Kudzu Root: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects

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. As a safe, over-the-counter preparation, kudzu may be used alone in initial attempts to curb alcohol consumption, but it may also become a useful adjunct to the currently available prescription medications. This latter scenario might very well permit the use of lower doses of prescription medications and thus reduce the incidence of side effects. Furthermore, because kudzu extract exerts its beneficial effects within hours of the first dose, it could be administered along with a prescription medication and provide “coverage” until the other medication begins to work. Medication adherence was excellent and there were no adverse events and changes in vital signs, blood chemistry, and renal or liver function. There was no effect on alcohol craving, but kudzu extract significantly reduced the number of drinks consumed each week by 34–57 %, reduced the number of heavy drinking days, and significantly increased the percent of days abstinent and the number of consecutive days of abstinence.

  • Of course, it’s up to the individual to ensure that he or she doesn’t use this as an excuse to fall off the wagon.
  • Stores typically sell it as a powdered drink mix, an oral capsule or tablet, liquid drops, or as a food-grade starch to use in cooking.
  • It is important to place the magnitude of the effects of kudzu extract on alcohol drinking in context.
  • We have subsequently shown that puerarin is the major active isoflavone because 7 days treatment with this compound alone (1200 mg/day) produced a similar reduction of binge drinking as the extract (Penetar et al., 2012).
  • In addition, the wrist actigraphy device was programmed to provide an audible “beep” every 3 hours ± 20 minutes to which the participant was required to enter a number between 0 (no desire) to 10 (greatest desire ever) to record his desire to drink alcohol AT THAT TIME.

You may be wondering how people use kudzu root and what to know when considering whether to give it a try. 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. In addition, the diaries permitted the participants to enter additional data that could not be recorded on the watch. The room contained a small sink with an under-the-counter refrigerator where the beverages (beer, juice, and water) were kept.

Alcohol-attributable deaths and years of potential life lost, United States, 2001

We have previously reported on the sleep/wake patterns of the participants in this study (Bracken et al., 2011). 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). The ultimate role that natural preparations play will be complementary and might be useful in treating drug withdrawal and possibly relapse (Lu et al., 2009). The number of participants who drank each available beer during the 1.5 hour drinking session following administration of placebo or kudzu. Research has demonstrated that taking a kudzu extract prior to drinking can reduce alcoholic intake by between 30 and 50%.

  • However, it is important to recognize that one of the major weaknesses of the measure that we used to record desire to drink alcohol was that it was unidimensional.
  • He suggested that they test Kudzu to see if it would reduce alcohol consumption among their rats.
  • Scientists need to do more research on the effects of kudzu root in humans to investigate these effects in the liver.
  • This randomized between-subject, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involved two weeks of baseline, four weeks of treatment and two weeks of follow-up.

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 kudzu extract for alcoholism action. When alcohol is consumed, kudzu may reduce the time it takes for it to travel to the brain. A slightly increased concentration of alcohol in the brain results in a quicker reward, which in turn reduces a person’s desire to drink more alcohol. Various studies have used single, one-time doses or daily doses for a week without reported adverse effects.

Kudzu for Alcoholism: The Ultimate Dosage Guide

I recall feeling a very slight prickly feeling in my skin after I’d had a few drinks, and a mild head rush. Although I’m sure it would have helped me detoxify, I did not use kudzu after I quit drinking. My experience was limited to an experiment that I did years ago to see if taking the herb would reduce my drinking levels. Nor will it drastically enhance your quality of life after the first dose.

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking kudzu, especially if you are taking other medications or have underlying health conditions. Kudzu root may also be helpful for women experiencing menopausal symptoms. Research has found that kudzu can help reduce hot flashes and night sweats, as well as improve sleep quality. This may be due to the isoflavones in kudzu, which can help regulate hormone levels. Studies have found that the isoflavones in kudzu can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure.

Kudzu Root: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects

The present study revealed that kudzu extract is also effective in heavy drinkers in their home, work and/or school environment. 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.

However, if you want to cut down on drinking or detoxify your body during alcohol withdrawal, kudzu may be able to help. Next, Dr. Lee contacted researchers at the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies. He suggested that they test Kudzu to see if it would reduce alcohol consumption among their rats. It’s best to speak with your healthcare provider to determine whether kudzu root could interact with any medications you’re taking. It’s important to note that this is a case study, so it can’t prove kudzu root caused this liver injury. Scientists need to do more research to investigate the potential of kudzu root to cause liver injury in humans.

The ActiWatch has a small button and digital LED faceplate and participants wore the device 24 hours a day for the entire 8-week study and were asked to record all drug and alcohol use by pressing the button to enter the proper code. Participants were provided with a small card that identified unique codes to record use of alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, and other drugs. Participants were instructed to report when they consumed each drink, which was defined as a 12 oz can of beer, 5 oz glass of wine or 1.5 oz distilled spirits. 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. After providing written informed consent, a psychiatric evaluation (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV disorders (First, 2002)) was performed and a physical exam including electrocardiogram, vital signs, full hematology, blood chemistry and urinalysis tests was conducted.

  • The kudzu plant resembles poison ivy, so it’s important to know how to identify it correctly.
  • This time, the groups were given the opposite pill from the one they’d previously taken (meaning that they acted as their own control for the experiment).
  • Another study found that people who took puerarin, an isoflavone extract from the kudzu plant, prior to drinking took longer to consume alcoholic beverages (3).
  • The placebo-treated group opened 33 beers during baseline conditions and 38 following treatment whereas the kudzu-treated group opened 32 beers during baseline conditions and only 21 following treatment.

As drinking behavior was measured using a wrist actigraphy device, we were able to monitor alcohol consumption continuously, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. The reductions in drinking during kudzu extract treatment were modest, but were equivalent to a 34–57% reduction over the treatment weeks; reductions in drinking https://ecosoberhouse.com/ during placebo treatment ranged from 5.8–36%. The reductions in drinking by kudzu extract were observed by the second week of treatment and persisted through the 4th week of treatment. In addition, the two treatments greatly differed in the percent of days abstinent as well as the number of consecutive days of abstinence.

Studies have shown that kudzu may work by increasing blood flow to the brain, reducing the desire to drink, and reducing the severity of hangovers. The last study above was designed to test the hypothesis that kudzu accelerates the subjective experience of alcohol intoxication. If this were the primary effect of kudzu increasing blood flow, then subjects should feel more intoxicated with fewer drinks after taking kudzu. 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. Because of this effect, kudzu might also be helpful for people who have quit drinking and want to make sure that a potential slip doesn’t become a full blown relapse.

kudzu extract and alcohol addiction

In conclusion, while kudzu shows promise as a natural remedy for alcoholism, more rigorous clinical studies are needed to determine its effectiveness. It is crucial for individuals struggling with alcohol addiction to seek professional help and consider evidence-based treatments. From improving heart health and regulating blood sugar levels to reducing inflammation and menopausal symptoms, kudzu may be a useful addition to a healthy lifestyle. However, more research is needed to fully understand 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.

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