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Scientists Hope Natural Herb Will Prove Effective Treatment For Alcoholism

Hovenia dulcis may contain a possible treatment for alcoholism: image via wikipedia.comHovenia dulcis may contain a possible treatment for alcoholism: image via wikipedia.com A tree that is native to China, the Hovenia dulcis, or Asian raisin tree, has been described to contain a hangover remedy since 659 AD.  If you can fathom how long it's been in use, you may wonder why it's taken so long for modern research to study its potential as a treatment for alcohol addiction.  Well, now a multi-disciplinary team from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) are actively studying its impact; first on rats....

Published in the January 4, 2012 online edition of The Journal of Neuroscience, the UCLA team describes its research on the natural antioxidant found in the Hovenia dulcis - dihydromyricetin, or DHM.  

Laboratory rats were given the human equivalent of 15 to 20 beers in less than two hours.  The rats passed out and the experimenters placed them on their backs.  It took the rats one hour or longer to gain enough control of their bodies to flip themselves over on their legs.

In a subsequent test, the rats were given the same amount of 'booze' in the same time frame, but with a shot of DHM.  It took the rats more time to pass out this time and, when placed on their backs, it took them less time to gain control of their bodies to flip over.  Additionally, two days later, when humans and rats might still show hangover effects, the rats that were given the DHM showed fewer signs.

Now, this may surprise you:  The rats were then left to drink freely.  Like human alcoholics, the rats tended to increase their consumption over time, but the rats who were given DHM kept their consumption at the original levels, suggesting that DHM may not only provide relief from hangovers, but a deterrent, and possibly, a treatment for alcoholism that does not have its own harsh side effects.

Human tests to follow!

via MedicalXpress

Editor's Note:  For possible hangover relief and treatment of alcoholism, Hovenia dulcis extract, or Asian raisin tree extract, is available in the U.S. You can buy it from Amazon here and many other health supply stores.