Herbal treatment for alcoholism has its roots (pardon the pun) deep in the past. Plants have been utilized for many hundreds of years for the treatment of alcohol-related conditions.
These herbal treatments are often incorporated into a holistic approach for alcohol withdrawal. For additional information regarding a holistic approach to alcohol withdrawal, you can look at Holistic Alcohol Treatment page.
A concern with herbal treatment approaches is that there is undoubtedly a placebo effect which can lead individuals to think that they are more effective than they truly are. None of the herbal treatments available would work as an all-encompassing treatment for alcoholism.
They do all have their place but only within a holistic alcohol treatment program that includes behavioral, psychological and physical therapy. The combination of these approaches gives an individual the best chances for a healthy and successful recovery.
Having said all this, let's take a closer look at these herbs and the specific aspects of alcohol dependence they can be used to address.
Herbal Treatment for Alcoholism: Kudzu Herb
Of all the herbs, kudzu has perhaps the greatest potential as an alcoholism treatment. The use of kudzu can be traced back to ancient China. Even then, it was observed that individuals who took kudzu drank less compared to those who did not.
Kudzu has also been known to help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal such as
When taking kudzu, it is encouraged to take the recommended amount as taking too much can lead to adverse side effects.
Dr. Scott Lukas is perhaps the leading researcher of Kudzu. One of his studies, the results of which were published in May 2005, found that individuals who took Kudzu and then consumed alcohol drank less than those who did not.
Research has shown that individuals see a 30-60% decrease in the amount of alcohol they drink when they take kudzu compared to when they do not take it.
His belief is that kudzu slows the breaking down of alcohol in the blood stream. This increases the blood alcohol level and makes the drinker feel drunker than he would if he had not taken kudzu. This makes him less inclined to drink more as they are able to reach the desired state of intoxication sooner.
Dr. Wing Ming Keung of Harvard is also currently working on kudzu, attempting to find the compound within the herb that has the anti-craving effect. Such a compound could then be used to create the anti-craving medicine of the future.
If you are interested in trying Kudzu out for yourself, please do your research as to where it is coming from and other ingredients added. The only source for Kudzu we recommend is Planetary Herbals, this is because their product Full Spectrum Kudzu contains ONLY pure root.
Most other preparations out there are weak and ineffective because they fill their capsules with other parts of the plant that do not contain the alcohol-craving inhibiting compounds.
While this may make a difference on the prices of varying products, it will have an impact on the effects that you experience.
Milk Thistle for the Liver
Milk Thistle is often used in the treatment of liver dysfunction. The seeds contain silymarin which helps to cleanse the liver of poisons. This is why it is commonly used in liver detox diets and other similar cleanses.
A common consequence to prolonged alcohol use is varying forms of liver damage. It is not uncommon for alcoholics to take milk thistle as a preventive for liver damage or taking it with the hopes of stopping the progression of current damage.
Milk Thistle can also be used by individuals who are undergoing alcoholism detox to help rid the liver of alcohol and promote a healthy liver.
However, silymarin is not effective with severe liver damage, such as alcoholic hepatitis or alcoholic cirrhosis.
As noted above for kudzu, it is strongly recommended that you do your research into the milk thistle before purchasing. As with many things, it is possible for milk thistle to be misrepresented when marketed.
Alcohol and St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort is a herbal remedy that has been embraced by the mainstream medical community. It has been shown in many studies to alleviate depression.
Alcoholism and depression often go hand in hand. Alcohol itself is classified as a depressant which can enhance existing feelings of depression, sadness and hopelessness. Individuals who drink may begin to experience depressive symptoms for a combination of reasons. Continuous drinking will lead to a continued depressive impact from the alcohol.
It is also common for heavy drinkers to experience life challenges related to or resulting from their drinking behaviors. This could be legal difficulties, trouble at work and concerns within romantic and family relationships.
From what has been observed, St. John’s Wort has a similar effect to that of Kudzu. Meaning, those who take it and then drink, tend to drink less that those who don't.
A study by Bradford School of Pharmacy has isolated a chemical called hperforin which is in the pigment that gives the flowers their bright orange/yellow color. Hyperforin seems to be responsible for the herb's ability to reduce alcohol intake.
Again, if you are interested in trying St. John’s Wort, please be through with the source you are purchasing from. You can buy Full Spectrum St. John's Wort Extract from the only source we recommend by clicking on the link.
Herbal Treatment Of Alcoholism: Other Herbs
· Passion flower has been used in the herbal treatment of opiate withdrawal for some time now. It helps alleviate the nausea associated with withdrawal.
Recent research has demonstrated that it can also help with alcoholism detox and the associated withdrawal symptoms. Research has shown that passion flower can also decrease symptoms of anxiety, stress and insomnia. If you are interested in passion flower, you can buy Passion Flower 1 Oz Alcohol free from a reputable source that we recommend.
· Ginseng is well-known for its revitalizing and energizing qualities. Its main action on the body is to speed up the metabolism, by doing so it can also help the body break down alcohol more quickly thus aiding detox from alcohol.
Ginseng is known to help reduce
Obtaining Ginseng root (the part of the plant that is most effective) can be difficult, but Pocheon Ginseng has a unique product, Korean Red Ginseng Root With Honey that although a bit on the pricey side, is the most effective Ginseng product on the market.
Don't waste your time with inferior health store tablets and capsules, they are usually stuffed with filler and contain less that 10% Ginseng.
· Cayenne pepper is a great tonic for the stomach. Those who drink too much alcohol tend to suffer from stomach problems and, in particular gastritis. Alcohol irritates the stomach lining which can cause discomfort or permanent damage.
Cayenne pepper relieves the
If you are interested in trying Organic Cayenne Pepper Powder, click the link. As with other herbal treatments listed, be knowledgeable about the product itself as well as the source before taking it.
It is important to note that when undertaking herbal treatment for alcoholism that when buying extracts, tinctures and essences that they do not contain alcohol.
Alcohol is commonly used as an aid to extract the active elements of a herb. Look closely at the label before buying. Be mindful of the source of the medication as well.
There are other herbal treatments for alcoholism, however, the ones above are the more widely used.
A note of caution: should you be attempting to withdraw from alcohol or have an alcohol-related health concern, it is essential you consult a medical professional. Alcohol withdrawal can cause some have some serious effects including seizures and potentially death.
Risk factors that can increase a person’s chances for a more challenging withdrawal would be multiple detoxes in the past and a prolonged history of excessive alcohol use.
If you have other health concerns, including liver damage or cirrhosis, consult with your primary physician before taking any supplements to help with alcoholism.
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