Those struggling with alcoholism often try to find sufficient treatment options. Of course, there are programs, medication, and an everyday kit that someone could use to their advantage. However with more people utilizing natural alternatives to treat different mental health disorders, why not try to use them for alcoholism? One such option is Kudzu, which is a natural ingredient containing anti-drinking properties. But more and more people who are utilizing natural alternatives have sworn for excuses and benefits of treating alcoholism. In today’s article, we are going to look at Kudzu, explore its benefits and see if utilizing kudzu for alcoholism is a sufficient remedy.
What is Kudzu?
Kudzu is a naturally occurring plant that resembles a vine. Commonly found in Asian countries, such as China and Japan. The roots, leaves, and flowers are edible. The leaves can be eaten whole, thrown into salads, or put into soups. The roots have gluten-free starch which is great for keto recipes. However, the vines of the kudzu plant are not edible. ¹
When utilized for consumption, the kudzu plant is a great source of minerals, such as iron, sodium, calcium. Kudzu contains isoflavones, which are like estrogen for women and therefore have links in decreasing menopause symptoms. It also aids headaches, stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting, which are common side effects for alcohol withdrawal. ²
Can You Use Kudzu for Alcoholism?
There may be benefits of using kudzu for alcoholism – more specifically, some have claimed kudzu provides great relief from the side effects of cyclical overdrinking. Such side effects that kudzu gives relief to are the hangover effects which commonly afflict people struggling with alcohol addiction.
Those that have tried kudzu have stated that they saw a decrease in the severity of nausea, gastrointestinal pains, headaches, and vomiting. They have also claimed that their urge to drink has also decreased. There are opinions that kudzu is a safer alternative than some of the leading anti-drinking medications, most of which have their own set of side effects.
What Does the Research Say?
When looking at some of the studies done on Kudzu and alcoholism, the results are surprising:
- A study was done on rats to show the alcohol-curbing effects of kudzu. The study showed that the rats that were given a dose of kudzu extract had a 50-60% reduction in alcohol consumption, abolished the development of alcohol withdrawal symptoms and the isoflavones found within the kudzu root extract suppressed alcohol drinking and withdrawal symptoms. ³
- A study done at Harvard showed that a single dose of kudzu extract reduced alcohol consumption in those that self-identified as binge drinkers. The study provided a single 2-gram dose of Kudzu two and half hours before a 90-minute afternoon drinking session. Those that had been treated with the kudzu dosing reported significantly reduced consumption and urges to drink. Those who had the kudzu extract consumed 32 beers during baseline conditions and only 21 following treatment. They concluded that the kudzu extract may be a safe and effective adjunctive pharmacotherapy for alcohol abuse and dependence. ⁴
- Kuzu was highlighted in a journal of medical research on the phytotherapy of alcoholism where they found that kudzu was confirmed that the extract “significantly delay the metabolism of alcohol” while not giving the same side effects like headaches, nausea, or dizziness and helped curbed dependence. The authors of the journal listed kudzu amongst commonly approved natural ways to assist with alcoholism. ⁵
How to Use Kudzu for Alcoholism
Kudzu has become popular to try and ease those who have issues with alcoholism. However, questions still arise over its dosage, regularity of use, and overall safety. However, studies have had success with kudzu before a drinking episode.
The form of kudzu they used was root extract, rather than taking portions of the leaves or flowers to consume. They measured 1.5 to 2 grams of kudzu root extract.
Kudzu for Alcoholism Dosage Recommendation
Of the studies done on kudzu to see its impact on alcoholism, it has been shown that 1.5-3 grams of kudzu root extract taken in 3 divided doses per day for 1-4 weeks shows long-term improvement. A single dose of 2 grams of kudzu extract has also been taken before a drinking episode, showing mild to moderate improvement of those with binge drinking complications. ⁶
Kudzu Side Effects and Risks
Although there are some benefits to kudzu, there also exist a few side effects and risks. Most notably, those who use kudzu over a long-term period may develop liver injury and kidney problems. Kudzu has also shown negative interactions with certain medications, including antidiabetic medications and specific chemotherapies. The use of the natural ingredient is not advisable for those with weak immune systems and others undergoing cancer treatment. ⁷
Kudzu for Alcoholism Reviews
When one goes about trying to procure their natural ingredients to treat ailments, conditions, and health disorders, it’s always best to get them through trusted and recommended sources. We have compiled a list of trusted manufacturers and distributors of kudzu extract so you can find what best suits you.
1.) Nature’s Way
Nature’s Way is a supplement and vitamin company providing naturally created and sustainably harvested herbal ingredients. They have also prided themselves on manufacturing and distributing high-quality extracts and supplements for over fifty years.
