The People's Perspective on Medicine

Common Weed Eases Alcohol Cravings

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.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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