Kudzu Root Helps Conquer Alcohol Craving The People’s Pharmacy

Kudzu vine is now widely distributed in the United States, including all the southeast, north to Massachusetts and Illinois, and west to Texas and Oklahoma. Approximately 2,000,000 acres of forest land are covered by Kudzu vine. Development of a recognized, validated testing method and threshold equol value or equol-to-daidzein ratio will aid future interpretation of evidence. The plant Cytisus laburnum from which cytisine is derived is traditionally used as an emetic and purgative, so nausea and vomiting is the main side effect. Like verenicline, it can disrupt the sleep cycle and cause nightmares. In an in vitro experiment, biochanin A demonstrated potential hypolipidemic activity via activation of peroxisome proliferator–activated receptors. “I’m hopeful but skeptical,” says David J. Hanson, PhD, professor emeritus of sociology at State University of New York at Potsdam.

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  • Current or past alcohol dependence; may meet criteria for alcohol abuse.

Kudzu was introduced to the United States in the late 1800s to control soil erosion. Although it is widely recognized as a ground cover and fodder crop in the Western world, kudzu also has a history of medicinal use in Asian cultures. Beginning in the sixth century BC, Chinese herbalists used the plant to prevent intoxication, reduce muscular pain, and treat measles. “We suspect it may work because it increases blood flow,” he says. “It may deliver alcohol to the brain’s reward center faster. So you get an effect sooner; therefore, you don’t drink as much.” Before the second, they took either 1,200 milligrams of puerarin or identical-looking placebo pills for a week.

Cardiovascular effects

Is considered safe, with few side effects other than the potential for an allergic reaction to the plant. “The most urgent need is helping people who cannot help themselves, who need a drug to help them stop drinking,” Keung said. None of the subjects had any side effects from mixing kudzu with beer. After the first session, some subjects received capsules of kudzu, others a placebo. Several in vitro and animal studies indicate glucose-lowering effects; therefore, additive effects are possible with use of antihyperglycemic agents. Puerarin and other compounds from Radix puerariae affect CYP-450 isoenzymes; study results demonstrate contradictory effects .

alcohol drinking

Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. An at-home detox may be right for some https://ecosoberhouse.com/, but you’ll need to work with a doctor to be sure you’re doing it safely. Some programs offer you a chance to live in a facility where you can have more intense treatment. With other programs, you live at home but visit a treatment center daily. That’s a period where you don’t drink so your body can begin recovering. Alcohol use disorder has also been linked to a higher risk of several cancers, including colon, breast, oral, liver, and throat cancers.

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A small kudzu for alcohol cravings showed that in heavy drinkers of alcohol, kudzu did result in a reduction of the number of beers consumed after 7 days of treatment. The isoflavones daidzin, daidzein, and puerarin may help to suppress ethanol intake. Although the mechanism of action is not certain, inhibition of alcohol dehydrogenase is thought to be a major factor in kudzu’s potential antidipsotropic activity. The ability of puerarin and related isoflavones to facilitate alcohol’s entry into the brain has not been systematically studied. 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. This is precisely what was observed in the present study as kudzu’s effects were evident after a single dose within a few hours of administration. Of course, it is entirely possible that any of the above mechanisms may also develop with repeated administration and complement the immediate altered absorption effect that likely explains kudzu’s rapid onset of action.

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. This interpretation of kudzu’s possible mechanism of action was also suggested by Wong et al. who postulated that kudzu alters peripheral and cerebral blood flow. Puerarin, one of the most abundant isoflavones in kudzu root extracts, is a known vasodilator and is approved for such use in China following coronary infarction and stroke (Wu et al., 2014). Is most famous as a quick-growing weed in the southern United States.

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