As boomers, many of us are retired or thinking of retiring. One of the things that may happen when one retires is that every day becomes a weekend. I have a retired friend that proclaims that every day is Saturday except for “fat paper day” which is Sunday. So he has six Saturdays each week. This sounds like it would be awesome; however, one of the real risks of retirement is alcoholism. With so much extra time to socialize those of us who have an occasional drink on the weekend now have a life full of Saturdays!
So the question of the moment is how do you avoid this problem or if you already have this problem is there a way to control it? Of course, the secondary issue around drinking becomes the health of your liver. Let us explore some natural ways to deal with the issue of drinking and alcoholism.
The botanical kudzu has been around for centuries to treat alcohol intoxication, hangovers and other related problems in humans. This fast-growing plant was first brought to the United States from Japan in the 1920s. Kudzu was expected to hold down soil erosion. However, without the natural enemies found in Japan, which kept the growth under control, this plant quickly…grows over everything. As you drive along highways in the Southern United States kudzu covers trees, fences, buildings etc. It has been called “the vine that ate the South.”
There have been many studies that have tested the effectiveness of kudzu on curbing drinking. One study concluded when rats that were dependent on alcohol were given Kudzu they experienced fewer withdrawal symptoms when having alcohol suddenly removed from their diet. The Mclean study actually discovered that individuals who took kudzu drank significantly less than those on a placebo did. This study was completed on 14 men and women with half of the group receiving kudzu and the other half receiving a placebo. The kudzu group drank much slower and cut their consumption in half! The study then reversed the groups and gave kudzu to the placebo group and vice versa. The researchers found again that the group taking kudzu drank about half of what they drank prior to the study. The hypothesis is that the kudzu group was receiving cues from their brains telling them they do not need to drink so much, these cues were the result of taking kudzu.
But how kudzu manages to slow down alcohol consumption is still not understood. The researchers have not been able to determine the exact reason for this result however; they knew it has been used for that purpose in China since 600 A.D. My analysis is that if something has been used for 1410 years it must work!
One study used two 500 mg capsules of kudzu three times a day; the capsules were characterized as containing 19% pueararin, 4% daidzin, and 2% daidzein. So if you decide to try it, you now know the formula that was used in the studies. And kudzu appears to be completely safe and also has been shown to have a protective effect on the liver.
If you drink, there is an herb that you should consider taking also, milk thistle. Studies have shown that this herb lowers the chances of liver problems associated with drinking.
Jean Sumner is President of World Wellness Education and has pursued an interest in wellness her entire life. An avid runner, she is passionate about exercise, eating healthy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Jean was diagnosed with cancer in May, 2009 this only served to fuel the flames of her passions and encouraged her to learn more about wellness. This diagnosis actually led to the beginning of World Wellness Education with a mission of "Teaching the world about wellness -- one story at a time.
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