In brief: Herbal treatment helps curb urge to drink

In brief

Herbal treatment helps curb urge to drink

Women, especially, have good reason to keep an eye on how much they drink. We become intoxicated at lower levels of alcohol consumption than men do, and we’re quicker to develop alcohol-related problems. Alcohol in moderation—for women that means one drink a day—offers certain health benefits, but too often one drink turns into two or more. Research suggests that every additional drink per day a woman takes raises her risk of breast cancer by as much as 10%.

Alcohol dependence is a serious medical problem that requires professional help and usually complete abstinence from alcohol. But for women who are concerned about the occasional one-drink-too-many and would like to cut back, a relatively simple aid may soon be available. Harvard Medical School scientists have found that an herbal substance with no apparent side effects dampens the desire for alcohol.

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