There is information that suggests kudzu contains ingredients that counteract alcohol. Chemicals in kudzu might also increase blood circulation in the heart and brain. It has been used in Chinese medicine since at least 200 BC. These very promising results led to research involving humans. Giving a Kudzu root extract twice daily failed to reduce craving and sobriety scores. The subjects were people taking the extract and those taking a placebo.

  • Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) is used to help treat and prevent these types of cancer.
  • Kudzu root extract is now widely used in the United States as a natural remedy for alcoholism.
  • It is, therefore, thought not to make alcohol more dangerous – merely slow down our rate of drinking.
  • All of the above mentioned mechanisms, with the exception of a disulfiram-like one, require repeated administration and time to develop.
  • Kudzu is a plant that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.

There are many ways, both medical and traditional, that are used to treat alcohol abuse or dependence. In China, kudzu root extract has been commonly used to reduce, but not eliminate, alcohol consumption and dependence. Despite its history, the mechanism of action for kudzu extract is still unknown, and that is what the current research explores. This randomized between-subject, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involved 2 weeks of baseline, 4 weeks of treatment, and 2 weeks of follow-up. Seventeen men (21–33 years) who reported drinking 27.6 ± 6.5 drinks/week with a diagnosis of alcohol abuse/dependence took either kudzu extract (250 mg isoflavones, t.i.d.) or matched placebo on a daily basis. They reported alcohol consumption and desire to use alcohol using a wrist actigraphy device; twice weekly laboratory visits were scheduled to monitor medication adherence and adverse events.

Alcohol use disorder

“The fact that participants experienced a rapid rise in blood alcohol levels when pre-treated with kudzu has no apparent explanation and therefore requires additional research,” said Penetar. For the researchers, the next step is to determine if kudzu alters regional brain blood flow using an fMRI. For hundreds of years, practitioners of Chinese medicine have prescribed kudzu root for reducing alcohol intake. Starting in the early 1990s, researchers at Indiana University investigated this effect in rats’and in golden Syrian hamsters, which have a particular liking for alcohol.

Kudzu is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth appropriately for up to 4 months or when injected intravenously (by IV) for up to 20 days. Dr. Neil McGregor has warned that the active components of Kudzu have been linked to cancer. And they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Information regarding potential adverse reactions is limited. Avoid use in individuals with known hypersensitivity to kudzu. Kudzu root, leaf, and flowers have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries.


Kudzu root is available in lots of forms including capsules, liquid extracts, and powder. You can ingest it directly, or mix it with other foods or drinks. There’s not a recommended dosage for kudzu root, but there have been human studies that can help guide you.

kudzu extract for alcoholism

Of course, it’s up to the individual to ensure that he or she doesn’t use this as an excuse to fall off the wagon. I will discuss how it works, my experience with using powdered kudzu root for alcoholism, and recommendations. You can find kudzu root for purchase in many supplement stores or online. Stores typically sell it as a powdered drink mix, an oral capsule or tablet, liquid drops, or as a food-grade starch to use in cooking. You can find kudzu root supplements easily online and in a variety of natural food or supplement stores.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

The last study above was designed to test the hypothesis that kudzu accelerates the subjective experience of alcohol intoxication. If this were the primary effect of kudzu increasing blood flow, then subjects should feel more intoxicated with fewer drinks after taking it. Taking kudzu will not turn an alcoholic into a nondrinker overnight. 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.

Ultimately, a comprehensive approach to health and well-being, including evidence-based treatments, remains paramount. Studies have shown that kudzu may work by increasing blood flow to the brain, reducing the desire to drink, and reducing the severity of hangovers. The information we provide while responding to comments is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice.

In fact, traditional Chinese medicine has used the plant for over 2,500 years. “It is also possible that there is another, as yet undiscovered compound in the mixture that accounts for the effects. Thus, the mechanism of action of the kudzu extract remains unknown.” Although kudzu is used in traditional medicine, the evidence on whether it has benefit for any condition is unclear. This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version.

kudzu extract for alcoholism

However, some people may experience mild side effects such as nausea, dizziness, and headache. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking kudzu, especially if you are taking other medications or have underlying health conditions. Kudzu may also interact 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. Kudzu is also known for its flower, which is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat fever, headache, and other ailments. The arrowroot starch derived from the Kudzu plant is also used in cooking as a thickener.

Kudzu for Alcoholism: The Ultimate Dosage Guide

The Chinese noticed that people who consumed the plant started to drink less. According to traditional Chinese medicine, this plant has cooling properties that balance the heat and false energy created by alcohol. Some evidence suggests kudzu root may help with liver damage, while other preliminary evidence suggests it may cause liver injury in certain cases. Scientists need to do more research on the effects of kudzu root in humans to investigate these effects in the liver.

kudzu extract for alcoholism

Kudzu root extract is now widely used in the United States as a natural remedy for alcoholism. This is the first demonstration that a single dose of kudzu extract quickly reduces alcohol consumption in a binge drinking paradigm. These data add to the mounting clinical evidence that kudzu extract may be a safe and effective adjunctive pharmacotherapy for alcohol abuse and dependence. Medication adherence was excellent and there were no adverse events and changes in vital signs, blood chemistry, and renal or liver function.

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