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Sensible snacking? Is the licorice snack healthy or unhealthy?


Is licorice healthy too?
For some, licorice is considered a natural medicine product. Others point out that licorice can cause drug interactions. What is true and what is myth? Is Licorice Really Healthy? Or even harmful? Andrea Danitschek from the Bavarian Consumer Center provides answers.

Many love sweets with liquorice, others have little to gain from the idiosyncratic taste. The basis for licorice products is an extract from licorice roots. The black mass obtained is mixed with other ingredients such as sugar, starch, gelatin and ammonia.

Color and aroma substances are also added. Depending on the recipe, this results in mildly sweet to tart and salty products. "The special thing about licorice root is that it contains glycyrrhizin, a medically effective plant substance," says Andrea Danitschek from the Bavarian Consumer Center. Extracts from the licorice root are used for example against gastrointestinal complaints, respiratory diseases or as a cough reliever.

Since glycyrrhizin can also affect the water and salt balance when broken down in the human body, licorice should only be enjoyed in moderation. "Be especially careful with high blood pressure and during pregnancy," says Andrea Danitschek. So-called strong liquorice with an increased glycyrrhizin content therefore bears the warning “contains licorice - in the case of high blood pressure, excessive consumption of this product should be avoided”. (sb)

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