Alcohol Detox

Natural Help for Alcohol Detoxification
You must have a general understanding of what Alcohol is and what it does to the body, before you can learn how to detox it from your body’s system and abstain from it.
Alcohol, or ethyl alcohol (ethanol), is an intoxicating ingredient found in wine, beer and hard liquor, and they each contain different amounts of alcohol or proof. Alcohol is produced naturally from carbohydrates when certain micro-organisms metabolize them in the absence of oxygen, called fermentation. Because of this fermentation, alcohol is considered an Acid, in the body, and alters the blood pH levels. Alcohol is considered a poison by your body, and all efforts are made to excrete it.
Alcohol is metabolized quickly by the body, requires no digestion (unlike food), and will be absorbed first, before most other nutrients. About 20 percent is absorbed directly across the walls of an empty stomach and can reach the brain within one minute. The remaining alcohol, in the stomach, begins to break down with the ADE or alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme (The ADE serves to break down alcohols that otherwise are toxic to the body) This process reduces the amount of alcohol entering the blood by approximately 20%. (Women produce less of this enzyme, which may help to partially explain why women become more intoxicated on less alcohol than men.). In addition, about 10% of the alcohol is expelled in the breath and urine.
The liver takes the biggest impact from alcohol. Alcohol travels to the liver via the veins and capillaries of the digestive tract, which affects nearly every liver cell. The liver cells are the only cells in our body that can produce enough of the alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme to oxidize alcohol at an appreciable rate. As the liver metabolizes alcohol, by-products such as acetaldehyde are formed, some of which are more toxic to the body than alcohol itself. It is these that can eventually attack the liver and cause cirrhosis. Alcohol metabolism will permanently change the liver cell structure, which impairs the liver’s ability to metabolize fats, causing fatty acids to accumulate.
Continuous Alcohol consumption affects the following:

  •   LIVER: Alcohol metabolized in the liver leads to acute and chronic liver disease, as well as a fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis. 
  • REPRODUCTIVE: A drop in testosterone levels in men, and causes testicular shrinkage and impotence. In females, menstrual cycles can be disrupted and fertility is affected. 
  • BRAIN: It can cause permanent damage to the connection between nerve cells. As it is a depressant, alcohol can trigger episodes of depression, anxiety and lethargy.  
  •  HEART: Chronic high blood pressure and other heart irregularities. 
  • BLOOD: It kills the oxygen-carrying red blood cells, which can lead to anemia. Raises blood pressure, blood lipids, elevates blood-glucose, and the risk of stroke and heart disease. 
  • CANCER: Increases the risk of cancer in the liver, pancreas, rectum, breast, mouth, pharynx, larynx and esophagus.  
  •  PANCREAS: Just a few weeks of heavy drinking can result in painful inflammation of the pancreas, known as pancreatitis. It results in a swollen abdominal area and can cause nausea and vomiting.  
  • MALNUTRITION: Alcohol causes euphoria, which depresses appetite, so that heavy drinkers tend to eat poorly and become malnourished. The body also displaces the Alcohol calories (7 calories per gram) from needed nutrients.  
  • CANDIDIASIS: An overgrowth of a bacteria naturally found in the intestine, candida, are fed and intensified by alcohol consumption. This bacteria can overpopulate and cause a host of problematic symptoms, including alcohol cravings.
  • ALCOHOL POISENING: Alcohol poisoning occurs when an excessive amount of alcohol is consumed in a short period of time. The symptoms are: Nausea and Vomiting, Irregular breathing, Mental slowness or stupor, Loss of Consciousness, Coma, Brain damage, or Death.
  • Click here to read more in depth about the effects of Alcohol on the Body.
Withdrawing from Alcohol, Step by Step;
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 5 – 10 hours after the last drink, but can occur days later. Symptoms get worse in 48 – 72 hours, and may persist for weeks, depending on the original frequency of alcohol consumption.
Some Symptoms include:

  • Anxiety, Nervousness, Depression, and Irritability 
  • Fatigue or Insomnia, Loss of Appetite, Nausea, Headache, or Shakiness
  • Clammy skin, Sweating, Dehydration, or Rapid Heart rate
A severe form of alcohol withdrawal is called delirium tremens and may require Monitoring and Therapy.
Symptoms Include: 

  •  Agitation 
  • Severe confusion
  • Seeing or feeling things that aren’t there (hallucinations) 
  • Fever 
  • Seizures
The above physical withdrawals are caused by stress on the body from the effects of alcohol. To reduce the stress and physically recover the biochemical balance of the body, a Diet change is a must.

  • Because alcohol causes elevated blood glucose, the body acclimates to the rapid rise and fall of blood sugar while drinking. The body wants to keep that pattern going to offset the Withdrawal Symptoms; hence the desire and tendency to drink more.
  • This condition is overlooked, yet it is CRITICAL to rehabilitation.

    1.  First week after your last Alcoholic Drink, consume Foods/Drinks that are high in energy and low in nutrition. (Yes, you read this correctly! But only while your body is withdrawing from the Alcohol)

    2.      Second week, begin incorporating High-Nutrient foods into your diet.

      •       HIGH-NUTRIENT foods. Begin with Berries. Start the day with a bowl of berries and allow them a couple of hours to digest. This continues the cycle of sugar imbalances, but Berries are a balanced and nutritious fruit with a moderate sugar content which will ease the body out of the sugar highs and lows. Throughout the day, include other fruit, green vegetables, eggs, nuts, meat, fish, and WATER, which all help conquer the cravings that result from the rapid rise and fall of Blood Sugar
    3.      Third week begin a Total Body Cleanse, by doing the following:
    4.      Fourth week, Continue with following the Healthy Diet outline, while drinking plenty of water and incorporating the Herbal ideas below. Include Liver strengthening foods like Pineapple and Spinach. Good foods will help restore the balance and supply of essential nutrients that have been lost. Healthy Diet:
    5.      For an Entire month after the last Alcoholic Drink, a Liver Cleanse is a must:

