Chinese tree extract has long been used as a hangover cure. Now it is being turned into a ‘sobriety pill’ that could cure alcoholism.
Imagine a pill that could instantly sober you up no matter how much you’ve had to drink, or a hangover cure that worked minutes after swallowing it. Hardened drinkers rejoice: researchers are about to begin human trials on an "alcohol antidote" that may soon offer a cure to alcoholism, reports New Scientist.
The drug is a chemical called dihydromyricetin (NB: try saying that after a drink or two), and is derived from a Chinese variety of the oriental raisin tree, which has been used for at least 500 years in China as an effective hangover cure. So far the extract has only been tested on boozing rats, but with promising results.
Rats were injected with an alcohol equivalent of a human drinking 15 to 20 beers in two hours to ensure that they were sufficiently wasted. As one would expect, it took the rats about 70 minutes just to get back up on their feet. After a milligram of DHM (per kilogram of rat body weight) was added to the mixture, however, the rats were able to right themselves in just five minutes.
This seems a little sketchy, but then again I’m neither a doctor nor an expert on alcoholism, so it’s just my personal opinion. Maybe this pill can be used as part of treatment, but it doesn’t provide an answer to the internal damage that can result from consuming large quantities of alcohol. However, maybe giving an alcoholic no “end result” from drinking so heavily is the solution?