Kudzu Recovery For Alcoholics: How It Works

kudzu recovery for alcoholics

In this article, I’m going to discuss how to use kudzu recovery for alcoholism. Kudzu is an invasive weed that has also been used to treat alcoholism for well over one thousand years.

Some common phrases people search the net for are:

  • “kudzu recovery”
  • “kudzu alcohol”
  • “kudzu alcoholism”
  • “kudzu dosage alcohol cravings”
  • “kudzu extract for alcoholism”
  • “kudzu root alcoholism”

Thus, I’m going to make sure I cover all of these topics and more so you become very knowledgeable about how kudzu works for helping people get better from alcoholism.

Taking kudzu will not turn an alcoholic into a nondrinker overnight. Nor will it drastically enhance your quality of life after the first dose. However, if you want to cut down on drinking or detoxify your body during alcohol withdrawal, kudzu may be able to help.

There are many studies showing that kudzu reduces alcohol consumption for heavy drinkers and has a positive effect on the brain-body system.

I will discuss how kudzu works, my experience with using powdered kudzu root for alcoholism, and recommendations for taking kudzu.

Kudzu Recovery: Overview of Kudzu

The use of kudzu for alcoholism originated in China around 600 A.D. The Chinese noticed that people who consumed the plant started to drink less. According to traditional Chinese medicine, kudzu has cooling properties that balance the heat and false energy created by alcohol.

Kudzu is thought to increase blood flow throughout the body. When alcohol is consumed, kudzu may reduce the time it takes for it to travel to the brain. A slightly increased concentration of alcohol in the brain results in a quicker reward, which in turn reduces a person’s desire to drink more alcohol.

While the blood flow theory of kudzu for alcoholism may be true, there is likely more going on here. Kudzu contains several active isoflavones, which are natural plant chemicals with antioxidant effects. The most notable isoflavone in kudzu is called puerarin. This compound has a positive effect on the central nervous system and the brain.

Specifically, the regions of the brain associated with alcohol cravings are thought to be more “satisfied” when puerarin is consumed. While kudzu is most often used to reduce the consumption of people who are still drinking, the presence of puerarin in kudzu may also reduce cravings for alcoholics who have already quit drinking.

kudzu recovery

Beyond these mechanisms, kudzu offers benefits for detoxification and withdrawal symptoms. Kudzu is commonly taken to alleviate the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Thirst
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Poor circulation

Although I’m sure it would have helped me detoxify, I did not use kudzu after I quit drinking. My experience was limited to an experiment that I did years ago to see if taking the herb would reduce my drinking levels.

Kudzu Recovery: My Experience With Kudzu

In 2012, I ordered some high quality organic kudzu capsules after reading about the potential for kudzu to curb alcohol consumption. I took several capsules per day before drinking, and went through all of the kudzu in about one month.

As expected, I didn’t really feel anything after taking kudzu until I began drinking. I recall feeling a very slight prickly feeling in my skin after I’d had a few drinks, and a mild head rush. I did not feel more drunk than usual, but I definitely drank less.  Overall, my drinking during that month declined by around 30-40%.

Because my drinking levels were so stupendously high in the first place, kudzu did not turn me into a moderate drinker by any stretch of the imagination.

kudzu recovery for alcoholics

My problem at the time was a denial of the severity of my drinking problem. Kudzu did what it was supposed to do – it curbed my drinking noticeably. But as soon as the capsules ran out, I concluded that it hadn’t totally “cured” my problem and that I would eventually find something better. I immediately fell back into my hard drinking ways.

In retrospect, my experience demonstrates the utility of kudzu for alcoholism. If I had been committed to using kudzu to wean off of alcohol and then quit, it might have been a very valuable part of my recovery. I did not know at the time that people also use kudzu to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms; nor did I care, because I did not intend to quit at the time.

In terms of what I felt when I took kudzu, my experience supports the observations of others who note that kudzu might act like a much gentler form of disulfiram or Antabuse. These drugs are often prescribed to alcoholics to keep them abstinent. Even a tiny amount of alcohol can cause violent illness while on these drugs. By contrast, kudzu creates a mild flushed feeling at most and leaves the drinker craving alcohol a bit less.

Because of this effect, kudzu might also be helpful for people who have quit drinking and want to make sure that a potential slip doesn’t become a full blown relapse. Taking kudzu would decrease the chance that a drink would turn into an endless parade of drinks. Of course, it’s up to the individual to ensure that he or she doesn’t use this as an excuse to fall off the wagon.

