Herbs and Ayurvedic Remedies, Alcoholism Treatment
Alcoholism is defined as an irresistible urge to consume alcohol. People suffering from alcoholism are very well aware of the dangerous effects alcohol could have on their bodies, but still they are unable to resist the urge to consume it. They will usually drink beyond acceptable limits and will be in an inebriated state most often, causing embarrassment and inconvenience to the people with them.
Most people who consume alcohol have more than they can manage. This is seen in alcohol drinkers who lose control of their senses when they have one drink too many. Such an overstepping of limits is called as alcohol abuse. People who abuse alcohol are having more alcohol than their body allows them, but they have not yet come totally under the control of their alcohol habit. However, if they continue drinking for long, then they will not be able to resist alcohol and will become totally addicted to it. This situation is called as alcoholism.
Constant alcoholism will interfere with the functioning of all the vital organs of the body. The major organs affected are the liver, brain, heart and kidneys.
Liver is perhaps the most seriously affected in the long run. With prolonged alcoholism, the liver may develop cirrhosis, which is scarring of the liver tissue. Once cirrhosis sets in, it is very difficult to return the health back to normal.
In the stomach, alcohol can cause several gastric problems which may interfere with digestion. At the same time, each time a person has alcohol, it numbs his/her nervous system. In due course, the person may lose some or all of the fundamental senses.
(1) Useful Herbs in The Treatment of Alcoholism
1. Aloe vera (Aloe vera)
Aloe vera helps to strengthen the liver which is the first organ to be affected by the habit of alcoholism. Aloe vera can improve the functions and strength of the liver, and can prevent cirrhosis which is developed due to continuous intake of alcohol.
2. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha is an herb that is taken to reduce vata vitiations. This is important since vata plays and important role in strengthening the brain and nervous coordination. Use of ashwagandha can make the alcoholic person stronger.
3. Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)
The gotu kola herb revitalizes the brain. This is essential in people who want to overcome the withdrawal symptoms accompanied with alcohol.
4. Musk (Nardostachys jatamansi)
Known commonly in Ayurveda as Jatamansi, musk is a nervine for the vata vitiation. Its cooling effect helps the body to fight against then effects of alcoholism.
(2) Ayurvedic Treatment for Alcoholism
Ayurvedic treatments for mada work on various levels. There are different kinds of treatments for people with different degrees of alcoholism. Common therapies employed are cold irrigations on the head, providing a cold diet and applying cold mud packs on the body.
However these therapies work only for people who are not habitual alcoholics. These are the people who are beginners to drinking and hence get intoxicated easily. Ayurvedic medicines like Brihat vata chintamani rasa, Vata Vidhwansa rasa, Brahmi ghritam and Sarvatha choorna can be given to the alcoholics.
But if the person is a habitual alcoholic, then severe treatments are necessary. The medication is done based on the doshic constitution of the person.
1. For people with a vata constitution, the prescribed Ayurvedic treatments are Suvarachala choorna, Shuktapana and Amla Snigdhaadi yoga.
2. For people with a pitta constitution, the prescribed Ayurvedic treatments are Vata Srugadi pana and Kshundramalaki hima.
3. For people with a kapha constitution, the prescribed Ayurvedic treatments are to induce vomiting, fasting and to provide digestive medicines.
(3) Home Medications
Fruit juices are very effective in lowering the effects of alcoholism. For removing the effects of a hangover, the juice of a lemon or orange will be very effective. Eating an apple or banana helps to flush out the toxins from the body which collect due to alcoholism.
Both grapes and dates are very beneficial in reducing the urge to consume alcohol. If alcoholics are kept on a diet of only grapes for a couple of weeks, then most likely the temptation to drink will be totally gone.
Introduce many other drinks in the person’s diets so that the craving for the alcoholic drink is reduced.
When the person feels the urge to consume alcohol, having a glass of carrot juice will help to reduce the temptation.
For an alcoholic, avoiding alcohol could be a very difficult task. The withdrawal symptoms of alcoholism may be very severe. So it is not advisable for a hardcore alcohol to stop drinking entirely. Instead, the alcohol should be carefully phased out.
The Following Steps Can Be Taken to Reduce Alcohol Intake
1. The person must be made to take interest in constructive hobbies and sports.
2. Love and affection from family members and friends could strengthen the resolve of the person to give up alcoholism.
3. Attending meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous will show the alcoholic how people have managed to kick their boozing habits. This will create a very positive outlook in the alcoholic.
4. Instead of alcohol, other drinks with less alcohol in them can be used, such as wine and cocktails. Eventually even these can be stopped.