Chinese Medicine for Alcoholism, Addictions, and to Stop Smoking

Shen Clinic TCM Advice



At the turn of the last century, a large percentage of the Chinese population was addicted to opium. Though many means were used to rid the country of this scourge, Chinese medical treatments also played a role.

Acupuncture has long been a part of treating all kinds of addictions.  Overeating, smoking, and compulsive behavior can all be reduced using this ancient technique. Though it's exact mechanism is unknown, it's success over centuries of use is indisputable. Some researchers have suggested that acupuncture works because it helps the body to release endorphins, which have a relaxing and calming effect, helping you to deal with stress.

Most treatments use auricular acupuncture, in which needles are placed in the ear. Special points are chosen to tranquilize the mind and help reduce cravings.


Herbs for Addiction

There is no single herb that can stop addictions, but the right herb formula can be very helpful when correctly prescribed according to. 

For those with alcohol addictions, GE GEN (Kudzu root or flowers) has been used in East Asia for centuries to treat drunkenness and intoxication. Tests at Harvard Medical School concluded that the compounds in Kudzu offer promise as effective agents for alcohol abuse.

Use as tea on a regular basis for three to five weeks for this purpose. Roots and flowers can both be used or combined. Flowers are steeped or quickly boiled. Roots should be boiled for 30 – 40 minutes. Powdered concentrate can be stirred into liquid.

Other formulas and products said to Calm the Spirit may also be helpful. The most effective will be the formula that matches the details of your diagnosis. It's best to see a practitioner about these.


Acupuncture for Stopping Smoking

Acupuncture can be very helpful for those quitting smoking. Even after only one or two treatments, the craving for nicotine is usually sharply reduced. After four or five treatments spread over a two-week period, seven out of ten patients will have managed to quit. Others will have drastically cut down on the number of cigarettes smoked daily. Five points on the ear are used. Small pellets or press tacks are taped over some of these points.


Chinese Herbs for Depression & Anxiety

Traditional Chinese medicine understands depression and anxiety as problems caused by constraint of emotion stuck in the chest. Loss, the memory of loss, repressed expression, and other events will cause constraint in the chest, restraining the normal flows of qi and blood in the central and upper body. We call this liver qi stagnation. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs help to release constraint and allow depression and anxiety to move on. 

Though anti-anxiety and anti-depression drugs are often effective in altering brain chemistry,  we believe that changes in brain chemistry are secondary to, and in some cases a consequence of, this emotional constraint.




Information  on this page is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your own physician or other medical professional. We make no claims as to efficacy or safety of herbs or herbal medicine appearing on this site. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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