1. Alcohol has been used as a special and sacred celebratory
beverage over many centuries. Most native cultures have had
fermented drinks for their rituals and ceremonies. This custom
continues with traditions and celebrations of all kinds.for
weddings, anniversaries, dates, ballgames, flying, and harvest
fairs. Alcohol does help to relax the body and mind and calm
the inhibitions. However, many people feel the need to celebrate
daily (might be called partying or escaping). Excesses over time
lead to problems, yet occasional wildness may free the soul.
"Reduce excesses, but not excessively."
NOTE: If you are concerned about your drinking habits,
consider keeping a "drink diary" for the next month. Write
down when, how much, and in what circumstances you drink.
How does it make you feel immediately and the morning after?
Honestly look at how drinking affects your life. There are many
healthy ways to celebrate life! Playing sports does this, as can
drumming and dancing with your friends. While we used to
have rituals, now people get drunk to deal with life, and then
get in their "deadly" autos risking lives on their way. And many
also use painkillers and other drugs to deal with their daily lives,
which further affects their abilities. Or they overuse their credit
cards and mismanage their lives and have their families suffer.
Realize that drug problems of all kinds are diseases, and should
be dealt with as such.
2. In evaluating how alcohol affects your life, look at the
following issues: Do you drink more when you're sad or upset
about something? Do you mainly drink in social situations
with friends? Does alcohol help you express yourself? How
can you address these emotional issues without relying on
drinking? Can you say NO when the time is not right for your
personal imbibing? Healthy use would be a social drink or two
with preparation before and balance after in terms of hydration
(alcohol is dehydrating) with water and the right nutrients.
3. Consider the negative effects alcohol might be having on
your health. Is drinking aggravating an existing condition, such
as obesity, digestive problems, joint pains, or depression? Do
hangovers affect your performance at work, or keep you from
things that you want to do?
Alcohol irritates the liver and the intestinal lining; it also
lowers immunity, dehydrates the body, and impairs judgment
and performance, as in operating machinery and driving a car.
It also alters healthful participation in relationships. Alcohol is
the number one cause of traffic fatalities, especially of innocent
What is your awareness and responsibility for your own
body as an example to self, loved ones and friends?
4. Alcohol may have some positive attributes as well. Doctors
may recommend it to reduce heart disease risks, as it helps
raise the good HDL cholesterol. However, it also raises total
cholesterol and has more negative effects such that health
conscious practitioners would not recommend regular
consumption. Alcohol is also addictive. Thus, it takes some
work, both physically and emotionally, to heal from this
potentially destructive habit. For example, a liver transplant, if
you could get it, is quite costly and painful.
5. In terms of reducing your alcohol consumption, if you
notice that you tend to drink at certain times of the day, plan
other activities, such as exercising, during that time period.
Consider ordering water or other natural drinks in restaurants,
and during social occasions. Take a break for a couple days;
if this is very difficult, you likely have a problem and help may
be necessary. Contact your doctor, counselor, or look up the
AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) chapter in your area. Know that
it is usually difficult to give up something; it's better to add
something healthful, like walking and breathing. It also helps
to talk to others who have recovered from their addictions and
see what they did with their extra energy; helping others often
helps you as well.
6. To take a break or break your habit, there are many things
you can do nutritionally. Give your body plenty of support. In
regards to diet, first begin with drinking 6–8 glasses of water
a day to help flush toxins. Avoid sugary and fried foods. Don't
substitute other addictive substances, such as caffeine or
nicotine, for alcohol. Eat plenty of wholesome foods–fresh
fruits and vegetables, grains and legumes, nuts and seeds,
and fish–for the nutrients and fiber they provide. This helps
with body support and elimination. A detoxifying diet very high
in fruits, vegetables, and fresh juices can be very helpful in
changing habits and cleansing the body.
7. Supplements are helpful during alcohol use and during
detoxification. (See my book, The Detox Diet, for more specifics
with a complete chapter on Alcohol Detoxification.) Definitely
use the antioxidant nutrients such as vitamins C and E, betacarotene,
plus zinc and selenium. The B-vitamins are also very
important to alcohol metabolism as well as nervous system
support. The amino acid L-glutamine (500–1,000 mg three
times daily) may help reduce cravings for alcohol and sugar.
Calcium and magnesium help to calm the nervous system and
reduce withdrawal. Flaxseed oil or olive oil also helps the body
tissues. Taking in a tablespoon of oil before you drink may also
slow the absorption of alcohol. Packets of Emergen-C or Power
Paks with a full glass or two of water are very helpful to prevent
hangovers and reduce dehydration. These supplements are
also helpful during alcohol detoxification.
8. Herbs may also be useful at supporting the body and
preventing some of the ill effects of alcohol use. Ones that
cleanse the liver include milk thistle and dandelion root.
Chamomile and licorice root can help with gastric distress.
Skullcap, valerian root, and other tranquilizing herbs are useful
during alcohol withdrawal. There are many herbs that help with
alcohol detoxification. Again, see more about this in The Detox
9. Acupuncture and massage therapy may be quite helpful when
one is going through the stress of changing habits. Acupuncture
detoxification has become quite popular; talk to your local
acupuncturist to discuss this. Exercise, walks in Nature, saunas
and steams are helpful to clear alcohol from your system and
10. Other Alcohol Issues:The process of fermentation uses
yeast with fruits or grains, and the consumption of sugars and
fermented products makes us more susceptible to Candida
yeast problems. Many current and past alcoholics have yeast
conditions, and this affects their digestion, energy, and moods.
Another issue of alcohol drinks relates to the use of chemicals
in manufacture, plus sulfites in wines, to which many folks have
- Organic drinks are best, especially compared to chemical treated substances. Chemicals harm Nature's creatures, our water supply, and the air for generations to come. With so many choices, we can really do harm to our world and ourselves by supporting the wrong products.
- Common Sense is the rule: Do not drink and drive! We have clearly established that, after so much loss of life and financial destruction and high insurance rates. Now folks can't simply smoke anywhere they please and contaminate the rest of our lungs. We have laws now that protect others from us, but how can we protect ourselves? The answer is “only with wise choices.” Why do you drink? Ask yourself and begin to know what you are really aiming at a bit of relief, a mind vacation, a bill-paying hiatus, a chance to become less inhibited so you and your partner can dance the love dance without encroachment by daily responsibilities? Yes, a bit of alcohol might inhibit your inhibitions and can be an aphrodisiac to life. Please consume alcohol wisely, especially during any periods of celebration or coping with worldly and personal stresses. There are many healthier ways to relate to these situations. Be wise and live a long, healthy life.