Lets Talk About Liquorice Root, Licorice, and Diabetes

By MAYS Latest Reply 2012-06-28 18:36:57 -0500
Started 2012-06-23 10:44:14 -0500

There are a lot of pros and cons that concern me pertaining to this study about liquorice and diabetes:


Did you know that Liquorice can have an effect on certain diabetes medications such as Metformin?

Use of Licorice for Diabetes:

Licorice is an ancient herb that has been used for thousands of years as an herbal medicine and as a sweet flavoring for foods. Licorice is most commonly used to treat coughs, colds, asthma, peptic ulcers, and is used topically for canker sores and eczema. Licorice contains glycyrrhiza, or glycyrrhizic acid, the substance responsible for many of its properties, but also the source of its side effects. A 2010 laboratory study published in "Lipids in Health and Disease" found glycyrrhizic acid reduced blood glucose levels by improving insulin sensitivity. The side effects of licorice containing glycyrrhizin include high blood, pressure, fatigue, headache and an increased risk of heart attack.

Licorice and Metformin Interaction:

Licorice containing glycyrrhizin may interact with metformin and other diabetes medications, including insulin, glipizide, rosiglitazone, troglitazone, pioglitazone and glyburide. The glucose-lowering effects of licorice combined with metformin can act to lower your blood sugar levels too much, resulting in a condition called hypoglycemia. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include dizziness, lightheadedness, tremors, irritability, headache, weakness, pale skin and sweating. Take licorice supplements with metformin only as directed by your doctor.

Other Effects of Licorice and Metformin:

Along with raising your blood glucose levels, diabetes also affects your heart and other organs. Over time, consistently high blood sugar levels can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to an increased risk of developing high blood pressure. Using metformin and licorice containing glycyrrhizin can decrease your potassium levels and increase your retention of sodium, which can negatively impact your heart and raise your blood pressure. If you are diabetic and being treated for high blood with diuretics, licorice and metformin can increase their action, causing hypokalemia, or low potassium levels.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/547820-side...

What is Liquorice?

What Is Licorice?

The licorice plant is a perennial herb and a member of the pea family. Native to southern Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean, it is extensively cultivated in Russia, Spain, Iran, and India. The plant is prized for its roots, which contain glycyrrhizic acid. This acid, which is extracted from the roots, is fifty times sweeter than sugar. Licorice extract is used as a flavoring in food, tobacco, alcohol, cosmetics, and, of course, in licorice candy







Also take note that there is more than one type of licorice plant and the medicinal properties of the plants vary frome one extreme to the other.




42 replies

arsmithsr 2012-06-25 16:31:11 -0500 Report

1) Licorice candy and licorice root are 1 entirely diffrent things. In times past alot of candy was made from herbs such as marsh mallow. Today they are just flavored sugar. This is why you are supposed to drink Ginger ale for upset stomac because Ginger helps with Nausia as well as being a potent Anti-Biotic.
2) As some have pointed out already the primary flavor of Black Licorice candy is Anise not Licorice,

The flavor of Licorice root is more like Banana oil and is in fact yellow. TO use herbs medicinally takes a bit or reading and working with your Dr. Because some herbs will react with Meds. Insulin and Glipizide react with more things than you might realize even normal over the counter things like energy drinks and pain relievers. You really need to look at all your meds and read up on the things they react with. The Medscape App for Iphone and Android is very good for looking at inreactions.

GabbyPA 2012-06-25 20:45:14 -0500 Report

I'm sorry, I contributed to that misunderstanding. I was just kidding. However, I didn't know that licorice root is more like banana. I thought it was still like anise. I used to have a childhood friend who made anise candy and I loved it.

You are so very right about checking interactions. Reading and having a good conversation with your pharmacist is a huge help.

arsmithsr 2012-06-26 09:13:43 -0500 Report

Anise is also the promary herb in both Jagermiester and Absinth. Though Absinth uses alot more hebs and we can't drink the traditional way with Sugar. Not only that it is expensive. The Herb that is supposed to give it the halucanagenic quality though is Wormwood.

MAYS 2012-06-25 17:48:21 -0500 Report

That point was very well understood and taken into consideration when preparing to submit this discussion, the information and the links associated with it.

jigsaw 2012-06-24 13:16:21 -0500 Report

There is a form of licorice called DGL without the ingredient (glcyrrhizic) that causes high blood pressure. Also most licorice candy is made with mostly anise and will not have any medicinal effects. DGL has been used for acid reflux and will not cause blood pressure problems. The question is, does it work ?
Here are interesting links that describes the info that I was given by a natural pharmacist years ago. Check it out:



red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-06-23 16:05:32 -0500 Report

Very interesting! Of course this would never be an issue with anyone in my family other then me, as my family hates licorice and I absolutely love it.

gadgetgirl007 2012-06-23 20:23:07 -0500 Report

LOL red flower lady I'm with your family & hate licorice. I do like anise, which everyone claims is the same, but I definitely disagree.

MAYS 2012-06-24 15:32:24 -0500 Report

You are right for disagreeing, Anise is sometimes used as a substitute for liquorice but only because it has a similiar taste, but that is about it, liquorice has a sharper taste and is much sweeter than Anise.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-06-24 01:36:00 -0500 Report

I actually ate a piece of saltwater taffy that had tiny stripe of black licorice in it before I saw this discussion earlier! Anise has that black licorice smell so I can see why. Also, my hubby won't take NyQuil due to the same smell and taste.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-06-24 01:58:52 -0500 Report

One of my sister's would trade her cherry jelly beans for my licorice ones out of our Easter baskets and trick or treat bags.
Fennel has a mild licorice taste, wonder if it has any of the same benefits/bad points ?

