Dihydromyricetin (DHM for short) is the main active ingredient in Morning Recovery. It’s extracted from the Oriental Raisin Tree — the leaves of which have been used medicinally for thousands of years. Find out more about how it boosts liver performance and reduces the negative effects of alcohol.
What is DHM & Hovenia Dulcis?
DHM is an herbal compound found in Hovenia Dulcis, more commonly known as the Japanese Raisin Tree or the Oriental Raisin Tree. The flavonoid can also be found in Ampelopsis Grossendentata, more commonly known as Rattan Tea. The Japanese Raisin Tree and Rattan Tea have been used for centuries as dietary supplements and traditional medicines in Eastern China, Japan, Korea and other parts of Asia.
Hovenia Dulcis has a particularly ancient history. One of the earliest known medical documentations of this liver powerhouse was in the year 659 in the first Chinese pharmacopeia — the Materia Medica.1 Among its various uses, it was used in Chinese medicine for alcohol detoxifying as well as for lingering intoxication,2 the latter akin to what is commonly referred to as “hangovers.”
So how does DHM, or the active ingredient inside the Japanese Raisin Tree and Rattan Tea, work? Keep reading to learn more about its many benefits.
DHM helps the liver’s natural detoxification process
DHM enhances your body’s natural ability to break down alcohol, so you wake up without the morning-after fog and sluggishness. What does the breakdown of alcohol have to do with how you feel the next day? A lot.
Research by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism titled “Alcohol Metabolism: An Update” describes the basic process involved in the breakdown of alcohol. We’ve summarized the important parts for you here:
- Two enzymes — alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) — help your body metabolize alcohol.
- When you first start drinking, ADH metabolizes alcohol to acetaldehyde — a highly toxic and carcinogenic substance.
- Next, ALDH further metabolizes acetaldehyde to an acidic byproduct called acetate, which is then broken down into water and safely flushed out of your body.3
So why the rough morning after a night of drinking? When you drink more alcohol than your liver can break down, these alcohol-induced toxins build up and put a significant amount of stress on your body. The longer these toxins are present in your body before getting metabolized and safely flushed out — the worse you feel the next day. In other words, the duration of toxic exposure in your body can add to the severity of the after-effects of consuming alcohol.4
Cue DHM to the rescue! This robust flavonoid helps protect the liver (and how you feel the next day) by increasing the speed at which alcohol is metabolized. How do we know this? Studies show that extracts of Hovenia Dulcis increase the activity of ADH and ALDH in the liver,5 which enables the body to metabolize and flush out alcohol and toxins faster. As a result, you wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day!
How alcohol affects the brain
Alcohol affects the brain in many ways. The first sip disrupts the delicate balance between two types of neurotransmitters: Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) and Glutamate.6 These brain chemicals are responsible for orchestrating much of alcohol’s effects on your thoughts, feelings, and coordination.
When alcohol binds to GABA receptors, it activates them which leads to heightened relaxation, lowered inhibition, slurred words, and loss of motor control. This action leads the brain to believe that there is an imbalance. Your body then tries to reduce the amount of GABA to restore the balance. But when alcohol is metabolized and excreted from your body, there isn't enough GABA left in the brain. This causes headache, poor sleep quality, anxiety and agitation.
DHM affects the way alcohol is processed in the brain
So what does DHM have to do with the effects of alcohol on the brain? In a controlled study conducted with animals, researchers found that dihydromyricetin (DHM) blocked alcohol tolerance and prevented signs of withdrawal when taken during alcohol consumption.
How’d they come this conclusion? Researchers gave mice alcohol along with either placebo or DHM. After, they measured various behaviors and brain functions related to intoxication. Mice were placed on their backs in a V-shaped cradle and researchers measured the time it took the rats to turn over or the loss of righting reflex (LORR).
Mice who were given DHM significantly reduced LORR (or the time it took them to turn over).1 The effectiveness of DHM, however, was lost when the mice were also administered flumazenil, which acts on the GABA receptors in the brain. This suggests that DHM’s affect on the brain is mediated through the GABA receptors and in doing so, helps impact the way alcohol is processed in the brain.
Researchers also observed that DHM helped reduce the anxiety and hyperexcitability caused by alcohol exposure and withdrawal.
The many benefits of DHM & Hovenia Dulcis
We know that DHM demonstrates liver-protective properties and blocks alcohol from affecting the brain’s GABA receptors. It also offers many other health benefits.
Here are some uses of DHM that have been validated by research:
- Research in 2012 found that adding Hovenia Dulcis to your diet can help protect your liver from alcohol-related damage.
- The American Journal of Chinese Medicine published a study in 2007 that found Hovenia Dulcis can prevent liver damage from hepatitis C.
Healthier and happier drinking with DHM
DHM is the hero ingredient in Morning Recovery. We extract the herbal compound from the Japanese Raisin Tree (Hovenia Dulcis) using our proprietary technology. We also use patent-pending technology to maximize the solubility of DHM and increase the effectiveness of Morning Recovery. We then pair it with other liver-supporting, good-for-you ingredients like Milk Thistle, Vitamin C & B Complex, electrolytes, amino acids, Prickly Pear Extract, and top it off with a fresh and light peach flavor. The result is a science-driven and easy-to-use approach to one of life’s most inconvenient setbacks — the after effects of alcohol.
Learn more about how Morning Recovery works and try a 6-pack today. If you aren’t satisfied with the results, we’ll take it back.
1Y. Shen et al., “Dihydromyricetin As A Novel Anti-Alcohol Intoxication Medication,” 32 J. Neurosci. 390 (2012).
2Y. Liu & J. Zhang, Dietary Chinese Herbs: Chemistry, Pharmacology and Clinical Evidence 420 (2015).
3“Alcohol Metabolism: An Update”, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa72/aa72.html.
4Kim et al. (2000), supra.
5Chen et al. (2006), supra.
6Mukherjee S, Das SK, Vaidyanathan K, Vasudevan DM. Consequences of alcohol consumption on neurotransmitters-an overview. Curr Neurovasc Res. 2008;5:266–272.