Quitting alcohol is one of the bravest journeys that an alcohol addict can embark on. Considering that alcoholism is widely recognized as a debilitating addiction across the world, it is easy to see why this is a subject for which those in need ought to get help. Alcoholism manifests differently from one person to another depending on their specific conditions, For instance, in some, alcohol intake manifests in daily drinking, while for others it presents itself as binge drinking in regular intervals. Whichever the case, alcoholism is a progressive condition. What this means is that it tends to become a chronic addiction over a period of time, with worsening effects as the days go by.
Some of the effects of alcoholism include liver damage, inability to carry out one’s daily tasks as well as strained relationships among others. With alcohol addiction, affected persons will also experience an insatiable urge to drink, the complete inability to limit one’s intake as well as increased tolerance. The latter means that over time, alcoholics will usually require a higher amount of alcohol than they previously did to experience the same ‘high’.
Though it may appear trivial, those struggling with quitting alcohol will often get agitated when the alcohol is unavailable. Part of the body’s response to this presents itself in an array of withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, sweating and nausea among others. To quit alcohol intake, it is important for affected persons to get medical help. Additionally, there are a number of home remedies that go a long way in helping alcoholics make a recovery. Remember that these home remedies ought to be used alongside any medical intervention options provided for a wholesome approach.
1. Physical Exercise:
Time Required: Varies depending on the routines.
What You Need: Appropriate exercising gear.
One of the most crucial ways to manage alcoholism, in addition to medical intervention, is physical exercise. Studies show that regular exercise not only slows down the progression of alcoholism, it also goes a long way in preventing the loss of cognitive function following the onset of the addiction. What’s more, exercise is also an excellent stress buster which not only helps improve one’s mood, but also lowers the risk of falling into depressive bouts. Given the numerous benefits of physical exercise, it is little wonder that many rehab centres have incorporated the element of physical exercise for alcoholics going through the different programs available.
- Ideally, the best way to benefit from physical exercise is to start slow and build on that momentum. Some of the best options include running, cycling, gentle aerobics and brisk walking.
- Note that these routines should not be done when one is intoxicated. In case you need any help, consider getting professional help from a qualified trainer.
2. A Healthy Diet:
Time Required: Varies depending on the foods to be prepared.
What You Need: A healthy diet.
A healthy diet is recommended for the management of alcoholism, largely because it helps provide the body with the nutrients required for the body to make a recovery. Additionally, since alcoholism significantly reduces one’s appetite, it is important to find healthy ways to get back on track and improve the body’s ability to absorb much-needed nutrients. This is part of the reason why many alcoholic addicts struggle with proper feeding habits and often suffer nutritional deficiencies. To address this and provide a functional home remedy, it helps to supply the body with adequate vitamins and minerals to counter the effects of alcohol addiction. Below are helpful tips in ensuring a balanced diet alongside nutrients that must be taken to sustain body function.
- It is advisable to take foods that are rich in Vitamin B12. These are essential to proper liver function, one of the main areas affected by alcohol addiction. This also has the advantage of reducing the intense craving for alcohol. Some of the best sources of Vitamin B12 in this category include liver (organ meat), crab, cheese, eggs and fish. Other sources include foods fortified with Vitamin B12 including cereals and soy products such as tofu.
- Eat foods rich in protein such as eggs, milk, meat, lentils, nuts and seeds. These food sources provide amino acids required for optimal body function. Research also shows that amino acids help with body stability, which in turn enhances the body’s ability to bounce back from the addiction.
- Foods rich in Vitamin C are recommended for those struggling with quitting alcohol largely because they help with the metabolism of toxic byproducts that result from alcohol intake. This, in turn, speeds up the process of recovery and eases the burden on addicts looking to make a full recovery. Excellent sources of Vitamin C include citrus fruits such as lime, lemons and oranges as well as green leafy vegetables, peas, bell peppers and papayas.
- It is advisable to steer clear of caffeinated beverages for the simple reason that they contribute to the dehydration caused by alcohol intake and this prolongs the period it takes to make a full recovery. Instead, anyone struggling with alcohol addiction is encouraged to take lots of water to stay hydrated. Herbal teas are also an excellent option as they are rich in antioxidants which help reduce the amount of free radicals in the body.
- As a general guide, it is advisable to instead eat foods that are rich in whole grains, complex carbohydrates such as arrow roots, cassava and sweet potatoes as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. This combination not only helps to balance the levels of sugar in the blood, it also reduces the alcohol cravings that often accompany low blood sugar levels, thus improving the process of recovery.
3. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil.
One of the factors that make it very important for addicts to quit alcohol intake is that the excess alcohol intake predisposes the body to oxidative stress at the cellular level. This in turn upsets the balance maintained by the metabolic processes of brain glucose. Additionally, alcohol intake has also been shown to contribute to insulin resistance which further compounds the problem. To counter these effects, part of quitting alcohol intake revolves around using coconut oil to manage the oxidative stress.
Coconut oil has a high concentration of antioxidants and the ‘good’ fats – saturated fats- which provide the body with nutrients and nourish the brain. An added benefit of using coconut oil when quitting alcohol is that it is an excellent choice for lowering cholesterol levels in the body. There is a direct correlation between poor food choices and alcohol intake, and as such, many addicts tend to struggle with bodily health. Coconut oil, alongside other home remedies, helps maintain a healthy weight as well as improve the recovery process when quitting alcohol.
- Take 2 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil at least once daily. It is advisable to use extra virgin coconut oil because it is not chemically treated unlike refined coconut oil. In order to tell the difference, you need to look beyond the physical appearance as both oils have a milky white appearance.
- Virgin coconut oil however, has the characteristic odor and taste of the coconut fruit, while refined coconut oil is odorless.
4. Bitter Melon:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A handful of bitter melon leaves and 1 cup of buttermilk. You will need a blender or pestle and mortar for this process.
Alcohol intake is known to cause extensive liver damage over a period of time, in addition to the other effects that expose the body to stress and toxins overload. This is where bitter melon, also known as bitter gourd, comes in as a handy natural remedy. Nature’s own antidote, bitter melon helps the body get rid of toxins from the system. It also has healing benefits for the liver which helps to restore it to its optimal functional state. Below is a simple method to prepare the remedy as all you need is the herb’s leaves and some buttermilk.
- Clean the leaves well before cutting into small pieces.
- Transfer the chopped leaves to a blender and turn on.
- Alternatively, grind the leaves using a pestle and mortar until you have a fine paste which can be added with ease to the buttermilk.
- Take 2 tablespoons of the juice and add to the buttermilk.
- Stir to mix well and then drink at least once daily. It is preferable to do this on an empty stomach for the best benefits.
- Use this remedy regularly over a period of weeks alongside other remedies listed above.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A handful of celery stalks, a juicer and some warm water in a glass.
Just like bitter melon, celery is popular for its antidote properties which are effective in getting rid of toxins that accumulate in the body as a result of alcohol addiction. Regular intake of celery juice not only improves the liver’s ability to detoxify, it is also an excellent addition for overall body health. Additionally, celery goes a long way in maintaining blood glucose levels so that there are reduced alcohol cravings.
- Clean the celery stalks well and cut into small pieces before transferring to the juicer.
- Once juiced, take 1/2 a glass of the celery juice and mix it with half a glass of warm water.
- Stir to mix well and then drink over a period of a few weeks.
Time Required: 75 Min (includes soaking time).
What You Need: 5 dates, 1 cup of water, a pestle and mortar.
Dates are recommended as a natural remedy for individuals trying to quit alcohol intake. This is because, just like celery, the dates are rich in detoxifying properties that assist the liver’s function. Dates are also rich in vitamins, minerals and are an excellent source of fiber. These nutritional values help curb cravings which in turn help reduce the intense desire to take alcohol and replenish the body’s nutrients. Below are the simple directions to using dates to help quit alcohol intake.
- Wash the dates well and then soak them in a cup of water for an hour or so.
- After an hour, remove the soaked dates and crush them to get a coarse paste. This is also helpful because it makes it easier to get rid of the seeds.
- Take the mixture twice daily.
7. Practical Tips to Use When Quitting Alcohol:
- Make it clear to the people around you that you want to quit alcohol for accountability purposes as well as to provide a support system in this journey.
- It makes sense to steer clear of drinking buddies during this period as this will only set you back in your goals. In the same breath, avoid going to drinking joints if you are keen on quitting alcohol.
- Drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration.
- Find other ways to get rid of stress. These may include gentle exercises, listening to music, reading or spending time in the outdoors. Additionally, you may also want to find a hobby to keep you busy.
Quitting alcohol is a journey that takes time, but with the use of the right remedies and a strong support system, it is possible to make a full recovery. Remember that the period of recovery varies from one person to another. In case of any medical issues arising, seek the services of a qualified medical professional immediately.