Posted June 6, 2006
Southerners think of it as a noxious weed run rampant; the Chinese have venerated the herb for centuries for brewing tea to treat hangovers, headaches and allergies. Soon alcoholics may consider kudzu root a natural way to curb their desire to imbibe.
During a small-scale study, 14 self-described heavy drinkers visited a special lab outfitted like an apartment with a recliner, satellite TV and a fridge full of beer. During the initial 90-minute session, the men and women drank at their own pace. Then they took kudzu pills or a placebo for a week before repeating their drinking session back in the lab.
The kudzu poppers downed an average of 1.8 beers on their return compared to their original 3.5 beersâ€”and they took smaller sips. The placebo takers drank the same quantities as before. None of the subjects experienced side effects from kudzu.
The researchers theorize that kudzuâ€™s isoflavones help the drinker feel alcoholâ€™s effect sooner rather than later.