Lukas’ study was inspired by Dr. Wing Ming Keung, a pathology professor at Harvard Medical School who has studied kudzu’s potential medical applications. After the first session, some subjects received capsules of kudzu, others a placebo. We found that, on average, each person consumed 7 units of alcohol after the placebo and, on average, 5.5 units after the kudzu. The root in particular is valued for its medicinal properties, and the beneficial effects are thought be down to a group of compounds found in high concentrations within the plant, called isoflavones. The room contained a small sink with an under-the-counter refrigerator where the beverages (beer, juice, and water) were kept. Small studies in people have observed noteworthy improvements in these menopausal symptoms, among others, like vaginal dryness (9, 10).
Only one breath sample was positive for alcohol during all three phases of the study. Regarding the specific drugs used for an alcohol abuse treatment, Naltrexone proved to be quite effective in reducing cravings (85.7%); however, the authors obtained worse abstinence results (33.33%) for both criteria (28.5%). Acamprosate, which only showed the benefits in both abstinence and cravings reduction in one article, did not have a positive result for both criteria in the other two studies found. Nalmefene, on the other hand, did not show a significant difference compared to the placebo in one article. Kudzu is a natural remedy that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. It has been suggested that kudzu may be effective in reducing alcohol consumption, alcohol cravings, and withdrawal symptoms in individuals with alcohol use disorders.
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Olanzapine did not differ from the placebo in reducing cravings or maintaining abstinence . We selected randomized the articles on double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials on patients with alcohol disorder who are dependent. Animal subjects, the use of other drugs, the presence of psychiatric comorbidities, and studies that did not assess cravings were excluded.
In addition, the diaries permitted the participants to enter additional data that could not be recorded on the watch. This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. Numerous drugs which are not specifically used for the treatment of AUD are used in psychiatry with a certain frequency due to the scarcity of therapeutic options. “The most urgent need is helping people who cannot help themselves, who need a drug to help them stop drinking,” Keung said.
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However, there are a lot of supplements that claim to contain kudzu that are mostly cheap fillers. Kudzu is known to be extremely safe, with very few reported adverse side effects. My problem at the time was a denial of the severity of my drinking problem.
- Lastly, this review relied on articles from English language databases, and no studies from African and Middle Eastern countries were found, possibly due to there being limited research in these regions and less alcohol consumption in Muslim countries.
- Research has demonstrated that taking a kudzu extract prior to drinking can reduce alcoholic intake by between 30 and 50%.
- While on the topic of entheogens, which are natural, plant-based psychedelic substances, it is worth mentioning ketamine for alcohol.
- Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence.
- But one use of kudzu root that has proven itself in several human trials is its ability to reduce cravings for alcohol.
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). Both Gabapentin and Topiramate were focused on in two studies each with consistent results in promoting abstinence. Additionally, there were three studies on each drug that demonstrate concordant results in reducing cravings. However, for Topiramate, out of the three studies, only two evaluated abstinence, and these showed favorable results in compared to those of the placebo. Varenicline, which is a drug widely used in the treatment of smoking cessation, had a significant impact.
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However, it does not make people feel more drunk, or affect their physical abilities or mental agility. It is, therefore, thought not to make alcohol more dangerous – merely slow down our rate of drinking. There is some evidence that kudzu root dietary supplements may cause liver injury. One study in mice found that taking 10 mg per day of kudzu root extract for 4 weeks caused liver toxicity (15). 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.
Participants were randomized on a blind basis to receive either 4 capsules of the extract (for a total of 520 mg isoflavones) or placebo (sugar beet filler) 2.5 hours before the start of an afternoon drinking session. This pretreatment time was selected based on our pharmacokinetic study of puerarin absorption and elimination (Penetar et al., 2006). For targeting alcohol dependence, studies have used dosages of 1.2 grams of kudzu root extract per day over 1 week, or a single dose of 2 grams before drinking alcohol, without noted side effects (3, 19).
Lukas was not certain why but speculated that kudzu increases blood alcohol levels and speeds up its effects. Lukas and Lee hold a patent for kudzu extract to treat alcohol abuse and dependence. McLean Hospital has licensed the production of kudzu extract (NPI-031) to Natural Pharmacia International (NPI), Inc. that markets it as Alkontrol-Herbal™. The ability of puerarin and related isoflavones to facilitate alcohol’s entry into the brain has not been systematically studied.
Morning and evening sets of capsules also contained a 25 mg tablet of riboflavin (vitamin B2) and the afternoon sets contained an additional placebo capsule, in addition to the two kudzu extract capsules, in order to maintain a uniform number (3) of capsules. Capsule sets were individually packaged in small envelopes and marked on the outside with date and time of day to be consumed. Medication adherence was measured using ultraviolet (UV) light to detect riboflavin in centrifuged urine samples (Del Boca et al., 1996) that were collected twice a week. Endogenous levels of riboflavin are too low to fluoresce and participants were instructed to avoid multivitamin complexes while participating in the study. Because riboflavin is cleared from the body quickly, fluorescing urine indicated compliance in the past 18–24 hours. In addition, participants reported pill taking by checking time-of-day boxes on daily diaries and by entries on the wrist actigraphy watches.
For now, this drug should not be considered for alcohol detox, even though it is a natural plant product. This psychedelic compound is used in non-US clinics to treat addiction, but there is significant risk. While the drug is plant-based and natural, it has the herbs to curb alcohol cravings potential to cause heart rhythm issues that may be fatal. Doctors who oversee the medical detox process from excessive alcohol use typically prescribe medication and vitamins. Medical treatment helps to protect the patient and make the process more comfortable.