Alcoholism, or alcohol dependence syndrome, is a progressive disease characterized by craving, loss of control, physical dependence, and tolerance. Although withdrawal is best performed under experienced doctor supervision, herbs may aid in the suspension or severity of cravings and decrease withdrawal symptoms.
The kudzu plant is native to Japan and China, where it has traditionally been used to treat hangovers and to reduce alcohol consumption. With no known side effects, a standard dosage ranges from 30 to 150 mg of the root three times a day.
Studies in the United States have had mixed results. One study suggested that kudzu reduced alcohol consumption by almost half that as the control group, while a different study showed that subjects with chronic alcoholism who consumed kudzu had no perceptible change in cravings.
St. Johns Wort
St. John’s Wort is an herbal antidepressant that has shown to be effective in combating mild to moderate depression. New research shows it may also be effective in reducing alcohol cravings. Dosages range from 200 to 1000 mg. St. John’s Wort increases sensitivity to sunlight and may interact with some medications.
Milk Thistle and Dandelion
Both milk thistle and dandelion may aid those with alcohol dependency or abuse. Around 420 to 600 mg of milk thistle extract may help the liver recover from the effects of alcohol. Dandelion is known to help liver-related problems and may help with alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Dandelion may be consumed in a tea by combining 1 oz. dandelion and boiling water, or 2 to 8 grams of dried root may be consumed three times a day.
Some herbs may be problematic if you have certain medical conditions. Herbs may have side effects and may interact with certain medications. Consult with a doctor before beginning herbal regimes.