You are said to have alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, if you are having signs and symptoms of physical addiction to alcohol (withdrawal symptoms like sweating, nausea and shaking) and still continue to drink, even though you are having problems with health and shouldering of responsibilities. The cause of alcoholism is unknown.
Some of the tell-tale signs of alcoholism are indulgence in drinking even when your relationships with family or at work are clearly being harmed, drinking alone, becoming violent under the influence of alcohol, hostility to enquiries about your drinking habits, decreased activities, eating poorly, poor dressing habits, and trying to hide the fact of alcohol usage. Even if you are serious about quitting the habit, you will need help because mere will power will not suffice. Here are some herbal remedies for the same.
Herbal Remedies For Alcoholism
To be sure, there are some drugs that help combat alcoholism, such as acamprosate, disulfiram and naltrexone. There are also support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, which go a long way in helping you fight the problem. However, you may also want to give these herbal remedies a try.
Kudzu extract is got from the root of Pueraria lobata. Kudzu reduces the craving for alcohol by slowing down the breakdown of alcohol, thus increasing alcohol blood levels and leading to less consumption of alcohol.
However, its active ingredient is not yet known. Its dose is 1-2 capsules or tablets twice daily, or 1 cup of its decoction twice daily. It has very few side effects, such as nausea and itching.
St. John’s Wort
Although St. John’s wort is more often used in depression, it has been found to be useful in alcoholism because it contains the chemical hyperforin, which combats the withdrawal symptoms.
Hyperforin is extracted from the flowers of Hypericum perforatum. Its preparations are available in many forms. Consult product label for dosage. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid it.
American angelica extract is obtained from the root of Angelica atropurpurea. Angelica not only reduces the craving for alcohol but also creates a dislike for it. The active ingredient in angelica extract is an antihistamine. Histamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain, and its levels have been shown to be high in alcoholism.
However, histamine levels are low in binge drinkers who tire easily and are irritable. Hence, angelica is better reserved for those having high histamine levels, typified by driven and compulsive nature, and needing very little sleep. Consult product label for dosage. Side effects include sunburn, rash, and diarrhea. It is contraindicated in pregnant women.
Hops can help control the withdrawal symptoms of alcoholism, such as nervousness, anxiety, irritability and shakiness. Hops extract is obtained from the flowers of Humulus lupulus.
The active ingredient of hops extract is humulene, which is a relaxant. It is available as tincture, tea and capsules. Consult product label for dosage. It is generally very safe. Pregnant women should avoid it.
Schisandra extract is got from the fruits of Schisandra chinensis. It contains schisandrin, which boosts your immunity and protects the liver from damage, and also relieves alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Its dose is 500-2000 mg of the extract daily, containing around 20-25 mg of lignan content. Some of its side effects are heartburn, stomach upset, decreased appetite, itching and skin rash. It is not safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Other Herbs for Alcoholism
There are various other herbs that can be used in alcoholism. They are mainly useful to counteract the side effects of alcohol and manage the withdrawal symptoms. They include passionflower, ginseng, cayenne pepper, milk thistle and dandelion.