Licorice brew leads to hypertensive crisis

Timely reminder to ask patients about their licorice habits, say case report authors

An 84-year-old man with long-standing hypertension presented to a Canadian ED with a hypertensive emergency, unaware that the cause was licorice tea.

herbal tea

His blood pressure was 196/66mmHg; on physical examination he had signs of volume overload, including pulmonary crackles on auscultation and pitting oedema up to his knees. 

A chest X-ray was consistent with mild pulmonary oedema, his McGill University doctors report in the CMAJ.

The patient, who had type 2 diabetes, dyslipidaemia and coronary artery disease,