Alcohol Intoxication – Symptoms, Treatment As Per Ayurveda

Ayurveda explains that alcohol possesses all the qualities of poison. So, its excess intake leads to various complications. Meanwhile, it is important to know that Ayurvedic experts have recommended alcohols prepared by herbal sources, in limited quantity in the form of food as well as medicines.

This is why Asava and Arishta medicines are explained in Ayurveda show excellent effect in the treatment of various disorders.  Yoga Ratnakara,  a traditional Ayurvedic textbook prescribes herbal wines (madya) in the maximum dose of 2 pala (96 ml – around 3 ounce). It also recommends in the dose of 4 pala (192 ml) in case of noon hours and 8 pala (384 ml) during night time. In all these cases we should understand that the alcohol should be in the range of 3-7% alcohol (Asava-Arista).
During night, relatively higher amount of herbal wine is allowed, because person is going to sleep and hence there might not be any untoward effects.


Alcohol qualities

Qualities of Alcohol according to Ayurveda:
1. Lightness – Laghu – Undergoes digestion and absorption very swiftly.
2. Penetrative – Teekshna – enters into deep body tissues.
3. Hot, warm – Ushna
4. Minuteness – Sookshma – enters and opens up minute body channels
5.  Sour – Amla Rasa
6. Quickly spreading – Vyavayi – After swift absorption, alcohol spreads to all parts of the body at a rapid speed.
7. Instant – Ashu
8. Dryness – Rooksha
9. Affects and loosens body tissues and loosens joints – Vikasi and
10. Clarity – Vishada


Stages of Alcoholic effect

First stage: (Prathama Mada/Satwic effect)
1. Promotes the intellect
2. Enhances the memory power
3. Increases broad mindedness
4. Gives pleasure
5. Improves the quality of sleep
6. Promotes the sexual virility
7. Improves the ability of reading, singing, voration etc.

Second stage: (Madhyama mada/ Rajasic effect)
1. Attains unexplainable strength in memory, intellect and vocabulary
2. Individual appears as if he is maniac
3. Disturbed mind
4. Drowsiness
5. Repeated sleep etc.

Third stage: (Triteeya Mada/Tamasic effect)
1. Looses the ability to recognise the truth and the myth
2. Disrespect the elders
3. Eat the unwholesome/non eatables
4. Looses consciousness
5. Utters the secrets also.

Fourth stage:
Acharya Sushruta explained this stage. In this stage the person looses the consciousness and falls on ground just like a wooden log, irrespective of time and space.

alcohol abuse on liver

Types of intoxication based on Doshas

Types and symptoms of of alcoholic intoxication based on Dosha vitiation:
Due to Vata – Vataja Madatyaya 
Hiccup, breathlessness, shivering of the head,
pain in the flanks, loss of sleep and delirium etc.

Due to Pitta – Pittaja Madatyaya:
Thirst , burning sensation, fever, excessive perspiration, hallucination, diarrhoea, vertigo, green discoloration of the body etc.

Features of Kaphaja madatyaya:
Vomiting ,tastelessness, nausea, drowsiness, stiffness, heaviness and coldness of the body etc.
When Doshas are inter-mixed, mixed features of Doshic dominance is found when two or three doshas are involved.

Unique alcohol intoxicated conditions:


It is a unique intoxicated condition caused due to the dominance of Kapha Dosha. In this condition, heaviness of the body, sweetness of the mouth, obstruction to the flow of urine and bowel, drowsiness, tastelessness, thirst, headache and pain in the joint are complained.


Panajeerna (Indigestion of Alcohol)
In this, distention of the abdomen, vomiting and severe burning sensation in chest and stomach region is observed.


Panavibhrama (Vertigo headache and dizziness caused due to alcohol)
If Panajeerna is neglected, it leads to vertigo. In this condition, pricking pain in the chest(cardiac area), nausea, burning sensation in the throat, syncope, vomiting, fever and headache are observed.


Complications of excessive alcoholism (Alcoholic intoxication):
Hiccup , fever, shivering, vomiting, pain in the flanks, cough and vertigo are the complications of alcoholic intoxication.


