Can I drink Pukka teas that have licorice in if I have high blood pressure?

We love licorice at Pukka. Sweetness is just one of the six essential tastes that our Herbsmith Sebastian Pole considers when creating our blends, carefully balancing the therapeutic effect of our teas with the best taste experience. It is calming and nourishing, and its silky nature helps soothe your whole system. It also acts as a good harmoniser of the other herbs in the blend, bringing out their best qualities so you get the most balanced cup of tea.

Some studies into the effects of licorice on our bodies have suggested that it has the potential to increase blood pressure and decrease blood potassium levels. These studies have used either isolated extracts of a constituent known as Glycyrrhizic Acid (GA) or licorice candy sweets. Isolated GA is highly concentrated and absorbed more rapidly by the body in comparison to ingesting the raw plant material. Similarly, in licorice candy sweets, it is the high levels of sugar and salt that may be responsible for significant changes in blood pressure or potassium levels; subjects were also ingesting up to 1kg of these licorice candies on a daily basis.

When these details are taken into consideration, there is no evidence of any negative side effects resulting from the intake of licorice based teas. In fact, a number of additional naturally occurring constituents found in licorice root have actually been shown to modify the enzymes that initiate changes in blood chemistry and pressure depending upon the condition and need of the human body.

There is a broad consensus that a safe daily dosage of GA is 120mg per day when taken over a prolonged period. The majority of Pukka teas contain less than 10mg of GAper cup, meaning that they can be drunk freely throughout the day. Those teas with a higher level of licorice are ‘Three Licorice’ which contains 40mg of GA,‘Peppermint and Licorice’ (18mg) and ‘Licorice and Cinnamon’ (11mg).