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-06-24 15:03:43 -0500 Report

That is how it was for me growing up and then with my kids. I can remember going to the local bakery as a kid, they had the thick rope licorice, red or black on a spindle and for a quarter they just started pulling on it until the desired lenght which was extremely long(my height). It would last for a week or so, I shared it with my friends. This was before I found out I was diabetic.

When I ran the floral dept in a large grocery chain, I would go to the produce just to break off a piece of anise so I could smell licorice instead of eating it, yummy:) Funny though the produce people all hated dealing with it. I guess it really is a required taste. I don't know about bad benefits of it. Will have to check into it.

locarbarbie 2012-06-23 12:25:35 -0500 Report

http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/licori... I also checked on this site…It also warns of increased blood pressure (even alone/not with metformin). I am thinking the cons outweigh the pros…too bad!
Also sorry, I do not know how to make my link blue so you can just click. I am lucky I got this far!!

MAYS 2012-06-23 12:42:02 -0500 Report

Thanks for the link (it will show up blue automatically) I agree that the cons outweigh the pros concerning the overall benefits of using liquorice as a means to control your blood sugar as a diabetic.

I am not trying to discourage anyone from trying anything, I just believe in doing my research before commiting myself to anything, and I always recommend to others that they do the same, especially when it concerns your life, health, finances and well being!

locarbarbie 2012-06-23 13:55:43 -0500 Report

Thanks…it was not blue when I posted, hmmm it's like magic! Somehow I seem to be the only one who does not know how to do this stuff. I also do not know how to text message (nor do I really care to learn, lol) What I need is a "No ADULT left behind program!"

locarbarbie 2012-06-23 12:10:42 -0500 Report

I have not yet checked all of the links that you provided. I am always interested in natural ways to take care of my blood sugar, however I am a bit confused as well. I would think that if the licorice helps with insulin resistance, that would then lower the blood pressure and therefore reduce the risk of heart attack. Unless it is only with Metformin that licorice interferes or offsets the action? I do not take Met, so this is something I will research further. I don't suppose this means that I can eat a giant box of Good and Plenty with abandon, lol?

MAYS 2012-06-23 13:15:01 -0500 Report

How I remember those days (Good and Plenty Candy and Good and Fruity Candy) as well as the television commercials, time to check the date on my birth certificate again!


locarbarbie 2012-06-23 13:56:56 -0500 Report

Choo choo Charlie!! I still remember the whole song!

MAYS 2012-06-24 15:39:13 -0500 Report

I love going on youtube and showing my sons, nieces and nephews the things from my past and explaining to them that it was top of the line back then!
I'll never forget that someone asked me "What is that?"
It was a 45 rpm record (single) and trying to explain it without having a record player to play it on was so funny, my how has times changed!

Caroltoo 2012-06-24 15:41:00 -0500 Report

I had a similar experience a few years ago. I was PM for some group homes and encountered one of our teenage charges holdng a record. He heaved a huge sigh and turned to me and said, "I just can't make it fit in my CD player!"

MAYS 2012-06-24 15:52:09 -0500 Report

Do you remember all of the McDonalds commercials?
Remember how they would always introduce a new flavored milkshake during certain holidays (Shamrock Shake=St. Patricks Day) and all of the Puff-n- Stuff type of characters in McDonald Land?
The Fry Guys, Mayor McCheese, Birdy the Early Bird, Big Mac the Police Man, The Grimace, The Hamburglar and The McNugget Gang!

Where has the time gone?

locarbarbie 2012-06-25 11:21:42 -0500 Report

Wow, you have a great memory! I fondly remember…
Captain Kangaroo
Bozo the Clown
Ed Sullivan especially with Topogigo the mouse
Sominex commercials
Hamms beer commercials
Garfield Goose, with Suzy Snowflake and Hardrock, Coco and Joe
Family Classics with Frasier Thomas
Ray Raynor show with Chelveston the goose
to mention just a few…I know, I know, I need to get a life!

Caroltoo 2012-06-25 23:17:58 -0500 Report

Do you recall the Burma Shave commercials … all those little signs along the side of the road?

locarbarbie 2012-06-26 05:47:03 -0500 Report

Yup, along with Bryll cream…a little dab will do ya! And remember the "racy" commercial for Playtex cross your heart bras, the model wore a bra over a turtleneck sweater to demonstrate!

MAYS 2012-06-25 12:02:57 -0500 Report

It goes to show that you had a life, a very good one!
It's wonderful to be able to remember things as though they were yesterday.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-06-25 17:50:28 -0500 Report

Thanks to you tube we can share and enjoy our yesterdays.
Amazed and delighted rmy 2 year old greatnephew with you tube Mr Ed and Roy Rogers and Trigger clips a few weeks ago.
Also use you tube to entertain my Alzheimer's residents. We play who was your favorite singer or do you remember this actor. The old movie clips bring back many good memories for them.
When ever I really need a laugh I pull up What does a yellow light mean from Taxi. Makes me laugh till I cry every time.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-06-25 19:02:13 -0500 Report

Love my smart phone. Don't use many minutes of talk time. But it offers so much more with it's other features.