Low blood pressure tends to be linked to a lower than usual risk of heart disease, but it can actually restrict the amount of blood and oxygen flowing into your brain, causing symptoms like dizziness. Luckily, a childhood treat may be able to help.
Blood pressure is the force with which our blood pushes against the walls of our arteries. Low blood pressure – when there is not much force – can limit the amount of blood flowing to your brain and other essential organs. This can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, unsteadiness, fainting and falls.
It’s normal for blood pressure to vary during the day, and blood pressure naturally drops as we get older. In rare cases, it can be a sign of an underlying condition such as anaemia, diabetes or heart disease.1 If you’re experiencing symptoms of low blood pressure, see your GP to rule these out.
Glycyrrhetic acid then increases the volume of fluid in the blood by altering the balance of potassium and sodium – these minerals help regulate fluid balance. A higher volume of blood = higher blood pressure.
A 2001 joint study by Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden and Reykjavik City Hospital in Iceland followed 64 healthy volunteers given either 50g, 100g or 200g of liquorice every day. After two weeks, the researchers noted that ‘even doses as low as 50g of liquorice… can cause a significant rise in blood pressure’.2
You can take liquorice root capsules as a supplement, but a cup of liquorice tea or even a handful of sweets could be beneficial. But don’t overdo it – excessive consumption could up your blood pressure to unhealthy levels.
One case study published in Endocrine Abstracts in 2010 linked a patient with high blood pressure to drinking five cups of liquorice tea a day.3
*Note: deglycyrrhizinated (DGL) liquorice has had most of the glycyrrhizin removed, which means it is less likely to raise blood pressure.