Liquorice has been used as a sweetener for centuries and centuries over here - and it tastes nothing like anise - the confusion comes because almost all old fashioned liquorice candies use anise as the main flavouring!
I have seen those health warnings before - but the amounts being discussed are far larger than those used in my snus recipes ... the amount of root I would infuse for a 100g batch would be at most 2 inches long and the majority of the active ingredients would stay in the root anyway ... Some chewing tobacco, especially german chewing tobacco uses crazy amounts of liquorice to make a cloyingly sweet product and I expect that's what the medical website is talking about.
The data on Licorice is pretty fuzzy. There is no doubt that it inhibits the natural breakdown of adrenal cortisol, effectively causing an increase in the action of the hormone.
My only concern would be daily consumption of small quantities of licorice. But what "small" means is poorly understood. If the health risks were dramatic, there would be better data.
If you are young and healthy, I wouldn't give it another thought. If you currently have health issues, then moderation in use of licorice might be reasonable.
Good info. I monitor my blood pressure frequently and will be sure to use small amounts. I bought some powdered root on Amazon and as I'm between batches when it arrived I sprinkled about 1/4 gram on 30 grams finished snus and mixed in. It's nice, fresh mixed so flavor disappeared quick. It doesn't taste like anise at all, I guess I was expecting it to a bit. Tastes like sweet ginseng to me.
Thanks for the warnings though, I won't make it a standard ingredient addition.