    Herbal Help for Alcohol Detox:

    Herbal remedies help the healing process in two important ways: by healing fragile emotions, repairing physical damage, and helping to ameliorate side effects of withdrawal.
    Kudzu (Pueraria lobata)
    Kudzu is a wild vine whose tubers contain a chemical compound called daidzin, which is used in modern herbal medicine to suppress alcoholic cravings and diminish the effects of alcohol withdrawal. Kudzu is known to treat headaches, increase the alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme and aldehyde dehydrogenase, and increased superoxide dismutase and catalase activities, all of which can help clear alcohol from the system, as well as protect the liver from damage.
    ·         Daidzein and diadzin are the two compounds that need to be in the preparation. The only way you can guarantee you are getting enough of these compounds is to buy the dry root. Stay away from tinctures, as they are made using ethyl-alcohol.
    ·         The Chinese Pharmacopoeia states that an effective dose of dried kudzu root is 9-15g taken prior to drinking (1 hour minimum) if you are trying to cut down on your drinking. Take 10g, 3 times a day if you are abstaining from alcohol and during the Detoxification month.
    Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)
    Milk thistle is one of the best known and respected herbs for protecting the liver. The silymarin contained in the milk thistle seeds acts to help the liver eliminate toxins, including alcohol. Silymarin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and it may help the liver repair itself by growing new cells. Milk Thistle should be reserved for use after the Detoxification.
    ·         Dosage is 150-175mg, 2-3 times per day.
    ·         For preparation of Milk thistle tea, steep one half teaspoon of dried seeds in a cup of boiling water for 15 minutes. This should be used 3 times a day.
    ·         Can also take 1-2 ml of a Glycerin tincture, 3 times a day.
    ·         Commercial preparations of silymarin extract, with daily dosages of up to 550mg, may be useful.
    Dandelion Root (Taraxacum officinale)
    This backyard weed has been used for hundreds of years to help liver problems and deficiencies, some of which are caused by alcohol. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, dandelion has shown benefits to reducing the severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
    ·         Dandelion may be consumed in a tea by combining 1 heaping Tablespoon dandelion to 1 Cup boiling water. Steeping over night is best. Or 2 to 8gms of dried root may be consumed three times a day.
    Chicory Root (Chichorium intybus)
    Chicory has a long and well-documented history of assisting with liver problems. It is known to aid in purifying the liver and the blood. It aids in removing contaminants from the digestive system, allowing the liver to not work as hard to filter out toxins that may have escaped into the bloodstream.
    ·         Chicory Root may be consumed in a tea by combining 1 heaping Tablespoon Chicory to 1 Cup boiling water. Steeping over night is best.
    Goldenseal  (Hydrastis canadensis)
    Goldenseal is effective in fighting alcohol sugar cravings because of its ability to kill the bacteria and candida, that overpopulate in the intestine and may be the cause of alcohol sugar cravings. Goldenseal’s antiviral and antifungal properties are enhanced by the bitter taste, which can be a powerful deterrent in the fight against alcoholic cravings.
    ·         No more than 500mg per day should be taken. This should be taken from the beginning of abstaining from alcohol.
    Herbal Coffee
    We offer an Herbal Coffee that has both Chicory Root and Dandelion Root.
    Adding ¼ tsp. Milk Thistle Seeds per 1-2 Tablespoons of the Herbal Coffee, and drinking 1-2 Cups a day will be very beneficial. It could also replace regular Coffee, while Cleansing the body. 
    Alcohol Detox Smoothie Recipe
    ·         2 cups of berries (fresh or frozen)
    ·         1 Cup Coconut Milk
    ·         2 ripe bananas
    ·         2 tablespoons of milk thistle seeds
    ·         Water (for consistency)
    1.      Grind milk thistle seeds in a coffee grinder or good blender.
    2.      Add Coconut Milk, Bananas and Berries to the blender
    3.      Add ground Milk Thistle seeds
    4.      Blend Well.
    5.      Add water until your smoothie reaches the consistency you prefer.
    Essential Oil Help for Alcohol Detox
    *Please contact a Health Care Practitioner, trained in the safety and chemical understanding of essential oils and herbs, including the knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pharmaceutical drug interactions BEFORE ingesting essential oils.
    ·         Roman chamomile-can help with anxiety and is very soothing. 1-2 drops in carrier oils, place on pulse points
    ·         Fennel– This essential oil is an effective natural cleanser and helps to disintegrate as well as flush out toxins and other waste products from the body, thereby cleansing the tissues. 1-2 drops in a capsule.*
    ·         Black Pepper -This essential oil is excellent for detoxification, drawing out toxins from the organs. Pepper increases the body’s production of sweat and urine, which flushes toxins. It is helpful in enhancing immune system function and is a free-radical scavenge. It reduces memory loss and is an excellent digestive aid. 1-2 drops in a capsule.*
    ·         Valerian Root– Will help with Insomnia and Sleep Issues.
    ·         Calm Blend Will calm the body and shut the nero-chatter off in the brain to allow it to rest an heal.
    Detoxification Bath:
    A bath for detoxification is usually as hot as possible and one should sit in it for only 20 to 30 minutes. Add the following essential oils to ½ Cup Sea Salts or Epsom Salts, then pour into Bath water.
    ·         2 drops Ginger Root
    ·         3 drops Frankincense
    ·         1 drop Roman Chamomile
    ·         1 drop Cypress

    Author: Kammie