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A pharmacology professor may have discovered a chemical that can change your drinking nights for good.
And she found it in a pretty unlikely place.
It turns out hovenia dulcis- an ingredient used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years - contains a special compound called Dihydromyricetin, or DHM.
Ancient medicine meets modern science
USC professor Jing Liang has a medical degree from the University of Beijing, and says her signature "morning after drinking" cure was inspired by ancient Chinese medicine.
Hovenia is extracted from the Oriental Raisin Tree, which has been used to boost liver function in traditional Asian medicine for thousands of years.
Liang spent a year studying the tree's medicinal properties, and identified what makes hovenia dulcis so beneficial after drinking.
The special compound that Liang and her team identified is called Dihydromyricetin - or DHM for short.
Studies using DHM on rodents found that the compound was mitigated the negative effects of alcohol.
DHM protects your body in two important ways:
- It guards your brain's GABA receptors - which control your levels of excitement and inhibition.
- It's also "hepaprotective," or helps your liver break down toxins released by alcohol.
Liang hopes that someday her compound will be used to help alcoholics recover from their withdrawal symptoms.
Since making her discovery, Liang has helped launch a liver boosting supplemnet to help you do more the next morning after a night out.