Traditional Chinese Medicine May Provide A New Tool To Fight Addiction


Traditional Chinese Medicine may provide a new tool to fight addiction A new natural health resource in the fight against alcoholism has been found in a synthetic derivative of Kudzu vine which may help treat the addiction and prevent a relapse.

Some 14 million Americans are addicted to alcohol and the costs of alcohol dependence and abuse equaled $220 billion in 2005, according to, an addiction treatment resource organization.

Daidzin is a substance found in Kudzu vine, and scientists from the University of California at San Francisco found that it inhibits human aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH-2), which metabolizes alcohol into acetaldehyde.

The accumulation of acetaldehyde, in turn, produces aversive effects and may turn people away from drinking.

Ting-Kai Li, a professor in the department of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center and former director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, says extracts of Kudzu vine have been used in Chinese herbal medicine formulas for thousands of years and are believed to be helpful in treating alcoholism and intoxication.

"Recent research has found that several compounds of the isoflavone family – puerarin, daidzin, daidzein – in the Kudzu extract decrease alcohol intake in experimental animals," he stresses.

The value of the treatment is further enhanced by the fact that it appears to be non-toxic, the scientists say.


Personal Liberty

Special To Personal Liberty

You Sound Off! is written by our readers and appears the last Wednesday of each month. If you would like to submit an article or letter to the editor for consideration for You Sound Off!, send it to by the Friday before the last Wednesday of the month. To be considered, a submission should be 750 words or less and must include the writer's name, address and a telephone number. Only the writer's name will be published. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.