Love it or hate it, licorice is one of the most popular sweets in the world. In fact, if you're from the Netherlands, you may eat up to 4 pounds of licorice a year.
But more than just a tasty treat, licorice has long been claimed to have several health benefits. Indeed, it is a crucial source of glycyrrhizin, a phytochemical that may help heal peptic ulcers, sore throats, insomnia, bacterial infections and more.
However, thanks to the same phytochemical, pregnant women may need to avoid eating too much licorice in any form throughout their pregnancy.
What the science says
Unfortunately, science doesn't sway in favor of the beloved sweet. Several studies have called out excessive licorice consumption while pregnant for its adverse effects on your child's overall health.
Lower IQ and early puberty
Consuming large amounts of licorice may be associated with issues in the cognitive development of fetuses in the womb, according to a 2017 Finnish study published in the American