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Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a chronic condition where a person becomes psychologically and physically dependent on alcohol, the affected person is unable to face life without the aid of an alcohol induced euphoria, the substance becomes a crutch on which the person is dependant, and therefore alcoholism as such is considered a debilitating condition; since the dependence can often be very intense and life altering. It is similar to diseases like diabetes or hypertension in the way it affects human health, and many consider it to be so, as the long-term effects on health are often very serious. An excessive consumption of alcohol can alter the normal functioning of vital organs such as that of the pancreas, the liver, the intestines, and the brain, even though in small amounts it is often said to be good for cardiac function, it is debatable point as it is difficult to say, what would constitute a moderate amount. Alcohol itself is full of empty calories and has no nutritional benefits and contributes to poor health, physical deterioration is often the first and usual manifestation of alcoholism.

The very act of drinking or consumption of alcohol can act as an icebreaker in social situation as people, who drink usually feel talkative and become much more convivial and sociable, in that it relaxes people and thus can act as a stimulant. The exact reasons behind the addiction of some people to alcohol is unknown, and there are very many scientific reasons why this could be so. The mystery may be that it is largely psychological, and there are more mental factors behind alcoholism and dependence, scientifically looking at alcoholism, it does seem to have a genetic basis and could be hereditary in that children of alcoholics are known to be a lot more prone to be alcoholics themselves late in life, this seems to be true, even when they are raised in households that are alcohol free, and therefore it is believed that genetic and psychological reasons are the best bet on why people become alcoholics.

Supplements and herbs

Supplements are recommended for alcoholics in cases where, it's use is necessary for minimizing the desire for alcohol that a recently reformed drinker may feel, multi supplements can be used together and they will play their role as effective substances particularly in cases where an alcoholic has to be weaned away from the substance. These supplements will also help the person in an indirect way-while he is recovering-by boosting his immune system and this is very important as recovery periods for severe addictions to alcohol may range in periods from weeks to months. During this recovery period, all alcoholics feel intense and painful withdrawal symptoms and along and thus prescription medication from a qualified medical practitioner are recommended along with the supplements for a full and safe recovery.

Nutrient deficiency is a very common health problem among almost all alcoholics, as diets are usually poor with heavy drinkers. These deficiencies range from low levels of the B complex vitamins, to low levels of vitamin C, and most essential amino acids –this is because protein is usually lacking in the very poor diet of drinkers. The desire to eat may be hampered in many alcoholics and there are of course other reasons such as the toxic effects of alcohol- that can be blamed for contributing to the absence of a healthy and balanced diet. Restoring the balance and supply of essential nutrients therefore assumes priority and it is vital to increase the depleted substances in the body, over a very long time and it is best to stick with therapy and recovery for a period of several months for this reason alone, as getting the body health is also vitally necessary to help the person cope with the withdrawal symptoms. In the reduction of the milder withdrawal symptoms and in the removal of alcohol from the tissues vitamin C can be used, this vitamin is also very important in strengthening the body, as a strong body is necessary to fight back. Vitamin C is extremely effective in this health restoration action when used along with tocopherol or vitamin E, as they both complement each other during the recovery process. Withdrawal symptoms and the intense craving for alcohol can be sated effectively using a combination of the B-complex vitamins, along with the amino acid glutamine, and kudzu vine extracts. In easing the symptoms of withdrawal thiamine is effective and should be taken in extra doses along with the other supplements. Detoxification of the body is essential and the liver of alcoholics has usually suffered some injury, in order to strengthen and restore the liver function while detoxifying the body a combination of a herbal extract of the herb milk thistle, can be used along with the amino acid NAC (N-acetylcysteine), and phosphatidylcholine, these can be taken in 500 mg tablets thrice daily.

Minerals also need to be replenished in the body and can help in many ways, for example the essential mineral chromium can be used for minimizing fatigue, which is a very common symptom among alcoholics because they usually suffer from a low glucose level in the blood- hypoglycemia. The oil of evening primrose is very rich in the fatty acid GLA or gamma-linolenic acid. GLA is an essential component in the production of prostaglandin E, which is a brain chemical necessary to effectively fight the withdrawal symptoms, including seizures and depression which are faced by recovering alcoholics. Liver and nervous system function are also aided by prostaglandin E. Sleeping becomes a big problem with recovering alcoholics, the sedative like herb kava can be used to induce sleepiness.