Kudzu Recovery: How To Use Kudzu

Kudzu was introduced to the United States in the late 19th century, and can now be found covering millions of acres across the United States. It is often sprayed with herbicide, so unfortunately your best bet for organic kudzu is a store or the Internet.

kudzu recovery for alcoholics

Kudzu can be purchased with ease online and it won’t break the bank. However, there are a lot of supplements that claim to contain kudzu that are mostly cheap fillers. Look for supplements that contain organic kudzu powder. Kudzu is known to be extremely safe, with very few reported adverse side effects.

Planetary Herbals Kudzu is the brand I used when I tried kudzu. It is very high quality and the Amazon reviews speak for themselves.

In my opinion, the Planetary Herbals brand is a great option for someone who has not yet quit drinking, and who wants to try pure kudzu powder on its own.

Kudzu Recovery: Research Studies

kudzu recovery

A growing number of double-blind, peer reviewed studies have confirmed the effectiveness of using kudzu for alcoholism. Early research focused on rats with good results, which were later replicated with human subjects.

  • Kudzu reduces consumption and abolishes alcohol withdrawal symptoms in rats (source)
  • Kudzu extract reduces beer consumption by 50% without side effects (source)
  • Kudzu extract reduces drinking in male heavy drinkers (source)
  • A single dose of kudzu extract reduces drinking in binge drinkers (source)
  • Kudzu extract does not increase self-perception of alcohol intoxication (source)

The last study above was designed to test the hypothesis that kudzu accelerates the subjective experience of alcohol intoxication. If this were the primary effect of kudzu increasing blood flow, then subjects should feel more intoxicated with fewer drinks after taking kudzu.

Since this was not the case, the study concludes that the isoflavones in kudzu work through more indirect or complex mechanisms in the brain.

Kudzu Recovery: Conclusion

In short, using kudzu for alcoholism may be beneficial for achieving the following goals:

  • Reducing the amount of alcohol you consume
  • Easing hangover and withdrawal symptoms
  • Reducing the severity of a relapse if you’re newly abstinent

My standards for categorizing an herb or drug as a “miracle” supplement are quite high. Something has to create a massive increase in sense of well-being to fit into this category. While kudzu does not quite make the cut, it is definitely worth trying if you’re looking to cut down on or quit drinking.

If you have any questions about using kudzu recovery for alcoholism, please leave them in the comment box below.

Hierarchy of Alcohol Recovery


  • Chris Scott

    Chris Scott founded Fit Recovery in 2014 to help people from around the world dominate alcohol dependence and rebuild their lives from scratch. A former investment banker, he recovered from alcohol dependence using cutting-edge methods that integrate nutrition, physiology, and behavioral change. Today, Chris is an Alcohol Recovery Coach and the creator of an online course called Total Alcohol Recovery 2.0.

  • Dr. Rebeca Eriksen

    Dr. Rebeca Eriksen is the Nutritional Consultant for Fit Recovery. She has a PhD in Nutritional Genetics from Imperial College London, and over ten years of clinical experience designing custom nutritional repair regimens for patients recovering from alcohol addiction. In addition to her work at the exclusive Executive Health clinic in Marbella, Spain, she helps to keep Fit Recovery up to date with emerging research.

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The information we provide while responding to comments is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. The responses to comments on fitrecovery.com are designed to support, not replace, medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you believe you may have a condition.

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karen breslin
karen breslin
7 months ago

I was interested in reducing my consumption and found LIME WATER really helped with the evening cravings, especially that “pity party’ feeling, take a sip and it’s gone. I’m also experimenting with solutions cuz a family member is a functioning alcoholic and in case of emergency ie not able to get alcohol etc I don’t want anyone to have to experience their withdrawal so I keep kudzu with me every time i visit

Garet Kershaw
Garet Kershaw
9 months ago

What is best time of day to take kudzo please?

10 months ago

I have read that Kudzu can cause liver damage. Other sites state it helps the liver, so I am confused. Would appreciate your input.

Rachel gill
3 years ago

Hi Chris I am a heavy drinker and I have gone cold turkey today I am starting my Kudzu on wed to help my cravings when is a gd time to take the tablet morning or evening. Thanks

P. Puntel
P. Puntel
4 years ago

I take the liquid kudzu and have for two weeks. I see no difference. Should I take capsules instead. Are they stronger?



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