When an alcoholic stops drinking, his body goes through a detoxification process. During this process his body is filtering alcohol from his system. This can cause alcohol withdrawal symptoms, such as alcohol cravings, anxiety, nervousness and depression, which can vary from person to person. There are some herbs that can help lessen the symptoms of alcohol detox; however, consult your doctor before taking any medicinal herbs.
St. John's Wort is one of the most widely-used herbs for depression. Web MD states that this herb is used to increase a sense of well-being. St John's Wort should never be taken with prescription medications, especially medications for depression. Omega-3 fatty acids also help reduce feelings of depression. S-adenosyl-L-methionine, or SAM-e, increases the production of serotonin and dopamine, which are chemicals created by the human body that also create a sense of happiness and well-being.
Reduce Anxiety and Nervousness
Beer contains hops, or hummulus lupulus. This is a mild sedative and can be taken in pill or powder form to soothe anxiety. Hops can also be used with other herbs, such as oats or passion flower. Oats are a stress and panic reliever, and passion flower and skullcap are used to combat sleeplessness and insomnia. Oats and oatstraw are available in seed, leaf, powder and stem form.
Reduce Alcohol Cravings
The herb angelica, or dong quai, helps reduce the craving to drink alcohol and in some people creates a dislike for its taste. Dr. Joan Matthews Lawson, Ph.D., says that angelica may work better for drinkers who are high energy, than for drinkers who are easily tired out. Kudzu is another herb that can lower alcohol cravings in binge drinkers. Acorn, quercus robur glandium, or quercus gladius, also helps reduce the urge to drink alcohol, as does the herb calanatts. This herb will also help relieve cramps and gas, and helps exhaustion.
Repair Liver Damage
Overuse of alcohol can have serous effects on the liver. There are a few herbs, such as milk thistle, that can help repair and rejuvenate the liver during alcohol detox. Milk thistle has been proven to treat an array of liver diseases and disorders, from cirrhosis to hepatitis. The herb has silymarin, a strong antioxidant whose effectiveness has been unmatched by any pharmaceutical in clinical trials. Dandelion is another herb that cleans the blood of impurities, increases the flow of bile and increases gallbladder and kidney function.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Milk Thistle
- Holistic Online: Depression
- Chinese Herbs: Schisandra and its Beneficial Actions
- Meditation For Alcohol Abuse: Alcohol Detoxification Herbs and Nutritional Supplements
- Homemade Medicine: Home Remedies for Alcohol Detox
- University of Texas: Dopamine