DISCLAIMER: CONSULT WITH A DOCTOR BEFORE DECIDING ON A TREATMENT PLAN FOR ANY OTHER DISEASE OR INJURY.
Quit Drinking for Good with Three Supplements
When I found out that a close family member was addicted to methamphetamines, I did all kinds of research on herbal treatments for addiction. His father had been an alcoholic and as I scoured the literature for information about quitting meth, I started finding information about herbs for alcohol dependence. In fact, some of the herbal treatments for meth addiction also help alcoholics recover from their addiction too. Many experts believe that alcoholics have a hard time metabolizing sugars which plays a big role in the addictive behaviors. For this problem, many alcoholics can benefit from taking Kudzu. But for the addictive behaviors that pertain to dopamine and the need to build up a supply of this crucial anti-addiction neurotransmitter, Mucuna is the herbal treatment for alcoholism that everyone should know about. These plants are from the same family and they can be taken together at the same time.
Herbs for Alcoholism
Kudzu for Alcohol Addiction
It’s a real tragedy that more people don’t know about Kudzu. Big Pharma would love to take this plant and create a synthetic patentable medication based on how it works, but alas, scientists still don’t fully understand the mechanism of action behind Kudzu. That’s a good thing in some ways. Kudzu is a plant medicine that may work through several different mechanisms that need to be synchronized as a whole plant medicine to work properly to cure alcoholism.
Kudzu grows wild along the roadside in Louisiana where it’s considered a nuisance. But in Japan and other Asian countries, Kudzu is used as an important medicinal herb. Indeed, Kudzu and it’s cousin, Mucuna pruriens (see below) makes soils more fertile, which was why they were brought to the United States in the first place. It takes a lot of money and effort for Big Pharma to keep these herbs under wraps and make sure people don’t fully understand how they can be used and what they can do in terms of quitting drinking for good. Until Big Pharma can create a synthetic version of these herbs, they don’t want people like you to find out about them.
Kudzu and Mucuna are related plants but they have a slightly different effect on the body and the brain. Kudzu is the Number-One-Go-To herb for alcoholism because it reduces how much people drink, which helps keep the liver healthy. This plant has been extensively studied scientifically in humans and time and again, it is able to alter the alcohol consumption habits of alcoholics, even if the alcoholic does not really intend to make changes to their consumption habits.
In one study, for example, scientists showed that a single 2,000 mg dose with an active isoflavone content of 520 mg taken 2.5 hours before a 90 minutes afternoon binge was able to reduce consumption habits by about 33%. Scientists have shown that kudzu extract does NOT increase the intoxicating effects of alcohol so the exact mechanism of action that would explain how kudzu works isn’t fully understood.
Kudzu has been used for centuries to treat alcoholism. Research has shown that kudzu can cause an initial increase in blood ethanol levels after the first alcoholic drink and some experts think that this initial spike causes alcoholics to research the desired level of intoxication sooner, delaying their desire for additional drinks. At any rate, taking 2000-4000 mg of this herb can help you reduce cravings and get through the Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome that makes it so hard for alcoholics to quit drinking permanently.
Mucuna pruriens for Alcohol Addiction
Mucuna is a miracle herb. Actually, it’s a bean and you can eat it just like you’d eat pinto beans in chili or a burrito. But in the states, you’ll probably order Mucuna in supplement form and take it as a pill. This bean helps people overcome depression and all kinds of addiction from porn addiction or social media addiction to methamphetamine addiction. It works by balancing the dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine, after all, is the neurotransmitter that makes people seek out the object of their addiction (whatever that may be). For people who are addicted to alcohol, Mucuna helps by providing the brain food that you need to talk yourself through the process of quitting drinking for good.
A lot of people get scared away from Mucuna because this bean contains L-Dopa and everyone has heard about Levodopa (the brand name for a drug that contains L-Dopa and another substance known as Carbidopa) and how it causes negative side effects in Parkinson’s patients. But L-Dopa is not the offending agent that causes these negative effects. L-Dopa is a natural substance that the brain needs every single day in order to produce dopamine. Carbidopa, the other substance used in the synthetic pharmaceutical product known as Levodopa, is the stuff that causes negative side effects. Read this article about the history of Levodopa as a drug for more information.
The L-Dopa in Mucuna will help you level your mood during alcohol withdrawals and it will help you stop obsessing about having a drink too. Dopamine is a type of brain fuel that can help you think clearly about your own behaviors. It’s the neurotransmitter that allows you to observe whether a given behavior is good for you or bad for you. Take between 6000-10,000 mg of Mucuna daily (in 4 divided doses) during the initial withdrawal period (1-2 months). Continue taking Mucuna for another 5 months at 6000 mg per day to give your dopamine receptors time to heal. Thereafter, you can reduce your Mucuna intake to 1500-2000 mg per day. Increase it if you feel cravings for alcohol.
Mucuna won’t make you feel high. In fact, the mostly likely feeling that you’ll get from taking it is the feeling of “normal”.
NAC isn’t an herb, but I decided to include it in this article about herbs for alcoholism anyway because it can be a helpful adjunct treatment to use in combination with Mucuna and Kudzu. NAC is an antioxidant, and scientists believe this substance works by relieving oxidative stress, inflammation in the brain, and dysfunction of the glutamine neurotransmitter system in the brain and body. Also, NAC can relieve some of the oxidative stress that leads to liver disease in alcoholics.
If you’re working through alcohol withdrawals, add NAC into your treatment protocol by taking 1000 mg doses 4 times per day.
Mucuna pruriens and Kudzu can help you lift the dark cloud of post-acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). Taking these two herbs together will help the brain fog go away so you can think clearly about what you want to do with your life and take control of your actions. If you add NAC into the mix, this will help combat anxiety, obsessive thoughts, and compulsive behaviors.
Below is an easy and affordable alcohol withdrawal treatment protocol that you can follow at home:
1.Kudzu – Take 2000-4000 mg per day in 4 divided doses
2. Mucuna – Take 6000-10,000 mg per day in 4 divided doses
3. NAC – Take 1000 mg doses 4 times per day
Other Important Links:
Penetar, D. M., Toto, L. H., Lee, D. Y. W., Lukas, S. E. (2016). A Single Dose of Kudzu Extract Reduces Alcohol Consumption in a Binge Drinking Program. Retrieved March 4, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4510012/
Science News (2018). Treatment with kudzu extract does not cause an increase in alcohol’s intoxicating effects, study finds. Retrieved March 4, 2021 from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118161357.htm
Scott, C. (2021). How I Beat PAWS With Mucuna Pruriens. Retrieved March 4, 2021 from https://fit-recovery.com/how-i-beat-paws-with-mucuna-pruriens/
Tolosa, E., Marti, M. J., Valldeoriola, F., Molinuevo, J. L. (1998). History of levodopa and dopamine agonists in Parkinson’s disease treatment. Retrieved February 14, 2021 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9633679/#:~:text=Abstract,1960s%20the%20results%20were%20inconsistent.
Tomko, R. L., Jones, J. L., Gilmore, A. K. , Brady, K. T., Back, S. E., Gray, K. M. (2018). N-acetylcysteine: A potential treatment for substance use disorders. Retrieved March 4, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5993450/
Morley, K. C., Baillie, A., Van Den Brink, W., Chitty, K. E., Brady, K., Back, S. E., Seth, D. Sutherland, G., Leggio, L., Haber, P. S. (2018). N-acetyl cysteine in the treatment of alcohol use disorder in patients with liver disease: Rationale for further research. Retrieved March 4, 2021 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30019966/