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Licorice Root for Orthostatic Intolerance

Discussion in 'Problems Standing: Orthostatic Intolerance; POTS' started by Lesley, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. Lesley

    Lesley Senior Member

    Southeastern US
    Has anyone tried licorice root for orthostatic intolerance? My daughter has POTS and NMH. She was unable to tolerate Florinef because it caused depression. Midodrine at her current dose doesn't seem to be helping much, but a higher dose causes her heart to pound. She is on atenolol, and has increased salt and fluids. While these are helpful, they aren't enough. Her doctor suggested adding pseudoephedrine and licorice root.

    How quickly will I be able to tell if the licorice root is helping? Are there any side effects I should be concerned about? I get the feeling her doctor doesn't have much experience with it, or anything beyond the first few drugs that are typically prescribed.
  2. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

    Hi Lesley - I am sorry to hear about your daughter's problems. But I remembered reading that long-term licquorice consumption can lead to problems with the adrenal system and did a quick google - I found this on the University of Maryland site, for example, advising against taking it for more than a few weeks. Here's more detailed stuff on Wikipedia. I'm sure there will be someone more knowledgeable about this on this site who can say more but I just wanted to warn you quickly! My sister recently started drinking licquorice tea because she likes the taste but had to stop because (if memory serves) she was having palpitations.
  3. Lesley

    Lesley Senior Member

    Southeastern US
    Thanks Sasha. Two of the side effects are high blood pressure and fluid retention, which is exactly why it was recommended for her. (And my sleep medication carries a warning that it may cause drowsiness!) I'm confused and will definitely learn more before proceeding.
  4. anne

    anne Guest

    I have pretty bad OI, and haven't been able to get much relief. I do have a Gatorade or two every day and that does help. Midodrine gave me terrible insomnia and made my head feel like it was going to explode.

    Check into the pseudopherdrine, I think there are reasons to be wary of long term use.
  5. Athene


    I have used liquorice for low blood pressure and orthostatic intolerance. It worked immediately for me.
    To give you an idea, my BP was 90 over 55 on a good day and oculd go down to 75 over 45 when really bad.
    I stopped it because I was scared about the negative effects it can have and also it only masks the symptoms and I think it is better to try to figure out what is causing the low BP.
    I was getting low BP mainly from H2S (according to my doc) and now that I have had antibiotic treatment to get rid of the naughty gut bacteria it is a lot better. I drink huge amounts of water to flush it out of my system when my BP goes down and eat plenty of salt (this is what I was told to do).
    I take a potassium supplement which works with the salt to help retain fluid.
    Nowadays my BP is often 100 over 60 which I never imagined I could get up to!!!
    I do sometimes have a cup of liquorice tea when I am getting a very bad day as this give a little bit of an instant boost and I reckon it is probaly fine to use liquorice in this way.
    Best wishes to your daughter. I hope she gets am improvement. Low BP is far more awful than many people realise.
  6. susan

    susan Senior Member

    Gold Coast Australia
    I took licorice for years and it was the only thing that got me out of bed after yrs of being unable to sit up.
  7. Grigor

    Grigor Senior Member

    And why did you stop??
    Paintmyturquoise likes this.
  8. Paintmyturquoise


    Licorice depletes potassium.

    It also raises cortisol.
  9. South

    South Senior Member

    Southeastern United States
    Both of which are very good effects for people with adrenal insufficieny or overly low blood pressure, provided some potassium is replenished in diet.

    The balance between sodium and potassium overly favors potassium in people with too-low blood pressure; this can be fixed to some degree by taking licorice, which helps retain sodium and lower potassium.

    For people like me, this is a very good effect indeed.
    Paintmyturquoise likes this.
  10. sb4

    sb4 Senior Member

    United Kingdom
    I tried it once and it dramatically worsened my symptoms . Not sure why but could be due to my blood pressure being higher when standing and I don't crave salt...

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