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Is it safe to have Licorice during pregnancy?

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Why should pregnant women avoid licorice?

Licorice - also known as 

Liquorice, mulethi

Licorice is an artificially sweetened candy who’s flavor is obtained from the Liquorice plant. Generally considered safe for consumption, licorice is a every sweet tooth’s favorite around the world. Obviously, licorice is not something you would add as a core food in your pregnancy diet. Too much of it, however, should be avoided. Here’s why.

Licorice is believed to contain glycyrrhizin, a sweetner obtained from the root of the liquorice plant. This sweetner is known to have some harmful effects. Glycyrrhizin enters the placenta, reduces its strength drastically, and secretes stress hormones known as glucocorticoids in the baby’s system. These hormones can impede the baby’s cognitive and physical development and can impair the baby’s vocabulary, spatial, and memory functions at a later stage of life.

Studies suggest that mothers who eat a lot of licorice during pregnancy tend to have children with lower IQs and memory capacity. Luckily, the negative effects of licorice found in these studies were only on those women that ate huge portions of it. Eating licorice occassionally, or stopping its intake for the entire pregnancy duration, seem to have to harmful effects on mother or baby. Also, you can always turn to healthier substitutes for satisfying your sweet cravings.


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