Ancient Chinese Herb Keeps You Sober No Matter What

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

Imagine a pill that could make you instantly sober, no matter how much you have had to drink or a pill that could stop the effects of your hangover just a few minutes after you take it. If you like to drink but don’t like the hangovers or if you enjoy social drinking but don’t like how you behave after a couple drinks, you should be aware of a pill that has moved on to human trials that soon many offer a cure for alcoholism.

This drug comes from a Chinese variety of the oriental raisin tree, which has been used medicinally for more than 500 years as a hangover remedy. Although as of right now this extract, called dihydromyricetin (DHM), has only been tested on boozing rodents, but it has had amazing results.

DHM reduces the degree of drunkenness as well as a reduction in hangover symptoms. If used continuously, over time, there are hopes it will reduce an alcoholics craving for alcohol.

When people drink the liver produces an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase, which allows the body to metabolize alcohol at a consistent rate. You have probably heard the old adage “one drink per hour” to help keep people at that metabolic cure, but when we drink faster than our liver can metabolize it, it causes a backup of alcohol in the blood. Find out more how alcohol affects the body.

Now all that alcohol in the blood affects the brains neurotransmitters. DHM works by attaching itself to the neurotransmitters in the brain and stops the alcohol from reaching them. It also has a beneficial effect on that enzyme that your liver is putting out so it not only stops you from feeling drunk (and acting drunk) but it helps you to sober up very quickly. So DHM has a twofold action; it stops alcohol from hitting your brain and helps your liver to metabolize the alcohol quicker, which will help reduce damage to the liver as well.

In the lab, rats were injected with an alcohol equivalent of about 15 beers over a two hour period to be sure that they were completely wasted. Then researchers measured just how long I took the drunken rats to right themselves after they were placed on their backs. As expected, some rats took as long as 1 hour 10 minutes just to get back on their feet. In the second part of the exam, the researchers again let the rats go on a booze binge, and then injected them with one milligram of DHM. Amazingly, all the rats were able to get back on all fours in about 5 minutes!

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Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

Still another test set the boozed up rats in a maze. Needless to say, drunken rats had no interest in completing the maze and most just lounged in a corner. After a dose of DHM, however, the rat’s interest returned and they walked through the maze at about the same rate as rats that were on the wagon.

The last test attempted to see if DHM could eliminate alcohol addiction in rats. Alcoholic rats were given a choice of drinking a mild sugar water solution or sweetened water combined with some alcohol. Over a 3 month time frame, the rats that were given daily doses of DHM drank only one quarter the amount of alcohol that rats who did not receive DHM drank.

If this compound works as well in humans as it does in rats, DHM would be a fantastic tool in the fight against alcoholism. However, not everyone is touting the effects of this drug. Some feel that this will only lead to more drinking, not less, as knowing that there is an “antidote” to alcohol, people will feel free to consume more alcohol than they would normally, knowing that they won’t have to suffer from a hangover later or that they could almost instantly stop the effects of alcohol, such as falling down and singing karaoke.

Although it’s true that drinkers could become thoroughly drunk, and then take a pill before they head home and hangovers would no longer be a deterrent, but for those who are in a daily struggle to fight alcohol addiction, this could be a godsend.

There is something people should be aware of, should this pill hit the market soon. Although it may not make you feel drunk, you will still have alcohol in your blood, and so if you are stopped in your car, you will still register as legally drunk so you will still need a designated driver. Also, alcohol is a diuretic, so you will still become dehydrated. See other reasons for dehydration.

So the bottom line here is that although it’s not a panacea, it can be remarkably effective to help fight liver disease, and alcoholism. But using DHM and drinking more than you normally would is simply detrimental to your health.

Sources:

Dhmdepot.com

Nature.com

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov