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Kudzu Root: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects

Keung et al. reported that Daidzin is a potent, selective, and reversible inhibitor of human mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase and this natural compound suppresses free-choice ethanol intake by Syrian golden hamsters. Other ALDH inhibitors, such as disulfiram and calcium citrate carbimide , have also been shown to suppress ethanol intake of laboratory animals and are thought to act by inhibiting the metabolism of acetaldehyde produced from ingested ethanol. The anti-craving effect of disulfiram may also be due to inhibition of dopamine beta hydroxylase thereby increasing neuronal dopamine . Anecdotal sources also note that kudzu root may lower blood sugar too much or slow down blood clotting. However, there is no available scientific evidence for this. Nevertheless, it may be a good idea to avoid if you use blood thinning or diabetes medications. Kudzu root offered heart-protective benefits to mice with burn-induced heart injuries. People have also used it in traditional Chinese medicine for heart disease, but scientists need to do more research on this .

kudzu extract for alcoholism

Unbeknownst to the drinkers, the table doubled as a special calibrated scale that allowed the researchers to measure the changing volume in the beer mug and calculate the amount of beer in each sip. Participants in the study were allowed to watch television or movies in the mock studio apartment while choosing drinks from a refrigerator stocked with a favorite brand of beer and other nonalcoholic drinks. Kudzu, an invasive plant introduced to the United States in 1876 and subsequently dubbed “the vine that ate the South,” was used as early as A.D. Recent research suggests that chemical compounds called isoflavones in the plant are the “active” ingredient in treating intoxication. Some research shows that milk thistle may help those looking to treat alcohol-related liver disease. It’s important to note that more studies are needed to confirm that the herb enhances liver health. Mindfulness therapies have been used to keep people from relapsing. Relapse is when someone resumes drinking in unhealthy ways after a period of recovery.

Kudzu Recovery: Conclusion

Alcohol quickly affects blood sugar, especially in the brain . Certainly an added stress of attempting to eliminate alcohol usage is the drastic swings in blood sugar, which when occurring may stimulate a stronger desire to drink . Any natural means to balance blood sugar can therefore be of great cessation benefit to alcohol programs. The herb called the kudzu is a high climbing, coarse textured twining and trailing type of perennial vine found in parts of Asia and naturalized elsewhere . Chinese traditional medicine makes use of the huge root that grows to the size of an adult human body-the kudzu called gégen in China, is a major source for many modern herbal products as well as traditional Chinese medications. In China, the kudzu or gégen is found growing in shaded areas along mountains, in the fields and along roadsides, in thickets and thin forests all over the country. Herbal products are also made from the root of another related Asian species of kudzu, called Pueraria thomsonii. The main compounds found in the root of the kudzu are the isoflavones, like the compound daidzein, also included are the isoflavone glycosides, like daidzin and the compound called puerarin.

Furthermore, it’s likely that the suggested doses for kudzu root will vary depending on the manufacturer and the type of supplement you may be considering. There isn’t much scientific evidence available on the dosing for kudzu root as a supplement. For this reason, it’s difficult to make recommendations for various uses. You may be wondering how people use kudzu root and what to know when considering whether to give it a try.

Kudzu Vine

Because my drinking levels were so stupendously high in the first place, kudzu did not turn me into a moderate drinker by any stretch of the imagination. Thus, I’m going to make sure I cover all of these topics and more so you become very knowledgeable about how kudzu works for helping people get better from alcoholism. In this article, I’m going to discuss how to use kudzu recovery for alcoholism. Kudzu is an invasive weed that has also been used to treat alcoholism for well over one thousand years. A major limitation to this pilot is the small number of subjects evaluated and as such we caution any definitive interpretation of these interesting results. However, this pilot serves as the basis to further these studies and confirmation in a much larger cohort may have important treatment ramifications for not only alcoholism but possibly RDS behaviors as well.

