Alcoholism – Traditional Medicine

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Alcoholism - Traditional Medicine

Acupuncture and Electro acupuncture

It is claimed that the effectiveness of acupuncture and electro acupuncture as remedies for alcoholism depends on the level the condition has progressed to, and is mainly effective when the underlying causes are social drinking that has got out of hand or is due to negative emotions. For many years auricular acupuncture has been used to combat substance abuse and there are reports that it lessens compulsions and cravings and guards against Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) which includes the inability to think clearly, excessive emotional reactions, memory problems, insomnia and coordination issues.

In a  1998 Swedish study, 72 alcoholics received acupuncture to the ear in a randomised single-blind controlled study which took place over 10 weeks, with one group receiving acupuncture on orthodox points and the other group on incorrect points. In this research it was found that women had a far greater reduction in anxiety in the study group than men did, however the results revealed smaller effects than many earlier studies.

A 2011 study of low frequency electro acupuncture in an animal model found that the treatment was effective in reducing the preference for ethanol intake, leading to the conclusion that electro acupuncture may be a useful treatment for alcoholism.

Laser Therapy

A 2004 study on 53 alcoholics used two types of laser stimulation for four sessions. Each session consisted of 20 consecutive daily helium-neon laser neck bio stimulations and 10 auricular acupuncture treatments with argon laser every second day. Researchers wished to ascertain if bio stimulation of the whole body was a better way of treating alcohol addiction. Using the Beck Depression Inventory-Fast Screen the patients’ mental states were assessed before the start of the study and after two months of treatment. Both beta-endorphin level improvement and improvement in BDI-FS were discovered.


Pollen: There is some evidence that consuming 2 to 3 grams of pollen a day when alcohol has been prohibited reduces Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) from roughly a week to 2 to 3 days. Ingestion of pollen has been shown to help the body get rid of toxins and in a 2013 clinical trial of chestnut bee pollen it was shown to be preferable at treating liver damage and oxidative stress than Silibinin because the pollen achieved the same level of damage reversal but without the severe side effects associated with Silibinin.

Honey: There is some evidence from a small Chinese study in 2012 on rats, that honey administered orally or subcutaneously prior to ethanol consumption, gave protection against gastric damage and changes in pH induced by ethanol. Honey has also been claimed to have a positive effect on the liver in Hepatitis A patients, with clover and rape honey showing the best results.


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