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How to Curb Alcohol Cravings

When you’re in recovery from alcohol addiction, nutrition can play a major role in helping your system bounce back. The right combination of vitamins and supplements can not only help you feel physically healthier, it can also help you overcome alcohol cravings and common long-term withdrawal symptoms like anxiety and depression. Some supplements and nutrition strategies may assist in reducing alcohol cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Prolonged alcohol consumption can actually deplete the body of essential vitamins and minerals, causing nutritional deficiencies that may intensify cravings. Restoring these nutrients can help manage these cravings and support recovery.

herbs to curb alcohol cravings

Triggers may be internal or external or caused by people, situations, or even memories. Cravings may start in response to a negative or positive thought or feeling. One second you are fine; the next, you are dealing with a nearly irresistible urge for a drink of alcohol. People who drink alcohol are at higher risk of calcium deficiency, since alcohol interferes with your body’s ability to properly absorb this vital nutrient. Caring for your whole self as you overcome alcohol addiction is critical to lasting success.

Can I Use Herbs to Help Resist Alcohol Cravings?

Many people think of alcohol cravings as a strong physical urge to drink, and this is often accurate, but not all cravings are the same. In some cases, cravings may only present themselves as thoughts about alcohol. Cravings can last up to minutes, but may feel as if they do not have an end point.

herbs to curb alcohol cravings

This amino acid occurs naturally in the body and many protein-rich foods, and is a building block for some of the brain chemicals that regulate anxiety and depression. While reducing cravings for alcohol, goldenseal can also desensitize your mouth with its bitter taste. At the same time, this herb can kill off the bacteria in your intestines that contribute to your alcohol cravings. In addition to reducing daily drinking, naltrexone has been shown to reduce alcohol cravings as a measurable symptom (3).

Controlling Alcohol Cravings With Medication

They can help you to remain strong in the face of temptation and resist the urge to indulge in alcoholic drinks. Herbs which can be used as a remedy for combating alcohol cravings include Dandelion, Kudzu, Milk Thistle, St. John’s Wort, Angelica, Kava, Chamomile, Goldenseal and Iboga. Kudzu is a wild vine whose tubers contain a chemical compound called daidzin, which is used in modern herbal medicine to suppress alcoholic cravings and diminish the effects of alcohol withdrawal. Although evidence is still limited, omega-3 fatty acids show promise as an excellent alcohol recovery supplement. If you’re in recovery from alcohol use disorder, adding this supplement into your diet can help with anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and many other issues that might trigger alcohol cravings. DL-phenylalanine can also be a useful supplement for alcohol withdrawal.

herbs to curb alcohol cravings

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy, or talk therapy, used in the treatment of substance use disorders, including AUD. CBT works to help reframe a person’s thoughts and change their actions. It can be useful in addressing cravings by helping the person develop coping mechanisms for when they occur. The third FDA-approved medication for treating AUD is Antabuse (disulfiram).

Magnesium (Mg)

Peppermint tea is a delicious beverage that relieves headaches, inflamed sinus, and stomach problems. Ginger also helps boost bone health, strengthen the immune system, and increase appetite. This spicy root is also good for mitigating obesity and relief from menstrual pain. The powerful health benefits of dates include providing herbs to curb alcohol cravings an energy boost, increasing iron in the body, and aiding digestion. Having a severe dependency on one thing can destroy both lives and relationships. If your goal is to get out of a slump, or to help out a friend in need – it’s important to know that there are ways to improve the reliability of your decision to quit.

  • Restoring these nutrients can help manage these cravings and support recovery.
  • Instead, drink lots of water, fruit juices, or other drinks that contain plenty of electrolytes.
  • Virtual environments are being used to stimulate alcohol, nicotine or cocaine craving followed by desensitization using cognitive-behavioral techniques.
  • External triggers refer to the environmental cues you link to alcohol, including places, times, people, and situations.
  • The runner’s high is real as exercise stimulates the brain to release “feel good” hormones.
  • The following approaches can also be used, with or without medication.

This can be a key to breaking the hold that your triggers to drink have on you. Naltrexone is a medication that belongs to a group of drugs known as opioid antagonists. It binds to and blocks opioid receptors in the brain, which reduces the buzz and intoxicated feeling you get from drinking alcohol. Generally, the more alcohol you drink on a regular basis, the longer it takes for cravings to subside. It’s important to note that you may or may not be aware of these external triggers as reasons for your alcohol cravings. Disulfiram – this drug reverses the pleasurable effect of alcohol by causing negative reactions such as vomiting, headaches, and systematic discomfort whenever a user consumes alcohol.

Here are 5 Herbal Remedies That You Can Use to Reduce Cravings for Alcohol:

It will take a lot of hard work and determination, but it’s never too late to drop a bad habit out of your life for good. Josh Lee is a clinician and researcher with a focus on medication-assisted treatment of alcohol and opioid use disorders. He has conducted multiple clinical trials examining the use of naltrexone in primary care and other community settings.

Her TEDx talk,  «The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong,» is one of the most viewed talks of all time. Just quality information to help you live your most limitless sober life. A rapidly growing email list that provides the highest quality FREE sober resources and tips to live an addiction-free life, without limits. Studies have actually shown that alcohol causes an imbalance in our gut microbiome, which also impacts neurotransmitter production, including GABA, Serotonin and Dopamine (Qamar et al., 2019). Glutamine can kill unwanted bacteria in the gut, some of which are involved in signalling the intense cravings we get (Perna et al., 2019). That is until I started upon my sober journey, delved deep into the biology of addiction, and became kind of my own personal guinea pig.

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