The most obvious is one that involves alcohol pharmacokinetics. The correlational analysis of absolute amount of alcohol consumed and breath alcohol levels in this study indicates that the physiological effects and the rate of elimination of ingested alcohol are not altered by kudzu administration. This was demonstrated in our previous study (Penetar et al., 2011) where pharmacokinetic parameters such as peak concentration and elimination time were not affected by kudzu. In that study, however, we did find evidence of an initial more rapid rise in blood alcohol levels in kudzu-treated individuals, suggesting that isoflavones may alter bioavailability of alcohol to the brain during the ascending alcohol absorption phase.

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Binge drinking is when someone has more than four or five drinks in two hours. A growing number of double-blind, peer reviewed studies have confirmed the effectiveness of using kudzu for alcoholism. Early research focused on rats with good results, which were later replicated with human subjects. Kudzu is believed to have its origins in China, where its tuberous root, known as Ge-gen, has been considered a valuable part of the traditional medicine for two millennia. Two classic traditional Chinese medical texts, The Internal Book of Huang Di and Shang Han Lun, reference the use of tea made from kudzu root for stiffness, neck and eye pain, and fevers as far back as Sober Home 200 BC. Chai hu , one of the most frequently used herbs in Chinese herbal medicine, has positive benefits in cases of liver toxicity especially due to alcoholism , analgesic properties as well as sedative activity . While the literature seems to support an effect of Kudzu and especially isoflavonoid constituents to suppress ethanol intake in animal models, in contrast, Shebek and Rindone were unable to reproduce this effect in humans. Specifically, in a prospective, randomized, double-blind controlled clinical trial they found no difference between Kudzu and placebo after a one month treatment period in either reducing alcohol craving and or promoting sobriety.

Most of the subjects came from church programs for alcohol dependence and were recruited via general assembly announcement and written flyer. Nine of the ten participants had previously tried other programs to eliminate alcohol cravings and intake with little or no success. The study was kudzu extract for alcoholism done in an at-home basis to allow for better compliance and prove if this program could be successful without daily intervention in a natural setting . Each subject had full time access to the study coordinator and had weekly contact with the coordinator during the full 8 week term.

But new research suggests that normal doses of beta carotene and vitamin A are not related to fracture risk. Effects of elevated female sex steroids on ethanol and acetaldehyde metabolism in humans. It’s important to seek AUD treatment only from a qualified healthcare professional or facility. Alcohol use disorder has also been linked to a higher risk of several cancers, including colon, breast, oral, liver, and throat cancers. A 2017 research review did not find that this therapy was more effective than other forms of relapse prevention. They train you to be aware of your thoughts, feelings, and cravings rather than simply reacting to them. NADA specialists say acupuncture should be used along with medical care, counseling, and other kinds of support. Hi Diane, I followed the directions for maximum dosage on the Planetary Herbals Kudzu. Rysuly MR, Azhibekova RJ Treatment of the Rennaissance-Iodine containing drug on patients with Hepatitis C. Amaty, Astana, Kazakhstan.

  • A standardized formulation of kudzu extract produced minimal side effects, was well-tolerated, and resulted in a modest reduction in alcohol consumption in young nontreatment-seeking heavy drinkers.
  • After completion of the program each subject re-took the AUD questionnaire and also filled out an exit interview.
  • I took several capsules per day before drinking, and went through all of the kudzu in about one month.
  • Currently we do not have a reasonable explanation as to why the subjects on Declinol did not have benefits related to both their inability to handle set- backs and or sleep .
  • Some evidence suggests kudzu root may help with liver damage, while other preliminary evidence suggests it may cause liver injury in certain cases.
  • Additionally, Gan Cao harmonizes the effect of the medicinals.

Someone who is told by their doctor to cut down on drinking for health reasons might, he says. Penetar holds the investigational new-drug application for puerarin. McLean Hospital has a licensing agreement with NPI for the extract. The first session was to make the participants familiar with the surroundings. Heyman GM, Keung WM, Vallee BL. Daidzin decreases ethanol consumption in rats. Bohn MJ, Krahn DD, Staehler BA. Development and initial validation of a measure of drinking urges in abstinent alcoholics. A. Several studies have indicated that even recommended amounts of vitamin A might weaken bones and lead to fractures.

