Research News

Binge Drinking and The Kudzu Cure

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

New research shows that consuming extract of kudzu root may help reduce binge drinking. But the reason may be that kudzu improves circulation, delivering the effects of alchohol more efficiently to the brain.


This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

News this week of a possible natural therapy for binge drinking. Researchers at McLean Hospital near Boston report that an extract of the kudzu vine reduced the amount of alcohol consumed by test subjects. Kudzu is best known as a nuisance weed in the southern United States where it chokes off other plants. The scientists invited a group of heavy drinkers into a studio apartment and told them to watch TV and crack open a few beers. What some people won't do for medical science. Those given the kudzu extract seemed to drink fewer beers, maybe because kudzu increases blood flow and delivers alcohol to the brain more quickly.

(Disguising voice) Try Kudzu Brew, less sips, more stupid!

(Soundbite of music)

SIMON: Coming up, a story of death and survival 9,000 feet below the ground.

(Soundbite of music)

Copyright © 2005 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from