Treatment of Alcoholic intoxication:
All sorts of of Pitta and Vata balancing treatments are undertaken.
Due priority is given to coolants (Sheetala) and rejuvenatory (Rasayana) medicines with sweet and astringent tastes.

Single drugs

Single drugs recommended in Panatyaya:
1. Kharjura –Date fruits- Phoenix sylvestre (L.) Roxb.
2. Dadima-Pome granate- Punica granatum Linn.
3. Draksha –Raisins- Vitis vinifera Linn.
4. Amalaki –Amla- Emblica officinalis Gaertn.
5. Adraka- Ginger- Zingiber officinale Rose.
6. Parushaka – Grewia asiatica Linn.
7. Amlavetasa – Garcinia pedunclata Roxb.
8. Parpataka- Fumaria vaillantii Loise.
9. Jambira – Lemon – Citrus limon (L.) Burm.

Ayurvedic formulations

Formulations recommended for Panatyaya :
1. Kharjuradi Mantha
2. Katphaladi Ghrita
3. Masha Ghrita
4. Shatavari Ghrita
5. Punarnava Ghrita
6. Ashtanga Lavana
7. Kharjurasava – 
8. Dadimadyavalehya – a herbal jam prepared with pomegranate as main ingredient
9. Chinchadi Lehya etc

Yogas from Sahasra Yoga Text Book
Vatapitta jvarahara Kashaya
Madatyayahara Kashaya
Dhatryadi Ghrita
Twag Nagapushpadi Kashaya
Mahaushadhi Kashaya

Ayurvedic home remedies

Simple Indian herbal remedies for quick relief from alcohol overdose:
1. Rock salt (Saindhava salt), dry ginger, long pepper and black pepper are taken in equal quantity and fine powder is made . To this , equal quantity of Ajwain (Bishop’s weed) is added and two teaspoon of this powder is added to 200ml of hot water and cooked. This is taken daily for 10 to 12 days. It helps to overcome the chronic toxicity of alcohol.

2. Equal quantity of  Triphala choorna and Katuki (Picrorrhiza) are mixed with honey and taken during night time. 7 days’ medication reduces the tastelessness, gastritis,  and bloating caused due to alcoholic intoxication.

Unwholesome diet and habits

Unwholesome diet and habits while a person is suffering with alcoholism:
1. Warm and spicy food
2. Oily food
3. Night awakening
4. Working in sunshine
5. Work exhaustion etc.

Wholesome diet and habits

1. Godhuma (wheat)
2. Yava (barley)
3. Mudga (green gram)
4. Masha (black gram)
5. Shashtika shali (red rice)
6. Tanduleeyaka (spinach)
7. Patola (snake gourd)
8. Chandana(sandal wood)
9. Vrikshamla(coccum)
10. Amalaki(amla-gooseberry)
11. Dadima(pome granate) etc.

Now-a-days due to addiction, fashion, status, as a matter of pleasure and for company, people take alcohol. But if it crosses its limit, surely one or other kind of discomforts are caused. So always, know your limits.

Alcoholism in a Satvic Person

Satvic person means a person with high Satva guna – devotional, spiritual, highly optimistic, positive person. Satva is the supreme quality of mind. Though Alcohol is considered as Tamasika food (that leads to darkness, inaction, laziness, lethargy), it will not have any ill effects on a Satvic person.

Article by Dr MS Krishnamurthy and Dr Hebbar

Addition by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S

Effective decoctions for fainting, giddiness and alcoholic intoxication from Sahasrayogam

1. Drakshadi Kashayam (Vata-Pitta Jwarahara Kashayam)

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Kashaya Prakaranam, 5

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
GrapesVitis viniferaThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served with honey, sugar and powder of parched grains.1.Fainting, unconsciousness, 2.Alcoholic intoxication 3.Giddiness   Other indications – 1.Fever of vata-pitta origin 2. Vomiting 3.Burning sensation 4. Fatigue 5.Bleeding from upper passages 6.Thirst 7.Jaundice
MadhookaMadhuca longifolia
LicoriceGlycyrrhiza glabra
LodhraSymplocos racemosa
KashmaryaGmelina arborea
SarivaHemidesmus indicus
MustaCyperus rotundus
AmalakiEmblica oficinalis
HriveraPavonia odorata
PadmakesaraFilament of lotus
PadmakaPrunus cerasoides
MrinalaNelumbium speciosum
SandalwoodSantalum album
UshiraVetiveria zizanioides
NilotpalaNymphaea stellata
ParushakaGrewia asiatica

