Kudzu is a medicinal herb that has one of the longest recorded uses in traditional Chinese medicine. The kudzu plant belongs to the pea family, Fabaceae, and is a climbing p…erennial vine native to eastern Asia, southeast Asia, and the region of the Pacific islands. The plant is known for its rapid growth rate, and is considered a weed in many parts of the world. Find out the health benefits of this ancient medicinal herb, as well as any potential health repercussions.
Kudzu is known for its high quantity of isoflavones, which are considered phytoestrogens, as well as antioxidants. Isoflavones have been connected to lower incidence of breast cancer in some studies, as well as influencing sex hormone metabolism. Isoflavones are believed to help reduce the risk of cancer by preventing cellular damage caused by free radicals. The majority of isoflavones present in Kudzu are puerarin and daidzein, which are known for their anti-inflammatory and inti-microbial properties. In addition to isoflavones, kudzu contains over 70 phytochemicals.
Kudzu is used to treat a number of health ailments, including headache, stiff muscles, dysentery, diabetes, allergies, fever, diarrhea, and cardiovascular disease. The herb has been used to ease the symptoms of menopause, improve circulation, and to improve bone health. One of the most common uses for the herb is as a treatment for alcoholism, as well as a treatment for hangovers. The herb has been used to reduce symptoms of hangovers, such as headache, dizziness, and nausea.
There is limited research on kudzu as an effective treatment for alcoholism. In the few clinical trials that have been conducted, the results are mixed. A study of 38 veterans using kudzu for one month to inhibit alcohol consumption and cravings, showed little to no beneficial effect of the herb. Another smaller study, conducted over the course of several weeks, demonstrated that the herb was effective in reducing the number of alcoholic beverages consumed among heavy drinkers. Animal studies, however, have proven to be more promising. A study of hamsters and mice who were administered kudzu, showed that the herb did inhibit alcohol consumption and cravings. Other studies on kudzu as a treatment for menopause, cluster headaches, certain types of cancer, and metabolic syndrome all demonstrated that the herb was effective in symptom reduction. More research is needed to confirm the healing mechanisms present in kudzu.
Kudzu is considered safe for most people to take. Some allergic reactions have been reported, including itching, swelling, rash, and sneezing. Kudzu also may lower blood sugar, and so anyone suffering from diabetes should avoid the herb. It is best to speak with your doctor before taking kudzu, particularly if you are pregnant or breast feeding, have a heart disorder, or have a bleeding or blood clotting disorder.