When people use large amounts for more than four weeks, side effects of consuming deglycyrrhized licorice include high blood pressure, low potassium levels, weakness, paralysis and sometimes brain damage, states WebMD. Licorice is likely safe for consumption in foods and possibly safe when consumed for short periods of time.
Additional side effects of deglycyrrhized licorice include headache, tiredness, and water and sodium retention, according to WebMD. Women may also experience the absence of a menstrual period, while men may experience loss of sexual interest and function.
These side effects vary depending on the health of the individual. People with heart disease, kidney disease or high blood pressure may be at risk for increased symptoms, WebMD explains. For example, since deglycyrrhized licorice can raise blood pressure, individuals who already have high blood pressure should not consume large amounts of DGL. As little as 5 grams of deglycyrrhized licorice per day can worsen health problems in people who have heart disease, kidney disease or high blood pressure.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not consume deglycyrrhized licorice, states WebMD. In women who are pregnant, taking deglycyrrhized licorice by mouth may increase the risk of early delivery. High consumption, about 250 grams per week, may cause a miscarriage or early delivery. Additionally, as of 2015, the safety of consuming licorice during breastfeeding is unknown.