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Kudzu Root: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects

kudzu extract for alcoholism

This washout period provided ample time to eliminate pharmacodynamic interactions between kudzu and placebo treatment conditions. After the one-month washout, a second period of treatment and two drinking challenge days was conducted identical to the first treatment period. We developed a standardized kudzu extract that preserved the ratio of the major isoflavones found in the raw root, except that the concentration of isoflavones was increased to 25%. The anti-drunkeness properties of the extracts of Pueraria lobata (PL), also kudzu to stop drinking known as kudzu, have been known since the traditional Chinese medicine. Indeed, the administration of the two major isoflavones present in PL extracts (daidzin and daidzein) reduced ethanol intake in Syrian Golden hamsters with an efficacy similar to the one observed using the PL extract. The ability of PL to reduce alcohol consumption in animals has been also showed testing a herbal mixture (intra-peritoneal injection of 0.5, 0.75, and 1.0 g/kg; and oral administration of 1.5 g/kg), comprising PL (Overstreet et al. 1996).

How does kudzu compare to other treatments for alcoholism?

I did not know at the time that people also use it to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms; nor did I care, because I did not intend to quit at the time. Nor will it drastically enhance your quality of life after the first dose. However, if you want to cut down on drinking or detoxify your body during alcohol withdrawal, this plant may be able to help. The kudzu root may interact with certain medications or pose other health risks for certain people. Therefore, it’s always best to consult your healthcare provider before taking it. It’s best to speak with your healthcare provider to determine whether kudzu root could interact with any medications you’re taking.

Possibly Effective for

  • Morning and evening sets of capsules also contained a 25 mg tablet of riboflavin (vitamin B2) and the afternoon sets contained an additional placebo capsule, in addition to the two kudzu extract capsules, in order to maintain a uniform number (3) of capsules.
  • One interpretation of this finding is that kudzu extract does not potentiate the intoxicating effects of alcohol, but only hastens the onset of action in a dose-response fashion.
  • Medication adherence was excellent and there were no adverse events, changes in vital signs, blood chemistry, renal or liver function.
  • After the 7-day period, subjects had the opportunity to drink their preferred brand of beer in a naturalistic laboratory setting.
  • Anecdotal sources say it may also be harmful to take with medications for diabetes or blood clotting.

This study provides additional evidence that an extract of the kudzu root significantly reduces alcohol consumption by human participants and confirms that this botanical medication may be a safe and effective adjunct pharmacotherapy for treating alcohol use disorders. The sample size was relatively small; however, a repeated measures, crossover design was used with participants as their own control receiving multiple pretreatments, each with placebo and alcohol challenges. The present study did not include a treatment condition to specifically analyze the effects of kudzu alone in the absence of any challenge drink. Previous work in this laboratory on the stance stability test has indicated that kudzu alone does not alter this behavior (unpublished results). In the current study, the effects of kudzu pretreatment alone were analyzed through a comparison of results on the 1st challenge day (‘day 8’).

Related treatment guides

In addition, and perhaps of greater significance, is the possibility that ethanol levels rose more quickly at the higher dose of alcohol (0.7 g/kg) following kudzu pretreatment compared to placebo pretreatment. One interpretation of this finding is that kudzu extract does not potentiate the intoxicating effects of alcohol, but only hastens the onset of action in a dose-response fashion. In our previous study we demonstrated that the same kudzu extract used in the present study significantly reduced beer consumption in binge-drinkers (Lukas et al., 2005).

Effect of provision of non-alcoholic beverages on alcohol consumption: a randomized controlled study

  • Some evidence suggests kudzu root may help with liver damage, while other preliminary evidence suggests it may cause liver injury in certain cases.
  • Regardless of the mechanism of action, the present finding that a modest, single dose of kudzu extract reduces binge drinking has profound implications as it offers a unique opportunity for early intervention for problem drinkers.
  • However, the researchers did note that treatment with kudzu caused an increase in heart rate, skin temperature and blood ethanol levels in the participants.
  • FDA received 700+ botanical drug applications during the past years, one third of which were for oncological indications (Lee et al., 2015).
  • The net result would allow the metabolic intermediates (5-hydroxyindole acetaldehyde [5-HIAL] and 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl acetaldehyde [DOPAL]) to accumulate.
  • It’s best to speak with your healthcare provider to determine whether kudzu root could interact with any medications you’re taking.

Additionally, kudzu pretreatment enhanced the effects of the 0.7 g/kg dose of alcohol on heart rate and skin temperature. Isoflavone administration in the form of a purified extract from the herbal medication kudzu root has been shown to reduce, but not eliminate, alcohol consumption in alcohol-abusing and alcohol-dependent men. The precise mechanism of this action is unknown, but one possible explanation for these results is that the isoflavones in kudzu might actually increase the intensity or duration of alcohol’s effects and thus delay the desire for subsequent drinks. Kudzu, scientifically known as Pueraria lobata, is renowned in traditional Chinese medicine for its diverse applications, including the treatment of alcohol dependence. While scientific research on kudzu’s effectiveness in addressing alcoholism is limited, some studies have shown promising results.

kudzu extract for alcoholism

kudzu extract for alcoholism

Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) is used to help treat and prevent these types of cancer. By affecting estrogen in the body, kudzu might decrease the effectiveness of tamoxifen (Nolvadex). Taking kudzu along with birth control pills might decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills.

Potential downsides

Research Studies