Premature Ventricular Contractions
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Rianne
Posted on: May 6, 1999

I am wondering about licorice as a medical use when you have PVCs (Premature Ventricular Contractions), which is a condition of the heart: a rhythm that gives you two heart beats contracted and then a pause. I found on a web site that many people have this condition and that the cause is unknown. I have PVC’s for two years and have attacks every fifteen minutes or so. I had an echo cardiogram stress test done 1-1/2 ago, and the doctor told me that my heart looked ‘normal’ and I just had to learn to live with it. I am a runner, run about 3 to 4 miles most days, am 46 years years old, weigh 110 pounds, 5.3".

I was in Holland in March and got a bad cold and took aspirins, I noticed that I didn’t have PVC’s any more. Thought it might be the aspirins. At the same time I ate a lot of licorice – a candy that I love, but only can get there (licorice here doesn’t have the same strength or taste). I’m still taking aspirin but my licorice is finished, and now my PVCs are back in full force. Wondered if it’s possible that the licorice helped me in not having the PVCs?

I don’t know whether licorice helps with premature ventricular contractions. The cause of PVCs, in the absence of heart disease, is unknown, but they are often related to anxiety and stress. Licorice supports the adrenal glands, which become depleted in anxiety and stress.

Most health food stores carry good licorice, in powdered form, as candy imported from England and sometimes the whole licorice root. Licorice, if taken in large doses for long periods of time can cause water retention, high blood pressure and low potassium levels.

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