Liquorice root, or 'radix glycyrrhizae', is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it has the name gancao (kan-tsao; Chinese: 甘草, pinyin: gāncǎo). It is used in Chinese medicine to harmonize other herbs and to reduce the harsh effects of other herbs. It is usually collected in spring and autumn, when it is removed from the rootlet and dried in the sun. Liquorice root is most commonly produced in the Shanxi, Gansu and Xinjiang regions of China.
Liquorice root contains glycyrrhizin, which may affect blood pressure, blood potassium levels or have untoward effects during pregnancy. Overuse of licorice may induce weakness, headache, blurred vision, nosebleed, anxiety, or shortness of breath. Other common side effects may include missed menstrual periods, fluid retention or sexual problems in men.
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