Herbal Remedies For Addiction Recovery
In addition to professional addiction treatment, recovering addicts can do more to help themselves physically and mentally on their path to permanent sobriety. This includes proper exercise, nutrition, and mindfulness. Herbal remedies have been used for thousands of years to help treat and heal a variety of ailments.
The following is a comprehensive list of herbal remedies which can assist a recovery addict reach their health and wellness goals.
Herbs to Curb Cravings
Angelica is is said to strengthen the heart. Powdered Angelica root is said to cause a distaste for liquor. It also has antibacterial properties, preventing the growth of various bacteria.
Cayenne pepper is known to abate intense alcohol cravings, help with anxiety and irritability.
It can also help with digestive issues brought on my alcohol and other substance abuse.
In studies, kudzu has shown to reduce the desire for alcohol, although the mechanism through which it works is unclear.
It is also said to help with heart function and circulatory problems, and aid with issues related to gastritis.
Lobelia has been used to help with tobacco withdrawal as an herbal remedy to quit smoking. It is also said to remove toxins and cleanse the lungs.
Goldenseal is said to curb sugar cravings, and reduce the desire to drink alcohol. It contains berberine, which has been been proven to be antimicrobial, anti-tumor, and anti-inflammatory. It is also a digestive aid, beneficial for those recovering from alcoholism who commonly have digestive issues.
Herbs for Healing Organs
Several scientific studies suggest that milk thistle can help protect the liver from toxins, including certain drugs, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), which can cause liver damage.
Silymarin (a component in milk thistle) has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It may encourage new cell growth and help the liver repair itself.
Like milk thistle, dandelion has been shown to improve liver function by removing toxins and improving hydration and electrolyte balance.
It is also a diuretic that helps the kidneys clear out waste, salt, and excess water by increasing urine production. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
Herbs for an Overactive Central Nervous System (i.e. Anxiety, Insomnia)
Passion flower is one of the most popular herbal remedies commonly used for insomnia, depression, and anxiety. It has also been known to inhibit seizures, which could be helpful for alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Also, some purport that it is an effective remedy for opioid withdrawal.
Like passion flower, valerian root is used to aide in insomnia, depression, and anxiety. It may also lower blood pressure and help with stress management. It is thought that valerian root may bind to the same brain receptors (thus have a similar effect) as benzodiazepines.
Kava kava is an herbal supplement known to induce sedation. decrease anxiety, and possibly decrease cravings for substances.
Wild lettuce is is also used for insomnia, as well as muscular arthritis. It is considered to be a relaxing and sedative herb which can also calm restlessness and anxiety.
Chamomile is among the popular herbal remedies and used for a variety of purpose. One, it can help with insomnia. But it can also treat would and skin inflammation, useful for those recovering from the use of intravenous drugs. It can also calm stomach conditions, another useful property when dealing with addiction.
Skullcap is said to be similar to valerian root, and can aid in anxiety, insomnia, and calm the central nervous system. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, and may increase blood flow to the brain.
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is an herbal antidepressant. It also contains a chemical called hyperforin which is thought responsible for reducing the intake of alcohol.
Herbs for Mental Healing
The gotu kola herb is said to boost brain power in general (both memory and intelligence) and aid in Alzheimer’s. It has also been shown to reduce stress related to these functions.
Rosemary has been used for a variety of ailments, one of which is for improved memory.
In addition, it has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, and as well as essential oils that contain anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties.
Ginseng is another beneficial herb that’s been associated with improved mental performance. It has been found to improve working memory and mood.
Ginkgo biloba helps with memory function and improvement in dementia – both helpful for those recovering from alcoholism. It may actually contribute to the generation of new brain cells.
This herb is thought to be one of the best to enhance memory. Commonly, it is also known as golden root. Some researchers believe that this herb contains qualities which stimulate the central nervous system, thus resulting in increased memory and concentration.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology