Q. Some time ago you had a letter from a woman who was drinking too much wine in the evening and wanted to cut back. You told her about a tea or an herbal concoction to diminish her desire to drink. She had tried it and was thrilled with the results. What was it?
A. She took kudzu root extract (available in health food stores). Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) is famous as an invasive vine in the South. In its native China, kudzu has long been used to help people control their desire for alcohol.
New research (Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, May 2005) has found that young adults who were given kudzu pills for a week drank less than two beers at a simulated party situation. Those who had taken a placebo pill averaged 3.5 beers.
While kudzu extract won’t magically turn alcoholics into non-drinkers, it might help others cut back on booze.