a considerable amount of homemade tea made from licorice root. Researchers noted that his blood pressure was heavily elevated, and was also suffering from a headache, light sensitivity, chest pain, fatigue and fluid retention in the calves.

It should be noted that the man has a history of high blood pressure, and he informed the physicians that he has been drinking two cups of licorice herbal tea for the past two weeks.

"Excessive amounts of some herbal products can have harmful side effects. Products containing licorice root extract can raise blood pressure, cause water retention and decrease potassium levels if consumed in excess," said Dr Jean-Pierre Falet who works at the Department of Neurology, McGill University, Montréal, Quebec in a recent statement.

Falet also added that physicians should consider screening for licorice root intake in patients with difficult-to-control hypertension.

Licorice tea is very popular in the Middle East and Europe and it is basically used to soothe gastrointestinal issues. The tea also has anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties which makes it an ideal drink for food poisoning, stomach ulcers, and heartburns. However, this new study report suggests that excessive drinking of licorice tea could harmful to people with hypertension.

A couple of years back, another study conducted by researchers at the University of Alabama in Birmingham had found that eating sprouts and drinking green tea can make aggressive breast cancers treatable. Researchers revealed that polyphenol present in green tea is the main reason behind this health benefit.

The study was published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).