Pregnancy is a phase when the mother gets advice from all nooks and corners about herself and the coming baby. Suggestions about the food to consume, the right way to sit and stand, fitness tips, remedies to be taken in case one havening sickness or is feeling low, etc. Apart from the list of foods that should be taken, there is a list of those foods as well that should not be taken as they are harmful to the health of the mother and the baby as well. Of all the foods that get banned during pregnancy, Licorice is undoubtedly one. Just like mothers are suggested to refrain from caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, smoking, they need to keep away from Licorice as well as it comprises of a component that is very dangerous for the pregnancy.
What Is A Licorice?
The root of the Glycyrrhiza Glabra plant is popularly known as Licorice. In India, it is commonly called Mulethi. In Tamilnadu, it is popularly known as “Adhimadhuram”, and in Kerala, it is called “Irattimadhuram”. Licorice is not only sweet and unique in flavour also brimming with several anti- tranquillising well. The consumption of Licorice helps to calm down anxiety as well as tension by controlling the stress hormones. It is used to add a uniquely sweet flavour to the beverages, other foods as well as products made with tobacco.
Due to its medicinal properties, Licorice has a prominent place in both Eastern and Western medicine. It can even be used in the form a gel to get rid of itchiness, to reduce the oily look in hair, to treat mouth ulcers and also to get rid of plaque.
Licorice is considered safe if not consumed in excess. Note that, more than 150 grams a day is counted as excess. Licorice, when taken in limited quantities, works ideal for curing health ailments like viral and fungal infections, heartaches, ulcers, asthma, cough, etc.
What Are the Health Benefits Of Licorice?
Licorice, aka Yashtimadhu (Sanskrit), is well known for its broad antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and hepatoprotective properties. It is, therefore, no doubt works as an excellent cure for cramps that one experiences during menstrual cycles, asthma, viral and fungal infections, liver issues, cough, body odour, yeast infections, HIV, ulcers, tiredness, melancholy, arthritis, Lyme disease, shedding of hair, athlete’s foot, etc. Licorice is useful for curing some of the health ailments as follows:
- Herpes: The antimicrobial property of this herb helps to bring down the severity of sores and aids viral suppression.
- Improves Cardiovascular Health: The anti-oxidant property of licorice enhances blood capillary health. It prevents blood vessel damage and checks the growth of arterial plaque.
- Helps To Cure Skin Ailments And Arthritis: Anti-inflammatory property of this herb makes it an excellent solution to various skin ailment and rheumatic and arthritis issues.
- Health Of Eyes: The anti-inflammatory properties of Licorice helps to prevent the inflammatory conditions connected with eyes such as conjunctivitis (pink eyes).
- Cosmetic Use: Licorice extract is a very well-known de-pigmentation agent. Therefore products with Licorice extract is widely used to get rid of the pigmented areas of the skin, including the under eyes.
- Digestive Problems: Roots of Licorice are also used to deal with stomach and digestion issues like acidity, heartburn, acid reflux and inflammation of digestive system. Due to its mild laxative property, it plays an active enhancing the bowel movements, thereby helps to fight off constipation.
- Helps To Combat Allergies: Licorice enhances immunity by enhancing the lymphocytes production and thereby helps to combat allergic reactions associated with immunity.
- Cures Stomach Ulcers: Being a potent antioxidant and due to its excellent anti-inflammatory properties, Licorice is counted as an excellent natural medicinal aid in the treatment of ulcers of stomach and intestine and even mouth.
Is Licorice Root Safe During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a crucial phase where expectant mothers must take each step very carefully. The expectant mothers, as well as the nursing mothers, are strongly recommended by medical experts to avoid the consumption of Licorice to protect the baby from any prospective health concerns. Licorice tea is one of the options that come under the herbal teas, however not advisable to be consumed by the pregnant mother as it is not safe for the baby.
As per researches, Licorice is enriched with many benefits, yet its root has a compound which can lead to many health hazards during pregnancy like water retention, blood pressure fluctuations, heart attack, fatigue, etc. Even if taken in lesser quantity there are some side-effects like pain in the legs and the hands, or even unresponsiveness.
Side Effects of licorice Consumption During Pregnancy
Irrespective of it’s anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, analgesic (pain-relieving) and expectorant properties of Licorice, its consumption during pregnancy is not a great idea. Licorice root has a compound which can cause many health issues and is not advisable for the mother and the baby as well. Even if taken in smaller quantity, it still shows negative effects, and some of the health issues associated with it are:
- Excess dosage of Licorice consumed within pregnancy can even result in a preterm delivery or a miscarriage as well.
- Consumption of Licorice extract during the time of pregnancy can damage the placenta.
- It can affect the brain of the baby by lowering the intelligence quotient.
- It can lead to behavioural issues in baby
- It even leads to ailments, like ADHD AHyperactivity Disorder).
- The Licorice root can result in fetal growth and development issues if taken in more than recommended quantities.
- If a male fetus is imperilled to a higher quantity of estrogen, there are high chances of development of testicular complications resulting in infertility issues in the future.
- In case a female fetus is imperilled to the high levels of estrogen, it can lead to reproductive organ complications.
- The consumption of Licorice is also associated with early puberty as well.
- The pregnant lady, as well as the nursing mother, should refrain from consuming Licorice so that they can protect the baby against all sorts of probably health complications.
- The root of the Licorice comprises of a compound that increases the levels of cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone leading to issues in the growth and the development of the nervous system of the baby to be born.
It is thus always recommended to take precautions at an early stage than to repent later. The growth and the development of the baby during the phase of pregnancy are very critical. Hence one should always be cautious of what they consume and stay away from the foods which are not recommended. In case opting for any natural remedies, always consult the doctor before starting the same.