By Kara Beussink
In 2012, a study was done on rats. Drunk rats, to be exact. Researchers injected the little critters with enough alcohol to make them sufficiently rat-toxicated (see what we did there?!), followed by injections of isolated dihydromyricetin (DHM), a flavonoid found in hovenia dulcis (AKA the Japanese raisin tree). Researchers took notes on not only blood alcohol levels, but reactions in mazes and time taken to flip over from their backs. They compared control rats (those who didn’t receive DHM) with rats injected with the supposed hangover helper.
Within minutes, the rats with DHM started showing fewer signs of intoxication and hangover and were finally able to flip back over…while the control rats were still hiding in corners, being anti-social, and acting defensive. Poor little guys.
Generally found in East Asia, the Japanese raisin tree is a fruit tree. However, the stalk is where the magic happens – as the fruit grows, the stalk thickens and develops a sweet raisin taste. People in China, Japan and Korea have been consuming it for over 1,000 years as an herbal medicine to alleviate hangovers. (It’s a key ingredient in Zaca Recovery Chewables!)
Another study done in 2017 reinforces the findings done in the 2012 study. This time, researchers studied the specific effects of Japanese raisin tree extract as a whole on hangovers. They found that ingestion can, in fact, help the body metabolize alcohol more efficiently and protect liver function.
It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway): We don’t encourage heavy drinking or using Japanese raisin tree extracts as an excuse to drink more...but it’s a great option for those nights when that responsible little voice in your head decides to take a vacation!
Want more details? Check out our other posts on the Japanese raisin tree!
Even before coffee and other types of medications to counter the hangover were discovered, the relief from hangover remained a big mystery in the Orient. Some people in the past were wondering why most of the people from the Orient don’t suffer from serious hangovers after taking tons of alcohol. This secret lies behind the Hovenia Dulcis or the Japanese raisin tree. So what are the health benefits that you can obtain from a Japanese raisin tree and how can it treat hangovers from too much drinking?
As of today, Japanese raisin is still unpopular. Despite the health benefits that it offers, only a few people know about its existence. Based on the research done by a lot of scientists, it helps reduce the timeframe of hangover on a drunken person. The natural chemical known as Ampelopsin or Dihydromyricetin (DHM) found in Hovenia Dulcis is the main reason. This compound is known to have antihepatotoxic properties, which is said to protect the liver from damage. It means that aside from reducing the hangover, it can also protect your liver from damage caused by alcohol. If you are always drinking alcohol, whether it is moderate or hard, Japanese raisin can significantly reduce the stress or damage caused by alcoholic drinks in your liver.
Though DHM is the main ingredient found in the Japanese raisin, it also contains a second chemical known as Quercetin. Based on preliminary research, it has antiviral and anti inflammation properties. It is also known as an effective bronchodilator that will help reduce the release of histamine in the body and all the other allergic chemicals on your body. It is also known as a good treatment for eczema and Fibromyalgia. It means that taking Hovenia Dulcis can also help relieve a lot of body ailments like eczema, asthma and more.
Since it has anti-inflammatory effects, some people say that it can relieve high fever. It also shows success as an antispasmodic remedy for gastrointestinal problems. It also helps in the treatment for different kinds of digestive diseases and conditions. It calms the stomach intestines and the bladder, and it helps reduce swelling and flush out all the toxins from your body.
As you can see the Japanese raisin tree is more than just your typical raisin. It has been used as a Chinese medicine for hundreds of years, and the health benefits of this type of raisin was only found out recently. This factual information led to the development of different products with Japanese raisin ingredient. You can now find this type of raisin as whole fruit, extract, juice and supplements as well. You can now enjoy the benefits offered by this Japanese raisin without the need to go to the Orient.