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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 970385, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/970385
Research Article

Influence of Herbal Complexes Containing Licorice on Potassium Levels: A Retrospective Study

1Department of Cardiovascular and Neurologic Diseases, Kyung Hee University Oriental Medicine Hospital, 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-702, Republic of Korea
2Department of Cardiovascular and Neurologic Diseases, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Seoul 134-727, Republic of Korea

Received 11 February 2014; Revised 1 May 2014; Accepted 19 May 2014; Published 19 June 2014

Academic Editor: Paul Posadzki

Copyright © 2014 WooSang Jung et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

To observe the influence of these complexes on potassium levels in a clinical setting, we investigated the influence of herbal complexes containing licorice on potassium levels. We retrospectively examined the medical records of patients treated with herbal complexes containing licorice from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2010. We recorded the changes in the levels of potassium, creatinine, and blood urea nitrogen and examined the differences between before and after herbal complexes intake using a paired t-test. In addition, we investigated the prevalence of hypokalemia among these patients and reviewed such patients. We identified 360 patients who did not show significant changes in the levels of potassium and creatinine ( , 0.289). We observed hypokalemia in 6 patients. However, in 5 patients, the hypokalemia did not appear to be related to the licorice. Thus, we could suggest that herbal complexes containing licorice do not significantly influence the potassium levels in routine clinical herbal therapies. However, we propose that follow-up examination for potassium levels is required to prevent any unpredictable side effects of administration of licorice in routine herbal medicine care.