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Kudzu and Alcohol: Is It Effective or Dangerous?

 Kudzu and Alcohol: Is It Effective or Dangerous? Perbesar

kudzu for alcohol cravings

But, we’ll preface this by saying that unlike other super common herbal supplements, kudzu hasn’t been widely tested—although preliminary studies do look promising. And, it does come with a list of possible side effects, Beckerman says, including itchiness, upset stomach, dizziness, nausea, headache, fever, and even the possibility of red blood cells breaking inside blood vessels. Kudzu root is available in lots of forms including capsules, liquid extracts, and powder. There’s not a recommended dosage for kudzu root, but there have been human studies that can help guide you. Kudzu can be taken in conjunction with other medications for alcoholism, but it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before combining treatments. Kudzu may interact with certain medications, such as benzodiazepines, and can cause adverse effects.

Kudzu and Alcoholism

kudzu for alcohol cravings

Clinical trials are usually designed with an abstinence endpoint, but many of them collect data on secondary endpoints, such as cravings. Perhaps this explains the reason for there being only a few studies on this pathology, which requires attention and specifies treatment. The contemporary theoretical framework regarding the phenomenon of cravings incorporates behavioral theories of classical conditioning, cognitive and motivational mechanisms, as well as anatomofunctional and neurobiochemical factors [3]. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) 5 cravings are one of the diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependence syndrome and is defined as “the desire to experience the effects of a previously experienced psychoactive substance” [4]. Kudzu is a vine that is native to East Asia and is popular (as a starch) in Asian cooking. The roots and flowers of the kudzu plant are packed with an array of biologically active compounds that can have many beneficial effects; it’s often used as a hangover cure and to suppress cravings for alcohol.

  • In fact, even a single dose of kudzu extract may be helpful if you’re looking to reduce your drinking.
  • Data from the actiwatch device was the primary source for all analyses while the daily diary served as a back up to verify daily totals and in case of equipment failure.
  • Researchers bought a variety of Kudzu extracts from stores and Internet sites.
  • It acts by binding to the alpha-2-delta type 1 subunit of voltage-gated calcium channels.
  • For this mechanism to be plausible, the more rapid penetration of alcohol into the brain would have to trigger a satiety mechanism rather quickly such that the desire for the next drink is delayed—thus interrupting a binge episode.
  • The plant contains phytoestrogens, which are compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.
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1 Alcohol Consumption

Two hours before the first visit, we gave both sub-groups a pill – neither group knew whether they were getting the supplement or the placebo. When they visited the bar, beer, spirits and white wine were freely available. The amount of alcohol consumed was calculated for each group (1 unit per drink of beer or spirits, 1.6 units per glass of wine). “There are anti-inflammatory properties in kudzu, which may help reduce inflammation in the body,” Beckerman says. Inflammation is not something to be take lightly as it can contribute to more serious issues like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer.

Kudzu Root: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects

This randomized between-subject, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involved two weeks of baseline, four weeks of treatment and two weeks of follow-up. Seventeen men (21–33 years) who reported drinking 27.6 ± 6.5 drinks/week with a diagnosis of alcohol abuse/dependence took either kudzu extract (250 mg isoflavones, t.i.d.) or matched placebo on a daily basis. We developed a standardized kudzu extract that preserved the ratio of the major isoflavones found in the raw root, except that the concentration of isoflavones was herbs to reduce alcohol cravings increased to 25%. Regardless of the mechanism of action, the present finding that a modest, single dose of kudzu extract reduces binge drinking has profound implications as it offers a unique opportunity for early intervention for problem drinkers. As an herbal plant extract, kudzu can be made available without a prescription. While it does not completely eliminate drinking, it is clearly effective in significantly reducing intake, which offers individuals an opportunity to engage in more responsible drinking patterns.

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Furthermore, kudzu root has demonstrated potential benefits for heart health, diabetes management, antioxidant protection, and alleviating menopausal symptoms. However, further research is necessary to fully comprehend the effects of kudzu on the body. Studies on the effectiveness of kudzu for alcoholism have shown mixed results. While some studies have shown promising results, others have found no significant difference between kudzu and a placebo. It is important to note that kudzu should not be used as a substitute for professional medical treatment for alcoholism. Your doctor can evaluate your medical history, current health, and the severity of your alcoholism to provide personalized recommendations.

  • Interestingly, Baclofen resulted in the patients comprising a higher proportion of the abstinence maintenance group (three out of six articles), but a lower proportion of the cravings reduction group (two out of six).
  • According to some studies, kudzu root may help manage some symptoms of metabolic syndrome.
  • Of the 60 articles, 47 assessed both the outcomes of cravings reduction and abstinence.
  • The amount of alcohol consumed was calculated for each group (1 unit per drink of beer or spirits, 1.6 units per glass of wine).
  • You should talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this product.

A total of 21 adult males (17 Caucasian, 1 African American, 2 Hispanic, 1 Middle Eastern; mean age 23.8 ± 3.46 years, range 21–33) were recruited through advertisements in local and college newspapers and flyers posted in the Boston area. Persons who responded to these advertisements were given a brief telephone screen, and invited to the laboratory for further evaluations. Persons of Asian descent were excluded because of their known increased flushing reaction to alcohol. Individuals with a body mass index (BMI) outside the range of 18–25 kg/m2 were also excluded. Because prescription medications are not universally used or have a perceived modest effect (Krystal et al., 2001; Mark et al., 2003), providing heavy drinkers with any type of intervention that yields even a modest reduction in drinking is desirable. Furthermore, there is a need to develop efficacious medicines from natural products that have a low incidence of side effects or toxicity (Xu et al., 2005).

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kudzu for alcohol cravings

8. Selection Articles

It is, therefore, thought not to make alcohol more dangerous – merely slow down our rate of drinking. Furthermore, the men who took kudzu had fewer heavy drinking days per week and had significantly more consecutive days with no alcohol consumption (2). Sporadic missing data from the actiwatches were filled in from the back up daily diary data. Data due to dropouts were handled as missing data and no values were entered.

Kudzu and Menopausal Symptoms

  • Among them were Naltrexone (eleven), Acamprosate (four), Naltrexone and Acamprosate (two), and Nalmefene (one).
  • Additionally, it resulted in numerous side effects, which led to a drug dose reduction or discontinuation [70].
  • While kudzu root has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine, people most often use it to help treat alcohol dependence.
  • This is the first demonstration that a single dose of kudzu extract quickly reduces alcohol consumption in a binge drinking paradigm.
  • Kudzu did what it was supposed to do – it curbed my drinking noticeably.


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