More remedies are needed to help drinkers who overdo it cut down, Penetar says. The medications approved for treating alcohol abuse and dependence don't work for everyone, he says.
About 1 in 6 U.S. adults binge drinks, according to a CDC report. Experts disagree on the definition of binge drinking. According to the CDC, binge drinking is having four or more drinks on one occasion for a woman and five or more for a man.
Kudzu: A Brief History
In Chinese pharmacy books, kudzu is listed as a possible treatment for alcohol-related hangovers and cravings, Penetar tells WebMD.
"Some of the references go back to 600 A.D.," he says.
Today, it's used in China and other countries to treat coronary problems and blood-flow problems, Penetar says. "It has a good safety record already."
It's touted as a hangover remedy. However, studies looking at the effects of kudzu extracts have produced mixed findings, Penetar says.