How To Naturally Reduce Alcohol Cravings
There are many herbs, such as milk thistle, goldenseal, dandelion root, kudzu, St. John’s wort, and ashwaganda, that people use to naturally reduce alcohol cravings. For example, in addition to relieving withdrawal symptoms, dandelion root also helps to curb the craving for alcohol. Milk thistle eliminates toxins from the liver, which helps to lower the desire to drink alcohol, and treats liver damage done by alcohol. Used in Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is also claimed to alleviate anxiety and minimize alcohol cravings.
Kudzu root is another herb to consider. Modern studies have confirmed the effectiveness of Kudzu extract in relieving painful cravings for alcohol. How? The ADH enzyme that converts alcohol into highly toxic acetaldehyde is low in activity in “European genotype” individuals, so alcohol remains in the blood for a long time and has a euphorizing effect. Research by scientists has shown that the isoflavone components of the Kudzu root extract inhibit the activity of the ADH. This reduces the toxic alcohol effects while increasing the euphorizing effect. Thanks to such a decrease in toxicity with simultaneous increase in the effect of intoxication, the need for alcohol decreases.
Scientists found how to reduce alcohol cravings besides turning to psychotherapy or medications. It turns out that among the foods we all are familiar with, some greatly reduce alcohol cravings.
- Bread, pasta, and rice. What these foods have in common is that they are all a source of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates give a feeling of fullness and replenish energy reserves, which are enough for a long time. Thus, in contrast to situations when fast carbohydrates (cakes, sweets, etc.) act as a snack, the desire to drink to receive more energy through easily digestible carbohydrates found in alcohol does not come as often.
- Bananas, peas, and herbs. These products have a high content of vitamin B in them. Deficiency of this vitamin is associated with irritability, fatigue, weakness, depression, and other symptoms that people often handle with the help of alcoholic beverages.
- Turkey, chicken, and fish. These foods have a lot of protein, and therefore effectively reduce alcohol cravings. Indeed, thanks to the consumption of these foods, one’s mood, digestion, and sleep improve and energy levels boost. This means that additional stimulation in the form of intoxicating drinks is not required.
- Pork, soy, and grains. They contain a lot of thiamine, which can reduce alcohol cravings naturally. That is why dishes containing these ingredients are often added to the menu of alcohol addiction rehabilitation centers.
Acupuncture is an ancient tradition in Chinese medicine. This form of treatment is used to treat many diseases for over 5 thousand years. The main property of acupuncture – to increase the production of internal endorphins (hormones of happiness) is increasingly used to reduce alcohol cravings naturally.
To remove the unhealthy craving for alcohol and normalize the functioning of the central nervous system, one to five sessions of acupuncture are required. As a result of acupuncture treatment, an exchange of neurotransmitters in certain centers of the brain is normalized. This leads to a reduced desire to drink alcohol, an improvement in mood, productivity, and general well-being, normalization of blood pressure and sexual function without the use of alcohol.
An individual no longer needs to stimulate the nervous system with alcohol, since with the increased production of the body’s own endorphins, alcohol is no longer necessary. In other words, a person likes to be sober and sobriety becomes a preferred state.
Mindfulness practices and meditation
British scientists conducted an experiment in which they tested the effectiveness of cognitive therapy based on the practice of mindfulness on alcohol consumption. This method is used in the treatment and prevention of clinical depression and drug addiction. The results published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology showed that short sessions of mindfulness practice significantly reduced the amount of alcohol consumed after the first week.
How to reduce alcohol cravings with the use of cognitive practices based on mindfulness-based cognitive therapy? This practice implies an analysis of one’s own thoughts and feelings and an understanding of the problem that needs to be solved. Scientists point out that the mindfulness method can be taught in a very short time, and the positive results appear within the first week of practice.
Along with mindfulness practices, meditation also helped many to reduce alcohol cravings. Meditation is extremely beneficial for the human psyche, burdened by the effects of alcohol and hidden psychological problems. When one is experiencing anxiety, stress, or worry, one of the ways the body responds is by tightening up.
As meditation helps to release tension in the body and mind, the alcoholic can see the true reasons for depression and erase the trauma of painful memories and experiences. Meditation can not only help overcome psychological problems but also motivate the alcoholic who is just embarking on the path of healing to not give up.
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