Medicinal plants used to treat alcoholism


Alcoholism is a general term for consuming alcohol in inappropriate amounts, which leads to dependence.


From a medical point of view, the term alcoholism is used when two or more of the following factors are present:

  • Regular consumption of large amounts of alcohol over a long period;
  • Inability to refuse consumption;
  • Strong desire for alcohol;
  • The use of alcohol is a reason for failure to fulfill daily obligations;
  • The use of alcohol becomes a cause of social problems, leads to risky situations, emergence of abstinence and development of tolerance during consumption.


Treating alcoholism is a difficult and complex endeavor that involves conventional medications, medicinal plants, and psychological help.


One of the herbs that is used to treat alcoholism is the horsetail plant (lat. Asarum europaeum ). Added to wine, it causes vomiting and unpleasant sensations, which is used for withdrawal from drinking in chronic drunkenness. Externally, in the form of a fine powder, it was used in the past to treat skin diseases such as scabies and festering wounds.


Plantain (lat. Lycopodiimi selago ) is a plant that has the special property of consuming a decoction of it before consuming alcohol to cause unpleasant painful sensations, strong and prolonged nausea, profuse salivation, painful vomiting, sweating, muscle tremors, lowering blood pressure, changes in heart rate, slowed breathing. Nausea increases with additional alcohol and smoking. 


Because of these properties, the plant has long been used for the treatment of chronic alcoholism, for withdrawal from drinking. 


The treatment is carried out by taking a decoction of the plant 3-4 days after stopping the use of alcohol. The person is given to drink 1/2 cup (75-100 cm3) of 5% decoction and after 13-15 minutes a cup (3-5 cm3) of alcoholic drink is given. The vomiting reaction occurs after 10-15 min., sometimes even later. Before each bout of vomiting, a little more alcohol is given to drink in order to speed up the creation of an aversion to alcohol . 


It is important to bear in mind that the plant contains the alkaloid selagin, which is a strong paralyzing poison similar in its action to curareto and hemlock. Treatment should be carried out under the supervision of a doctor, preferably in a medical facility. Not recommended for people over 60 years of age.

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