Black Licorice: Health Hazard for Adults

As a child I loved licorice, especially black licorice. It’s a sweet treat that has followed me as I’ve gotten older but according to the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) this is one treat that I should avoid.

Black Licorice is hazardous to adults over 40. According to the FDA,

“…eating 2 ounces of black licorice a day for at least two weeks could land you in the hospital with an irregular heart rhythm or  arrhythmia. FDA experts say black licorice contains the compound glycyrrhizin, which is the sweetening compound derived from licorice root. Glycyrrhizin can cause potassium levels in the body to fall. When that happens, some people experience abnormal
heart rhythms, as well as high blood pressure, edema (swelling), lethargy, and congestive heart failure.”

The FDA also warns that regardless of your age, Black Licorice eaters should be aware of the following:

  • Don’t eat a lot at any one time.
  • If you have an irregular heart rhythm or muscle weakness, stop eating it at once and see a doctor.
  • Black licorice can interfere with medications, herbs and dietary supplements. Before eating ask your doctor about possible interactions.


Are you a Black Licorice lover? Will this change your Black Licorice eating habits?

Share on Pinterest
Share with your friends


About the Author

Migdalia Rivera, also known as Ms. Latina in social media, is a single Latina mother of a teen, tween and 2 Australian Shepherds. When not blogging, or chasing after her energetic bunch, she connects influential bloggers with brands and PR agencies via her blogger network, Stiletto Media.

Facebook Comments

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Patricia October 31, 2011, 3:29 pm

    Wow that is crazy. I love the black licorice flovored jelly bellies.

  • yesi October 31, 2011, 4:16 pm

    Be careful who consume it then!

  • Erica Best October 31, 2011, 7:00 pm

    wow i am so happy i did not eat this thanks for the post

  • Schmidty October 31, 2011, 7:09 pm

    Wow! I had no idea! Very good information, I will pass this along.

  • ellen October 31, 2011, 9:26 pm

    OMG! I have never heard of this but it does make complete sense and it never crossed by mind. I am well over 40 and am a black licorice addict! I eat the altoids in licorice, drink licorice tea etc and LOVE the candy- I was wondering what was making my heart race I thought it was sugar!

  • Wendy T October 31, 2011, 9:39 pm

    Finally..a health warning that does not take away something I love! Glad I wasn’t a fan.

    Now excuse me while I go raid my son’s Halloween chocolate :)
    Wendy T recently posted..Damn. Just damn.

  • Sandra November 1, 2011, 12:19 am

    Woooooooo its crazy mmmmmm i like

  • Bicultural Mama November 1, 2011, 3:58 pm

    Wow, who knew? Thanks for spreading the word.
    Bicultural Mama recently posted..Recipe Rock Holder Great for Recipes, Studying

  • alissa apel November 1, 2011, 4:49 pm

    I never knew this. I’ll have to tell my dad who has heart problems.
    alissa apel recently posted..Happy Halloween!!!

  • Betty November 1, 2011, 9:26 pm

    the real stuff from licorice root, is a potent herbal medicine. I grew up with a craving for licorice, always picking out the black jelly beans. It took me decades to learn that it has anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, immune-activating, demulcent, and expectorant properties.
    Turns out I have had asthma since childhood and licorice relieves breathing congestion.

    Licorice is not something anyone should overdo. While I still love licorice, I only drink the tea when having a cold/coughing. I still pick out the stray black jelly bean but never buy just a bag of the candy.

  • @NYCB_ November 2, 2011, 2:41 pm

    I love black jelly beans,and licorice. I guess it’s a good thing that i don’t eat them too often, thanks for the info :)

  • Sabrina November 2, 2011, 5:44 pm

    I saw this on the news. Glad I’m not a fan, but will share with family and friends.

Leave a Comment