Alcoholism, the most common substance abuse and dependence, is a direct consequence of the exhaustion of GABAA receptors, which are desensitized and reduced in number by repeated heavy consumption of alcohol. Tolerance leads to physical dependence and chronic intoxication with ethanol, which in time will cause some serious complications, such as cirrhosis, cardiomyopathy and dementia.
GABAA, a receptor for gamma-aminobutyric acid (the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system), are so widely distributed within the nervous system that they play a role in virtually all brain functions. Besides the gamma-aminobutyric acid, GABAA is the binding site for several drugs extracted from poisonous mushrooms and plants (Amanita muscaria, for example) and it also contains a number of allosteric binding sites through which the activity of the receptor can be modulated indirectly (these allosteric sites are the targets of various drugs, including benzodiazepines and barbiturates). Alcohol also targets these receptors, which, in time, become desensitized and reduced in number. The following herbal remedies exert their anti-alcoholic effect through several mechanisms: they help the body metabolize alcohol and eliminate its byproducts, they mimic the effect of alcohol on the central nervous system (but without having the same side effects), they fight against the functional and structural damage that the alcohol does on the body’s organs and systems.
Herbal remedies for alcoholism
- Pickled cabbage: For 1 kg of cabbage, add 1 teaspoon of salt, 3-4 grated carrots, 3 teaspoons of green tea. If the alcoholic also suffers of high blood pressure, you can also add 1 chopped beetroot and 1 chopped celery root. Eat as much as you can.
- Lovage: Add 1 lovage root and 2 bay laurel leaves in 250 ml of plum brandy and let the mixture macerate for 7 days. Drink instead of other alcoholic beverages.
- Brotherwort: Mix 4 tablespoons of brotherwort, 1 tablespoons of wormwood and 1 tablespoon of centaury, all dried and finely cut. Add 1 tablespoon of this mixture in a cup of hot boiled water and let steep for 2 hours. Take 2 tablespoons, 30 minutes before a meal, 3 times a day.
- Asarabacca: Add 1 tablespoon of finely cut roots in 200 ml of water. Put the recipient over a slow heat for 5 minutes and then let steep for an hour. Add 1 tablespoon of this liquor for every 200 ml of alcoholic beverage that the alcoholic person consumes. It has a strong vomiting effect which after a while will set off even if the beverage doesn’t contain asarabacca.
- French marigold: Add 8 flowers in 1 l of water and boil for 3 minutes. Then add the same flowers in 800 ml of water and boil for 6 minutes. Mix the two liquors and drink 200 ml a day, before a meal.
- Hot pepper: Add 1 tablespoon of finely cut hot pepper in 500 ml of alcohol 60% and let it macerate for 14 days. Add 2-3 drops of this tincture for every liter of alcoholic beverage that the alcoholic person consumes.
- Acorns: Add 20 g of acorn in 200 ml of alcohol 60% and let it macerate for 20 days. Take 10 drops in a tablespoon of water, 3-4 times a day.
- Sorrel: Add 1 tablespoon of finely cut roots in 200 ml of water, boil for 5 minutes and then let steep for 3 hours. Take 1 tablespoon, 6 times a day.