Does the Asian tree Hovenia dulcis offer a hangover cure?
(Medical Xpress) -- Alcohol consumption can lead to those dreaded hangovers and even alcohol dependence. However, a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience has found a natural ingredient in the Asian tree Hovenia dulcis that seems to produce anti-alcohol effects.
Led by Jing Liang from the University of California, researchers began looking at different herbs that have natural anti-alcohol properties. They found descriptions of anti-alcohol properties of the Asian tree Hovenia dulcis that dated back to 659. These descriptions listed it as a prime hangover remedy.
The main ingredient in Hovenia dulcis is known as dihydromyricetin, or DHM. The team of researchers used rats to test out the effects. Rats react similar to humans when it comes to the effects of alcohol so they are a perfect candidate.
The rats were given the human equivalent of 15-20 beers in a time frame of under two hours. As expected, the rats passed out drunk and lost the ability to flip themselves over when placed on their back. Within an hour, the effects of the alcohol started to wear off and they were able to again control their bodies.
When the rats were given the same alcohol with a shot of the DHM, they still eventually lost the ability to flip over but it took a longer time period and they were able to recover from the effects in about 15 minutes.