elizabeth_marshOctober 5, 2007


I've just joined the forum. I've checked the FAQs and previous posts and can't find the information I'm looking for. I'm researching adaptogens, and how to make a herbal tea that is rich in this type of herb. The purpose of the tea is for a friend who is suffering from a fatigue of the endocrine system due to too much stress and too little rest. This has been exacerbated by quite a high consumption of alcohol. He is receiving healing for this and I want to provide the tea by way supporting the process. From my research so far I've put together a tea that includes: ashwaganda root, siberian ginseng, milk thistle and tulsi (holy basil). He is also taking rhodiola capsules. I would be very grateful for any recommendations that anyone has.

Warm regards,


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Rather than "endocrine fatigue", the big problem here seems to be the potential for liver toxicity, malnutrition and other damage due to excessive drinking.

Milk thistle could be useful in guarding against some liver toxicity, but it's doubtful it will do much good against a continuing onslaught from alcohol. It sounds like your friend's best shot is AA or a similar support group that will help him stop drinking.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 12:29AM
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You may want to check out Kudzu root - a number of studies have found it decreases the urge to drink. Combined with either curcumin or a form of lecithin, it also seems to protect against the effects of alcohol (see study below).

Here is a link that might be useful: Kudzu & Alcohol

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 10:26AM
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The above link would be relevant if the friend in question was a rodent, but I think elizabeth was referring to a human.

It's an interesting publication, however if you were to draw up a list of all the findings/treatments that seemed to work in rats and mice and never made the jump to effectiveness in humans, it'd be a long one. :)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 1:31PM
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I have an idea - get him to check into Betty Ford for proper treatment and then see if he needs herbal anything once his real problem has been addressed.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 5:59PM
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Actually, eric, there are studies showing that kudzu reduces alcohol consumption in humans. A link to one such study from Harvard is provided below. Just another example of you applying 'logic' and sometimes true statements without understanding the literature on a topic, and then making a silly conclusion, and proclaiming it to be SCIENCE! when in fact it is Humbug.

I provided that article because it not only includes kudzu, which has been demonstrated to reduce drinking urges in humans, but also lecithin and/or curcumin, which reduce many of the other negative biochemical changes associated with excess alcohol consumption. Yes, this study of the combination was conducted in mice. But the toxicity of a daily dollop of the food ingredient lecithin is nil, the cost is low, and it just may help the person in question.

Sure, a detox center might be a good idea (if Betty's $23,000 fee can be afforded, or if the person has insurance that will pick up that cost). And there are various support groups out there that are free. Not arguing against that. Because it is not an either/or dilemma. A person can make a commitment to cut the booze and to do other things to improve their health. And they really don't need a moralistic lecture from you two; you don't know what other steps that person is taking. Your presence here is not about the rational use of herbs; you merely want to scare people away from herbs.

Here is a link that might be useful: kudzu reduces alcohol drinking by heavy drinkers in a naturalistic setting

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 7:37PM
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Your Harvard citation is less than convincing. It mentions that people getting a kudzu root extract took smaller sips and a longer time to finish their beers. This is how these researchers plan to deal with problem drinkers? And then they conclude with "These changes occurred in the absence of a significant effect on the urge to drink alcohol."

This doesn't sound like a great way to deal with alcohol abuse.

"Rational" therapy is not predicated on either popping herbs and supplements or taking prescription drugs, but on what works best in a given setting. While we can't know the full story of the man described in the initial post, it does appear that counseling and support are the most important option to be followed.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 8:58PM
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You are welcome to conclude "This doesn't sound like a great way to deal with alcohol abuse." I am not suggesting that this is THE way - it may be one thing that helps some people. And there is more research on kudzu than that article - I provided it as a reference.

"Rational" therapy generally does involve counseling and support - no one is arguing against that. Quitting won't happen without a determination to change. But beyond that, if something improves the odds of quitting, or has other beneficial effects on health, then there it may be a rational addition.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 6:34PM
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Multidisciplinary approach is always better but coordinating it takes alot of energy....applause to you elizabeth, the world needs more friends like you....I agree with the liver detox idea...(milk thistle, chinese herb) but the withdrawal from alcohol can be life threatening and would best be handled with a profesional on your friends side....(detox centers sometimes have payment plans). Since the endeavor is so monumental....may want to help her put together small short goals easy to reach. Small "bandaids" on the stress- kava kava, valerian (a tonic to desensitize)- maybe helpful early on and with success bigger bandaids may be tackled later like the leaky gut they probably have and the pancreas burn out at this point(high sugar) AA is free and maybe able to get a sponsor that has done the herbal route....oh...if you are invested in expending the energy to help, you too will need to keep up with an adaptogen for stress and antioxidant/multivit and rest...its going to take alot of your energy so get grounded first

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 11:40PM
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