I've read numerous articles over the years promoting the natural herb Kudzu as a excellent way to reduce alcohol cravings and, by extension, alcoholism. Many of the articles touted it as a virtual miracle cure for alcoholism, while a few articles warned that it was nothing short of quackery!
Being the rather objective (or cynical) guy I am, I decided to look a bit further into it to determine what was true, and what was simply hype.
Although used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine, this herb has only recently gained a following in the west due to the number of positives articles detailing it's benefits in combating alcoholism. Of course, the articles touting Kudzu's benefits appear mainly on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) related websites, so there may be some bias involved.
Essentially, it is claimed that Kudzu is able to cut the consumption of alcohol in half without the dangerous side-effects of drugs. Many people who have tried it report "feeling like they've had enough to drink" more quickly, or "not enjoying" an alcoholic drink as much as they used to.
I wanted to see for myself what - if any - benefit could be had from trying it. So, back in 2008 I experimented with the herb to see if it might help reduce my cravings for alcohol. At the time I was drinking alcohol 4 or 5 days a week, and probably consumed upwards of 25 or more drinks a week. Needless to say that's a LOT more than is healthy. So, I bought a 60-day supply of the herb, which was 120 capsules in total. I was to take 2 capsules daily, with food ... which is good advice since Kudzu had a very noticeable (and somewhat unpleasant) taste.
After about a month of taking Kudzu I discovered that, for me personally, it did not reduce my alcohol cravings by any significant amount. I seemed to have almost if not exactly the same desire to drink as before. However, what it DID do was noticeably change the taste to the point where alcohol just wasn't that enjoyable to drink.
Thus, I WAS drinking a little less than before because I wasn't getting as much satisfaction from it as I did previously. It wasn't a big reduction, but I went from drinking 25 or so alcoholic drinks per week, down to approximately 18 to 20 per week while taking Kudzu.
Needless to say, if one's goal is to reduce drinking then it would certainly be beneficial to remove the "pleasure" part of drinking from the equation. So, if you're looking for a way to reduce your alcohol intake, and you don't want to risk the dangerous side effects of prescription drugs, then you may want to add Kudzu supplements to your diet. It helped me a little bit, and perhaps it can do the same for you. Of course, please talk with your doctor before taking this or any other supplement.