The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about the potential for danger in eating too much black licorice.
If you've been eating a lot of black licorice and develop muscle weakness or irregular heartbeat, the FDA recommends immediately contacting your doctor.
Black licorice contains glycyrrhizin, a chemical compound derived from licorice root - a low-growing shrub that is found mostly in Greece, Turkey, and Asia - which makes the treat deliciously sweet. This is about glycyrrhizin which can trigger loss of potassium levels in the system.
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There's a warning about many people's least favorite candy, warning that too much black licorice can cause abnormal heart rhythms, as well as high blood pressure, edema (swelling), lethargy and congestive heart failure. And, the link has been noted in several different medical journals over the years.
Black licorice isn't necessarily bad when consumed in moderation.
The United Kingdom's National Health Service claims that an adult needs at least 2 ounces of black licorice a day for at least a fortnight to develop such health complications. Furthermore, the agency says that "potassium levels are usually restored with no permanent health problems when consumption of black licorice stops". The treat can also interact with some medications and dietary or herbal supplements. There are also claims that black licorice can treat stomach ulcers, bronchitis, sore throat, cough and some infections caused by viruses, such as hepatitis, but the scientific evidence published so far is inconclusive. The NIH, however, says there isn't enough data that licorice is an effective treatment for any health problem. "Instead, they contain anise oil, which has the same smell and taste". Talk to your health care professional about possible interactions.