Alcoholism is an addiction that becomes a progressive loss of control. A person with alcoholism becomes obsessed with the substance despite the consequences and can even deny the existence of a problem. This post, however, is not about why people become alcoholics, but rather about natural ways to support one to overcome this terrible disease. These suggestions are not meant to replace the work of the professional. Always seek professional help and check for drug interactions before taking anything. That being said, there are credible studies done by physicians and researchers that may benefit those who are struggling with alcoholism.
Here are five natural ways to help fight alcoholism and liver disease and bring you or your loved one closer towards physical healing:
- Kudzu – According to this study, “An extract of the Chinese herbal root kudzu reduces alcohol drinking by heavy drinkers in a naturalistic setting. Kudzu treatment resulted in the significant reduction in the number of beers consumed that was paralleled by an increase in the number of sips and the time to consume each beer and a decrease in the volume of each sip. These changes occurred in the absence of a significant effect on the urge to drink alcohol. There were no reported side effects of kudzu treatment.”
- Alpha lipoic acid is an amazing antioxidant that fights free radicals that cause aging and cellular damage and is very helpful in treating and repairing liver disease (Cirrhosis) and neuropathy that often develops with alcoholism. In the Annals of Internal Medicine, Alcoholic Neuritis is a term that has been used to describe the neuropathy which appears in alcoholics. Neuritis, or inflammation of a nerve is damage to nerves that may impair sensation, movement, glands and organ function depending on the type of nerve affected. Neuropathy is not directly due to alcohol, but is caused by the nutritional deficiencies which may accompany alcoholism. Neuropathy appears in some alcoholics who do not eat when they drink or whose diet is inadequate. [It is also used by professionals for mushroom poisoning detox, diabetes, HIV, AIDS, heart disease, diabetes, psoriasis, eczema, MS, Lou Gehrig’s and Parkinson’s diseases. You can read more in a book by Dr. Burt Berkson entitled, The Alpha Lipoic Acid Breakthrough.]
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a powerfully protective nutrient for excess alcohol issues. The nutrient is said to reduce the loss of nerves and create better plasticity in nerve transmission. In other words, nerves were able to maintain their health despite alcohol poisoning with the acetyl-l-carnitine and shown to significantly reduce both of these types of damage from the alcohol. More.
- Brewer’s Yeast has been used for years as a nutritional supplement and is a very good source of B-complex vitamins, chromium, and selenium and is even considered to be a probiotic. The B-complex vitamins include B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid) and B7 (biotin). These vitamins helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels which is very important for those who have been drinking for a long time. They also help break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which provide the body with energy. B vitamins support the nervous system, maintains the muscles used for digestion, and keeps skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver healthy. Beriberi is a disease caused by a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1) that affects many systems of the body, including the muscles, heart, nerves, and digestive system. In the United States, beriberi is primarily seen in people with chronic alcoholism.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – now this one doesn’t have the science behind it, just people who swear that it works…A tablespoon or two of ACV downed with a glass of water instead of that drink you want to put in your hand is said to help some people minimize the urge to drink. In 2004, the American Diabetes Foundation’s publication Diabetes Care found that taking vinegar before meals significantly increased insulin sensitivity and dramatically reduced the insulin and glucose spikes that occur after meals. We know that ACV helps stabilize sugar level and maybe it will help curb those urges too.
If you are looking for a faith-based treatment center, Teen Challenge, works with addictions, including drugs. They have programs for both teens and adults that include residential and non-residential services. You can find them here.