RELATED TO VITAMINS & SUPPLEMENTS

Finally, the role of Disulfiram because of its inhibition of Dopamine –Beta –Hydroxylase thereby increasing brain dopamine has been also proposed for cocaine abuse or possibly other RS behaviors . Currently we do not have a reasonable explanation as to why the subjects on Declinol did not have benefits related to both their inability to handle set- backs and or sleep . We are cognizant that alcohol abuse induces severe effects on brain reward circuitry affecting stress/anxiety as well as reticular formation in the brain. These problems may have to be addressed in future studies and may require additional therapies and neurochemical epigenetic modifications. While we only selected a small number of patients to study in this pilot because we wanted to capture a positive effect prior to a much larger study being planned in the future, we are encouraged with these preliminary results.

Eco Sober House

In spite of the compelling preclinical and clinical evidence of its efficacy, the precise mechanism of action of kudzu in reducing alcohol consumption is not currently known. Prior studies of its antidipsotropic effect have focused on taste-aversion, alterations in alcohol metabolism or effects on neurotransmitters. Overstreet et al.’s study provides cursory evidence that a taste aversion mechanism is not likely. Increases in 5-HIAL have been shown to be correlated with decreased alcohol consumption in hamsters (Keung et al., 1995). Kudzu’s alteration of alcohol consumption may be through direct effects at brain benzodiazepine receptors on the GABAA complex. All of the above mentioned mechanisms, with the exception of a disulfiram-like one, require repeated administration and time to develop. Since consuming alcohol while taking kudzu extract is not aversive, another explanation is necessary to account for the extremely fast onset of action observed in the present study.

Is beer better than liquor for your liver?

Myth 3: Drinking hard liquor is worse than drinking beer or wine. Contrary to popular belief, the type of alcohol you drink doesn't make a difference – what matters is how much you drink.

Franke et al. found that both post- and premenopausal women may begin to produce equol with increased isoflavone exposure. The kudzu root is already widely sold as a dietary supplement. At the dose used in the study, three weeks’ worth costs about $6. After placebo treatment, three people drank five beers and one drank six. For a final session, they took whichever pill they didn’t take the first time. They took it for a week, then went to the lab again for a drinking session. More remedies are needed to help drinkers who overdo it cut down, Penetar says.

kudzu extract for alcoholism

Milk thistle is an herb rich in the antioxidant silymarin. It is often touted as a means of restoring liver health and protecting against liver damage from too much alcohol. In one of the studies in the review, researchers compared a real acupuncture treatment to a fake one. In the real treatment, researchers placed needles into zones linked to alcohol-related behaviors. In the sham treatment, they placed needles into other areas of the body. Arno Kroner, DAOM, LAc, is a board-certified acupuncturist, as well as an herbalist and integrative medicine doctor.

kudzu extract for alcoholism

In fact Keung et al. demonstrated a direct correlation between ALDH-2 inhibition and ethanol intake suppression and raise the possibility that daidzin may in fact suppress ethanol intake of golden hamsters by inhibiting ALDH-2. However, this effect by daidzin is not like a classical ALDH-2 inhibitor because it does not also inhibit the cytosolic form, of liver ALDH-1, which is a very efficient catalyst of acetaldehyde oxidation. Thus daidzin can suppress ethanol intake of this species without blocking acetaldehyde metabolism. There are many ways, both medical and traditional, that are used to treat alcohol abuse or dependence. In China, kudzu root extract has been commonly used to reduce, but not eliminate, alcohol consumption and dependence. Despite its history, the mechanism of action for kudzu extract is still unknown, and that is what the current research explores. Ten Patients were enrolled in a 60 day study to determine the effectiveness of a natural compound Declinol to curb cravings for alcohol.

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