Aromatherapy

Commonly used essential oils for alcoholism:

Homeopathy

Quirke's is recommended once or twice a day, and should be used either in a tincture form or in a low potent form, in combination with the recommended substances in for several months, in 30c. Hourly dosage can also be used to prevent hangover, and in for the prevention of acute intoxication due to alcohol consumption.

  • Agaricus
    Agaricus is recommended in cases of acute alcoholism and is a potent antidote against the ravages of a hangover. The patient who should be recommended this prescription may display wild rage, but will show a final indifference in behavior. Other behavior may include delirium, raving and manic behavior along with incoherent talking and rhyme making. A headache may set in due to the alcohol. Physical signs may include trembling, muscular twitching, jerking motions, and an unsteady gait. Bodily sensations may include feelings of ice-cold needles on the skin, accompanied by a burning and tingling sensation. The spine may become sensitive. The patient may worsen under cold weather, and will be sensitive to touching, will not eat, will deny intercourse and suffer more if it is her menstrual period, and may feel uncomfortable under pressure and before the onset of storms, in all such cases Agaricus should be used.
  • Arsenicum
    Arsenicum is recommended in all chronic and acute cases of alcoholism. The patient may feel chilled, and this may be accompanied by burning pains. Physically the patient may become very pale and ashen, the body may be emaciated and puffy. The patient may have foul smelling and acrid discharges in small amounts. The patient may be always thirsty and prefer cold liquids and may have a shortness of breath often. Other signs include restlessness and an extreme anxious state and a weakness. Mentally the patient will always feel nervous, he may also be fearful and have pangs of guilt. Morbid fears may include the sudden and unexplained fear of death, misery and a feeling that they cannot be cured. The patient may worsen around midnight, early in the morning at around 1 or 2 a.m.; the patient may also worsen under physical exertion. The patient will recover and feel better among company and in hot weather and warm clothing and will love warm food, all people who display such symptoms may be prescribed Arsenicum.
  • Lachesis
    Lachesis is to be used for treating persons suffering from chronic alcoholism. Patients may show a dusky complexion, and may feel they are being choked. A prominent physical sign is a red nose. Patients may show profuse bleeding in many parts of the body, including a nosebleed, and bruising in the body. Other physical signs like a cold feeling in the legs and feet. Gastric problems like diarrhea, recurrent nausea, and indigestion. Other signs may include trembling, body cramps and hot flashes. Patients may be given to jesting and incessant aimless talk. In moving he may be hurried and impatient, and may feel suspicious of everyone. The patient may worsen in the morning, and immediately after waking, he will feel an aversion to heat, to light, will not like to be touched, and feel bad under pressure. The patient will improve in the open air and will like wide-open spaces.
  • Nux vomica
    Nux vomica is an effective antidote against the ravages of alcohol, and treats hangovers. The patient may show delirium tremens. Physical signs like nervousness will feel weak and show muscular twitching and trembling. Other physical signs include excessive cramps, spasms and mental tension. Behaviors may include overeating, and drug abuse and over excessive drinking of coffee. Symptoms like constipation, and sleeplessness may come on. The person will be weak and unsteady. Psychologically he will be very irritable, critical and argumentative, aside from being willful and demanding. The patient may worsen in the early hours of the morning and will be sensitive to cold and pressure, light and noise, and will avoid being touched, while feeling better when having warm liquids.

Additional things you may do

Acupuncture may reduce the craving for alcohol. Join a support group.

Usual dosage

  • Evening primrose oil, 1,000 mg three times daily. Can be replaced with 1,000 mg borage oil once daily.
  • Kava, 250 mg three times daily. Standardized to contain at least 30% kavalactones.
  • Milk thistle, 250 mg three times daily - between meals. Standardized to contain at least 70% silymarin.
  • Kudzu, 150 mg three times daily. Standardized to contain at least 0.95% daidzen.
  • Vitamin B complex, each morning with food, 1 pill, plus extra 100 mg thiamin. Look for a 400 mcg folic acid; B-50 complex with 50 mcg vitamin B12 and biotin;  and 50 mg of all other B vitamins.
  • Vitamin E / Vitamin C, 400 IU vitamin E a day; 1,000 mg vitamin C three times daily. Vitamin C helps boost the effects of vitamin E.
  • Amino acids, mixed amino acid complex plus L-glutamine (500 mg two times daily), GABA (750 mg two times daily), and NAC (500 mg two times daily). Take on an empty stomach for best absorption.
  • Chromium, 200 mcg two times daily. Take with a full glass of water or food.

Other beneficial herbs

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