Kudzu Root: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects

Kudzu is a flowering plant that is native to East Asia, but it has been introduced to the United States and other parts of the world. It is known for its extensive vining growth habit, which has caused it to be classified as a weed in some areas. Despite its reputation as a pest, kudzu has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is valued for its medicinal properties. The root contains a compound, puerarin, which proves to increase insulin sensitivity, thereby regulating blood sugar levels.

The appropriate dose of kudzu depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for kudzu. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe https://ecosoberhouse.com/ and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using. Taking kudzu along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Fast facts on kudzu root

We may receive commissions for purchases made through the links in this post. Most of the information in this guide is based on scientific research that can be found and verified in the PubMed medical library. We highly encourage you to use the library to verify anything you read in this article. We excluded from consideration studies that are either confounded or have a high conflict of interest. When you take a standardized extract, you know exactly how potent it is and how much you need to take to get the desired outcome.

Of 71 patients 29 showed improvement, 20 showed some improvement, while 22 patients showed little or no improvement. Under ideal conditions, a kudzu plant can grow up to 30 cm in one day and up to 30 m during the growing season. Kudzu was first introduced to the USA in the 1870s and was widely planted in the southeastern states up to 1933 as protection against erosion and a source of food and fiber. In no more than 10 years the plant had become a very troublesome weed that covered more than 200,000 hectares and that is almost impossible to eradicate. Additionally, kudzu sends out new growth from the root crown but not the entire root below it.

What is Kudzu?

Now kudzu’s popularity is also picking up in the Western world as a wellness supplement. For instance, it may reduce the effectiveness of birth control due to its estrogenic effects (8, 17). Kudzu root is rich in antioxidants, compounds that protect cells from oxidative stress that can lead to disease.

  • Some studies also suggest that kudzu root may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may help protect against chronic diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.
  • One reason for these negative result may be that the substance daidzin present in the plant is less effective in its purified form and kudzu is more effective when used in its natural state.
  • Another report suggests that taking kudzu root by mouth might cause liver damage.
  • One small study looked at the effects of kudzu in 17 men ages 21–33 who reported drinking approximately 22–35 drinks per week.
  • Kudzu crowds out native plants, greatly reducing your habitat potential.

While going gray is perfectly natural and no cause for concern, for many people it can have a negative psychological effect. Many turn to hair dyes in an attempt to retain their youthful looks but commercial hair dyes usually contain harmful chemicals that can irritate the skin and weaken the hair even further. This climbing plant is native to Southeast Asia, parts of Eastern Asia and the Pacific Islands. It was originally brought to the US for ornamental purposes and to produce a natural shade.

Kudzu in Cooking and as Food

To be on the safe side and until more research is available, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use the herb and it should not be administered in therapeutic doses to children. Studies in Japan, USA, and Finland have shown that isoflavones are clearly linked to reduced occurrences of breast and uterine cancer. In short, the substance blocks estrogen at the activator sites on breast cancer cells, without stimulating these cancer cells to divide like estrogen would.

As well as having physical benefits for menopausal women, there is evidence that it can improve mental well-being in post-menopausal women. Kudzu root is linked to a wide range of potential health benefits from easing menopausal symptoms to treating alcohol dependence. kudzu extract for alcoholism Still, more research needs to be done to prove whether it’s truly effective. Some studies also suggest that kudzu root may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may help protect against chronic diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.

A Possible Breast Cancer Treatment

This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Another potential side effect of it is gastrointestinal issues. These symptoms may be mild or severe depending on the user’s sensitivity to the herb.

  • “When kudzu is taken orally, it can improve vasomotor symptom scores (i.e. hot flashes and night sweats) in perimenopausal women,” Beckerman says.
  • Inflammation is not something to be take lightly as it can contribute to more serious issues like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
  • Some have reported that the labels are misleading, claiming more kudzu contents that there really are.
  • But for others, kudzu was a vine with a story to tell, symbolic of a strange hopelessness that had crept across the landscape, a lush and intemperate tangle the South would never escape.
  • It is a powerful source of isoflavonoids, a class of compounds that have phytoestrogenic properties.

Studies have suggested that kudzu root may have cognitive-enhancing effects, particularly in older adults. The plant contains compounds that may help to improve memory and learning, as well as reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline. It’s important to always consult with a physician or healthcare professional before taking any supplements, natural or not. It can decrease anxiety symptoms, including heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rates. In addition to reducing anxiety, it also has stress-relieving properties, which make it beneficial for people who experience chronic stress.