Q. I grew up with a parent who was dependent on alcohol. I find myself struggling with cravings for alcohol also. While alcohol doesn’t interfere with my daily life, I don’t like the cycle of abstaining, falling off the wagon, then abstaining. Are there any natural remedies you know of that can help someone reduce their cravings for alcohol?
A. You may want to consider kudzu root extract. It contains compounds that appear similar to an old drug called disulfiram that is prescribed to help alcoholics avoid drinking. A fascinating rat study suggests that kudzu root extract (Pueraria lobata) may discourage alcohol consumption even in addicted animals (Journal of Medicinal Food, Sept., 2007).
Several years ago we heard from a reader who wanted to break her daily habit of drinking wine from afternoon till bedtime. She reported that kudzu root, “worked perfectly right from the start, although it caused constipation.”
Prescription drugs such as Antabuse (disulfiram), Campral (acamprosate) and ReVia (naltrexone) have been used to discourage alcohol consumption. You should talk to your physician or an alcohol abuse specialist to find out the best approach in your situation.