- KUDZU: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews
While cirrhosis scars from excessive drinking are irreversible, quitting alcohol and leading a healthier lifestyle can help your liver heal from alcohol-related liver disease. That is why alcohol detox and alcohol withdrawal treatment is administered by medical professionals. Individuals who are dependent on alcohol often suffer from negative side effects such as physical dependence, anxiety, depression, confusion, organ damage, strained relationships and difficulty meeting major responsibilities.
Kudzu has been shown to be effective in reducing alcohol cravings and consumption in the short term. However, more research is needed to determine its long-term effectiveness in promoting alcoholism recovery. Kudzu may also interact kudzu to stop drinking with certain medications, such as disulfiram (Antabuse) and methotrexate. It is important to talk to a healthcare professional before taking kudzu, especially if you have liver disease or are taking prescription medication.
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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. This is reflected in a 2021 survey by the UK charity Drinkaware, which found that around one in four people reported finding it difficult to resist alcohol if their partner was drinking. More people are going sober or cutting down on alcohol than ever, with today’s young Americans less likely to drink than they would have two decades ago, according to a 2023 Gallup poll. But that means plenty of people aren’t changing their drinking habits, potentially making it tricky for those cutting down to stick to their goals.
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. One of the main reasons we drink alcohol is because it makes us feel more sociable. Recent guidelines recommend we stick to 14 units a week, which will be harder for some than others.
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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 number of participants who drank each available beer during the 1.5 hour drinking session following administration of placebo or kudzu.
The nature of these spheres, possessing several layers, also allows both fat and water soluble nutrients to be combined in the same sphere. Bupleurans, a major constituent of Bupleuri radix (Chai hu) contains triterpene saponins including saikosaponins A, B1–4, D, E, F and H and related compounds including saikogenins A–G. Two biologically active polysaccharides, bupleurans 2IIb and 2IIc, have also been isolated from the roots of B. Recently, unique discoveries have been made pertaining to the actions of bitters, and a family of 30 specific bitter flavor receptors in the GI Tract.
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A total of 42 out of 532 data points in the kudzu extract group and 26 out of 357 data points in the placebo group were handled this way, corresponding to 7.9% and 7.3% of the data, respectively. An industry standard adverse event reporting form was used to collect information on potential adverse and serious adverse events during each laboratory visit. Side/adverse effects also were tracked on a daily basis by entries in their diaries; items addressed a wide range of somatic complaints. Participants filled out a daily diary every morning as soon as possible upon awakening. Three questions asked them to report how many alcoholic drinks, tobacco cigarettes and caffeinated beverages they consumed and two questions asked about bedtime and wake time.
No side effects or changes in vital signs, blood, renal or liver function were recorded. In addition, it did not disrupt sleep, as usually occurs with other hangover cures. However, kudzu extract significantly reduced the number of drinks consumed each week by 34-57%. A study published in Psychopharmacology involved four weeks of treatment of 17 men ages 21–33 years old. These men reported drinking 27.6 ± 6.5 drinks/week with a diagnosis of alcohol abuse and/or alcohol dependence.
2 Behavioral and Subjective Effects
Although I’m sure it would have helped me detoxify, I did not use it 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. The kudzu plant is a vine that resembles poison ivy and is native to several Asian countries. Some research specifically on the kudzu species Pueraria mirifica suggests that doses of 50–100 mg per day appear to have a low risk of adverse side effects (18). While kudzu root may offer a few specific benefits, there are also some potential downsides to consider. In its raw form, kudzu root resembles other root tubers, such as potatoes or yams.