Yes, taking Gan Cao (licorice root) at high doses for long periods of time can cause hypertension and/or edema.
Gan Cao (licorice root) is often used in Chinese Medicine at low doses to harmonise all the herbs in the formula. It influences all the channels and meridians. Gan Cao (licorice root) is sweet in nature, used to relieve emergencies, tonifies Qi of whole body, yet specifically Spleen, Heart, Lung, and Stomach, most specifically Spleen Qi, it is beneficial for shortness of breath, fatique, loose stool, irregular pulse, palpitations, moisten the lung to stop cough, good to clear heat and toxic fire - used for carbuncles or poisoning, also alleviates pain and stops spasms of legs or stomach.
Other Chinese herbs beneficial for diabetes due to deficiency of spleen qi, specific to type 2 diabetes, yet also occasionally seen in type 1, for the pattern of spleen qi deficiency are Shan Yao and Bai Zhu.
Shan Yao is Chinese Yam, another food, like licorice root... can buy at the Chinese Market, or many health food stores. Shan Yao is delicious, it is good for sweating, regulate appetite, used for fatigue, diarrhea, also benefits Lung qi and yin deficiency - for chronic cough and wheezing, it is good for Kidney deficiency marked by leukorrhea, or emissions and frequent urination. Excellent food/herb for diabetes! Diabetics can take up to 250g a day! Will increase strength and vitality and help regulate blood sugars.
Bai Zhu (Atractylodes (White) Rhizome) is also Spleen Qi Tonic, good for diabetes. #1 herb in Chinese Medicine to help the transformation and transportation function of the Spleen. This aids in metabolism. Bai Zhu is good at drying dampness, helps with weight loss, reduce food cravings, good for water retention and bloating, also used for excessive sweating due to spleen qi deficiency.
I wonder if Bai Zhu is an herb that contains or promotes production of amylase, an enzyme that aids in the chemical process of digestion, it is found in saliva and the pancreas makes amylase too. Dr. Bernstein is injecting overweight diabetic patients with amylase (heard this on a utube video interview with him). Maybe patients would like to have some bai zhu instead. There may be some research studies on this. It is interesting that research is showing what Chinese Medicine has known for years. There is always, new ways to say, or prove the same thing.
Anyway, Gan Cao (licorice root) improves the appetite, increases the appetite, I like to chew on a little bit of honey stir fried gan cao, to wake up my spleen, and give me an appetite. I am a thin, type 1 diabetic for almost 30 years. Many herbs have regulation effect, this one may curb appetite, or stimulate appetite, it has a harmonising effect.
Glad to see posts on herbals, and foods that are herbs, especially Chinese herbs. Thank you :)
PS, in Chinese Medicine, there is not a 'pancreas' there is Spleen, which often takes the function of what Western understanding of pancreas says. In TCM, Traditional Chinese Medicine,,, regulating blood sugar is not limited to Spleen, many zang/fu organs are involved. Identifying one specific herb and calling it, the "Diabetic" herb would be impossible. TCM Pattern identification would be important to say if an herb or combo of herbs would benefit diabetes, ie, regulate blood sugar. If the type of diabetes did not meet the TCM pattern identification... the herb would not work for that patient. I think the same goes for supplements, and western herbs,,, "this or that benefits Diabetes, lowers blood sugar, ect." Like Chromium for example, good for those who produce insulin, yet are not utilising insulin properly, or possibly good for those with insulin resistance, however; not so great for Type 1 diabetics who are not producing any, or very little insulin. Also, cinnamon, that study made me laugh. One the research study was only like 60 people, and it lowered bg by only a few points,,, then it was all over the media, Cinnamon is beneficial for diabetes! And the caution for diabetics, careful if you take cinnamon and also insulin or oral meds - it may drop your bg too low! Walking a flight of stairs lowers my blood sugar more than that!
Teld, how much do you figure hibiscus leaves are lowering your bg? Enough to reduce your insulin or oral meds? I have a friend who swears by hibiscus leaves, he is almost completely off his blood pressure meds.