Nature’s Way offers their Kudzu herb capsules in 1226mg per capsule. A daily dose is two capsules, once daily, amounting to roughly a 2500 mg. Each capsule also contains ingredients from the root of the Kudzu.
2.) Planetary Herbals
Planetary Herbals is a vitamin and natural ingredient company, specializing in providing tested and carefully manufactured products that are skillfully blended according to traditional and modern principles. Their most popular product is their Full Spectrum singles, which provide the highest quality single-ingredient products.
As for kudzu extracts, Planetary Herbals offers it in the following ways:
- Full Spectrum Kudzu Root Extract is strictly just the kudzu root extract in high-quality tablets. Taken to help with the complications that come with drinking, the pills provide 40% isoflavones blended with pure root to optimize the beneficial effects of the plant. Taken in 750 mg doses twice daily, Kudzu Recovery comes in either a 60-day count or a 120-day count.
- Kudzu Recovery is a kudzu root extract anti-drinking and liver support supplement. Taken in 750 mg doses twice daily, Kudzu Recovery comes in either a 60-day count or a 120-day count.
- Well Child Immunity Support Chewable is an immunity-boosting multivitamin delivered in a kid-friendly chewable form. It helps with mobilizing and maintaining immune defenses in times of need through a blend of different key natural ingredients which includes kudzu root extract. The product comes in 30, 60 or 120 berry-orange flavored wafers which are 560mg doses. Kids between 9 to 13 should consume one wafer a day while teens 14 and older should have four wafers a day.
3.) Samsara Herbs
Samsara Herbs is a natural supplement and ingredient company that operates from Utah in the United States. The company specializes in providing natural treatment options done with extensive research and development that the founders take as well as their family, to ensure quality and impact.
Samsara offers kudzu extract not in capsules but rather in finely grounded condensed powder which they sell in pouches. Samsara has two products that include kudzu root in them:
- One is a basic powder form of kudzu root in a 4 oz pouch. The serving suggestion is a scoop of powder which should roughly equate to 2500 mg of pure kudzu root extract. The powder is to be mix into water, juice, or smoothies for best results.
- The other is another 4 oz pouch, however, this one differs from the other as it isn’t just kudzu root extract but rather a mix of key extracts. Samsara’s Herba-V Immune is a blend of 18 different natural extracts, combined to help with immunity. It provides a boost during times of weakened immune systems while also supporting respiratory response. The Heba-V Immune blend is only one scoop (equating to 2500 mg) to be diluted in water or juice.
Swanson started in 1969 in Fargo, North Dakota. Since then, they’ve been creating and distributing low-cost, sustainably sourced natural ingredients and supplements. Their products go through rigorous testing and approval from internal and external scientists and experts.
When it comes to kudzu extract, Swanson Superior Herbs offers its own blend at a dosage of 500mg in 60 vegetable capsules.
Vitacost is a discounted online retailer for natural supplements, vitamins, and extracts. They provide over 40,00 products under their own label that they create with the strictest of standards but done in ways to ensure the savings are passed on to the consumer. They have been in the business for over 25 years and kept a commitment to provide high-quality products that their customers can trust while also keeping things cost-effective.
Under their own label, Vitacost provides a kudzu root extract available in 1200 mg capsules in a 90-day count with 180 capsules coming in a bottle. The serving suggestion is two 1200 mg tablets taken twice daily, once in the morning and once at night.
Alcoholism can be a detrimental disorder, consuming someone from the inside out. The importance of being honest with needing help, reaching out for it, and finding the best treatment option can either repeat the cycle or can end it for good.
Kudzu for alcoholism seems to be a new and relatively safe option for those struggling. According to the research and the experiences of those that have utilized the natural ingredient, kudzu seems to ease some of the side effects and help with curbing urges to drink. It is important to follow up with your health care providers if you are having issues with alcohol consumption to see their recommendations and follow their advice. However, if kudzu seems to be a burgeoning helpful natural root that could help many.
Still, have questions regarding using kudzu for alcoholism?
We invite you to ask them in the comments section below. If you have any further knowledge on the topic – whether personal or professional – we’d also like to hear from you.
¹ Kaiser Permanete: Kudzu – Overview
² EatTheEarthOrg: Kudzu, an Invasive Weed with Hidden Virtues
³ PubMed: Kudzu root suppresses voluntary alcohol intake and withdrawal symptoms
⁴ PubMed:A Single Dose of Kudzu Extract Reduces Alcohol Consumption
⁵ Sage Publications:Phytotherapy of Alcoholism
⁶ Drugs.Com: Kudzu Extract Dosing Reccomendations
⁷ Memorial Sloan Kittering Cancer Center: Kudzu – Side Effects & Risks