Woman develops high blood pressure after drinking liquorice tea, Sheffield medics reveal

Too much liquorice tea is bad for you.
Too much liquorice tea is bad for you.

A 48-year-old woman, believed to be from Sheffield, developed high blood pressure - because she drank three cups of liquorice tea each day, a medical report has revealed.

The unnamed patient suffered from headaches, nausea and dizziness for four months before her diagnosis - and medics believe her high blood pressure was caused by drinking the infused tea.

Doctors said the habit caused her to develop hypertension and low levels of potassium in her blood.

As soon as she stopped drinking the brew, all of her symptoms disappeared, medics wrote in the BMJ Case Reports.

Upon initial inspection, doctors struggled to find a cause for her high blood pressure and when drugs had no effect, the patient realised that her love of tea could be the cause of the problem.

She said her husband uncovered the link between liquorice and high blood pressure which made her highlight her habit to the doctors.

According to the report, the woman was consuming 'at least nine times above the safe limit' of glycyrrhizin in her three cups of tea a day.

'By omitting liquorice tea, the blood pressure normalised and headache resolved,' wrote doctors at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Liquorice tea has long been used to relieve heart burn and constipation - but research to prove its benefits are scarce.

Black liquorice contains high levels of glycyrrhizin, which prevents the body from properly absorbing potassium.

When potassium levels drop, sodium levels tend to rocket, which results in high blood pressure and can upset the heart's rhythm.