May 18, 2012

Herb extract may curb binge drinking

A new study completed by Harvard Medical School researchers and McLean Hospital has discovered that an extract of the Chinese herb kudzu may help treat alcoholics and curb binge drinking, PsychCentral reports.

The components found in the kudzu root can reduce alcohol consumption with no adverse effects, according to David Penetar, Ph.D., of the Behavioral Psychopharmacology Research Laboratory at McLean Hospital. Penetar is also the lead author of the study, which was published in the latest issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

In the study, researchers looked at puerarin from the kudzu root, one of its major components, to determine if it would reduce alcohol consumption. According to PsychCentral, the study showed subjects taking puerarin drank fewer beers, dropping from 3.5 beers on average to 2.4.

Click here to learn more about the details of the study.

“While we do not suggest that puerarin will stop drinking all together, it is promising that it appears to slow the pace and the overall amount consumed,” says Penetar. “Further research is needed, but this botanical medication may lead to additional methods to treat alcohol abuse and dependence.”

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