KUDZU: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews

Currently, commonly prescribed anti-drinking drugs such as disulfiram (Antabuse), naltrexone (Revia and Vivitrol), and acamprosate (Campral), cause several side effects. For example, drowsiness and headaches are common side effects of Antabuse. Studies of daidzin may lead to an anti-drinking drug for alcohol treatment that causes fewer side effects.

kudzu extract for alcoholism

In addition, and perhaps of greater significance, is the possibility that ethanol levels rose more quickly at the higher dose of alcohol (0.7 g/kg) following kudzu pretreatment compared to placebo pretreatment. One interpretation of this finding is that kudzu extract does not potentiate the intoxicating effects of alcohol, but only hastens the onset of action in a dose-response fashion. In our previous study we demonstrated that the same kudzu extract used in the present study significantly reduced beer consumption in binge-drinkers (Lukas et al., 2005). The significance of the effects on the early plasma ethanol levels and the effects on heart rate and skin temperature offer some insight to the potential mechanism of action of kudzu extract in that study.

Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) interacts with KUDZU

And the table actually weighs the mug of beer, and each time they took a sip, we could actually see how much they were consuming each time. Some health companies sell the kudzu root species Pueraria mirifica as a supplement for menopausal and postmenopausal women. More recently, kudzu root has made its way to Western countries as an herbal supplement. The form of kudzu they used was root extract, rather than taking portions of the leaves or flowers to consume.

  • The significance of the effects on the early plasma ethanol levels and the effects on heart rate and skin temperature offer some insight to the potential mechanism of action of kudzu extract in that study.
  • Subjective measures of alcohol intoxication were greatest at 30 minutes and returned to or were close to predrinking levels by the end of the assessment period (3 hours).
  • In animal studies, peurarin may alleviate chronic alcoholic liver injury via inhibition of endotoxin gut-leakage, activation of Kupffer cells, and expression of lipopolysaccharide receptors (22).
  • A growing number of double-blind, peer-reviewed studies have confirmed the effectiveness of using kudzu for alcoholism.
  • Studies of kudzu in humans are limited and have mostly focused on whether it can reduce alcohol intake or menopausal symptoms.

In the current study, the effects of kudzu pretreatment alone were analyzed through a comparison of results on the 1st challenge day (‘day 8’). This experimental day was always a placebo drink but after either a week of treatment with placebo or kudzu extract. Results from these experimental days again showed no effect of the kudzu extract alone on our measures. Estimates of blood alcohol levels were obtained during each study visit using a breathalyzer device (AlcoSensor®, https://ecosoberhouse.com/ Intoximeter, St Louis, MO). They were required to come to the lab twice a week to provide urine, breath and blood samples to monitor drug use, alcohol drinking and liver function, respectively. A total of 227 breath samples were possible from all subject visits during the trial and compliance was equally distributed between the two groups; the kudzu extract group provided 131 of a possible 136 samples and the placebo group provided 84 of a possible 91 samples.

A Single Dose of Kudzu Extract Reduces Alcohol Consumption in a Binge Drinking Paradigm

Heart rate and skin temperature effects were collected only for the first 10 minutes after drinking because that was the only period during which the participants were sitting calmly and not required to perform any tasks (and thus offered artifact-free data). During this time, alcohol increased heart rate consistent with previous reports (Kouri et al., 2004; Penetar et al., 2009). Drinking data were collected using a small wristwatch-like device (ActiWatch® Score, MiniMitter Co., OR) and daily diaries. The ActiWatch has a small button and digital LED faceplate and participants wore the device 24 hours a day for the entire 8-week study and were asked to record all drug and alcohol use by pressing the button to enter the proper code.

kudzu extract for alcoholism

Another study found that kudzu may really “affect alcohol consumption patterns.” In this same study, people who took an isoflavone extract from the kudzu plant before drinking took longer to reach for the liquor cabinet. In fact, even a single dose of kudzu extract may be helpful if you’re looking to reduce your drinking. The study found the treatment with the kudzu extract resulted in a significant reduction in the number of beers consumed. Kudzu treatment also resulted in the number of sips and length of time for consuming each beer, as well as a decrease in the volume of each sip.

1 Participants

Lukas and Lee hold a patent for kudzu extract to treat alcohol abuse and dependence. McLean Hospital has licensed the production of kudzu extract (NPI-031) to Natural Pharmacia International (NPI), Inc. that markets it as Alkontrol-Herbal™. Excessive alcohol consumption is a leading cause of illness worldwide (Shield et al., 2013) and has a significant impact on the health of millions people. The impact of excessive alcohol consumption results in increased healthcare costs, loss of productivity, alcohol-related crime (including assault and sexual abuse), and motor vehicle accidents.

  • Taking kudzu along with birth control pills might decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills.
  • Lukas and Lee hold a patent for kudzu extract to treat alcohol abuse and dependence.
  • Pueraria lobata (Willd) Ohwi (Fig. 1), commonly named kudzu, is an ancient Chinese medicinal plant used for diabetes, alcohol intoxication, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.
  • If this were the primary effect of kudzu increasing blood flow, then subjects should feel more intoxicated with fewer drinks after taking it.

There are several species of kudzu and both the flowers and root extract are used for their medicinal properties. Isoflavones, the major components of kudzu, are thought to be responsible for its potential effects. To preserve the double-blind, kudzu and placebo capsules were repacked into #00 opaque capsules (Apothecary Products, Minneapolis, MN).

Plasma Ethanol Levels

In the first, kudzu extract was administered for 7 days and acute binge drinking was suppressed (Lukas et al., 2005). In the second, participants who were treated for 4 weeks with kudzu extract significantly reduced their alcohol consumption during weeks 2 through 4 of the study (Lukas et al., 2013). We have subsequently shown that puerarin is the major active isoflavone because 7 days treatment kudzu extract for alcoholism with this compound alone (1,200 mg/day) produced a similar reduction of binge drinking as the extract (Penetar et al., 2012). Given that a week of preplanning is unlikely before a binge drinking episode or opportunity, we built on our previous findings to explore in the present experiment if a single dose of kudzu extract taken shortly before a drinking session would reduce alcohol consumption.