2. Madatyayahara Kashayam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Kashaya Prakaranam, 34

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
GrapesVitis viniferaThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served coldCures – 1.Fainting 2.Alcoholic intoxication   Other indications – 3.Thirst & confusion  
LicoriceGlyzyrrhiza glabra
MadhookaMadhuca longifolia
PippaliPiper longum
DatesPhoenix sylvestris
SandalwoodSantalum album
SarivaHemidesmus indicus
MustaCyperus rotundus
LajaParched grains
UshiraVetiveria zizanioides

3. Mahoushadhi Kashayam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Parishishta Prakaranam, 41

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
GingerZingiber officinaleThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh mixed with powder of Piper longum1. Fainting, unconsciousness 2. Alcoholic intoxication    
GuduchiTinospora cordifolia
RaisinsVitis vinifera
PushkaramulaInula racemosa
Granthi TagaraValeriana wallichii

4. Trayantyadi Kashayam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Parishishta Prakaranam, 111

5. Twag Nagapushpadi Kashayam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Parishishta Prakaranam, 40

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
TwakCinnamomum zeylanicumThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh with sugar, camphor and juice of Feronia linonia1.Alcoholic intoxication   2.Tastelessness 3.Loss of appetite, weak digestion  
NagapushpaMesua ferrea
PippaliPiper longum
PepperPiper nigrum
AjajiCuminum cyminum
CorianderCoriandrum sativum
ParushakaGrewia asiatica
MadhookaMadhuca longifolia
CardamomElettaria cardamomum
DevadaruCedrus deodara

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10 comments on “Alcohol Intoxication – Symptoms, Treatment As Per Ayurveda

  • Gary

    19/11/2014 - 4:34 am

    Hello, I’m curious what you think of pippali vardhamana rasayana. I believe it is used, at least in some cases, for alcohol induced and chronic hepatitis. As a rasayana, I tried half of the procedure, 10 days, and noticed my ability to tolerate alcohol significantly changed afterwards.

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      14/12/2014 - 8:19 am

      It is a very good Rasayana treatment, involving gradual increase and decrease of intake of Pippali (long pepper fruit) along with milk. It should be followed only under medical supervision. Alcohol intake is forbidden, while the treatment is undergoing.
      The probable reason why it increased your alcohol tolerance was it improved liver and spleen strength in you.

      Reply to comment
  • Ajay Srivastava

    02/12/2014 - 9:53 am

    Very good article. Please suggest me any of yours Aurvedic medicin VERY EFFECTIVE in elemenating TOXIC Effects of Alcohal on LEAVER (viz. Fatty Leaver and other toxic effects)

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      26/12/2014 - 7:40 pm

      Starting from long pepper fruit powder along with honey and water, there are many options for liver detox. Please consult an Ayurveda doctor in person.

      Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    07/09/2015 - 10:51 pm

    Hi, There is no such medicine that I know. Consult a psychiatrist.

    Reply to comment
  • Ashok Kumar Saini

    19/02/2016 - 8:59 pm

    write classical medicine in thetreatment

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      19/02/2016 - 9:37 pm

      They are already there in the article – . Kharjuradi Mantha
      2. Katphaladi Ghrita
      3. Masha Ghrita
      4. Shatavari Ghrita
      5. Punarnava Ghrita
      6. Ashtanga Lavana
      7. Kharjurasava –
      8. Dadimadyavalehya – a herbal jam prepared with pomegranate as main ingredient
      9. Chinchadi Lehya etc

      Reply to comment
  • Sarah

    12/04/2016 - 2:15 pm

    Is a person born Satvik, Rajasik or Tamasik. Is it possible for a Rajasik or Tamasik person to become Satvik.

    Reply to comment
  • Kamal

    28/02/2017 - 4:30 pm

    Your articles are so well written doctor. Thank you.
    Please do an article on satvik foods.

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      28/02/2017 - 7:33 pm

      Shortly coming up. 🙂

      Reply to comment

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