An open prospective pilot study of a herbal combination "Relief" as a supportive dietetic measure during alcohol withdrawal.


  Vol. 39 (1) 2018 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2018; 39(1): 1-8 PubMed PMID:  29604618    Citation

OBJECTIVE: A herbal combination (saffron extract, passion flower herb extract, cocoa seed extract, radish extract and black cumin extract) called "Relief" was designed as a supportive therapy of alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS). This combination was based on the scientific evidence of each constituent effect on AWS-like symptoms. In addition, our preclinical studies have shown the effectiveness of Relief on AWS detoxification. The rationale of the study was to document whether the oral intake of the designed content of Relief could have a positive effect on the course of alcohol detoxification by reducing some of the AWS in hospitalized patients. METHODS: This pilot study was performed as non-interventional, open, single-armed, prospective on 32 hospitalized patients entered for detoxification of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Each patient received daily three capsules of Relief for 15 days, and AWS parameters were monitored, in addition to serum liver enzymes and quality of life which was evaluated using the Befindlichkeits-Skala (Bf-SR) scaling system. RESULTS: Relief administration significantly reduced the percentage of patients with hyperhidrosis (r=0.815, p<0.001), reduced serum liver enzymes by ~50-80% (p<0.05), and increased normalization of appetite (r=0.777, p<0.001). Besides, before the treatment began the Bf-SR scale was 28.3±4.3, which was typical for neurological syndromes such as depression or insomnia, and during Relief administration the Bf-SR scale significantly dropped to 15.6±2.4 (p<0.001). As for the safety, four, but not serious, adverse events were observed; two of them may be product related. Finally, 84.4% of patients' assessed Relief treatment as good to excellent and 87.5% of the patients declared an interest in reusing Relief for the next detoxification period. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the limitations of the present study, the findings showed the potential of Relief for the improvement of the clinical situation of patients with symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and therefore, justify a full-scale well-controlled study design to be implemented.