For Alcoholics, This Could Be Their Cup of Tea
A centuries-old Chinese herbal tea used to cure hangovers has shown efficacy in curbing alcohol craving in alcoholic rats, according to University of North Carolina (UNC) researchers (Susan Kauffman, "Tea May Curb Craving: By Injecting Rats With An Herbal Tea Used For Hangovers Since the 1600s, Triangle Scientists Hope To Find A Way To Help Alcoholics," The News & Observer [Raleigh, N.C.], 6/22/93, 1B).
The tea, known as Xing Jiu Ling, which roughly translates as "feel good," is blended from six Chinese herbs, including ginseng and tangerine peel. In nine months of study, laboratory rats injected with the tea decreased voluntary alcohol consumption by a statistically significant margin.
Researchers, including Professor David Overstreet, are cautiously optimistic and hope that the tea may prove efficacious in curbing addictive craving for alcohol and other drugs in both animals and humans. They have applied for a $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for further research both at UNC and in China.