The starchy white roots of kudzu, also known as pueraria lobata, are one of common vegetables in some southern provinces of China. Especially, people there often use them for cooking soup since the soup is sweet, cool, and delicious. It is worth mentioning that the edible kudzu root is also an excellent herbal medicine for a variety of health concerns, which include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, cluster headaches, migraines, alcoholism, depression, diabetes, overweight, vertigo, and so on. So, does kudzu root really work?
It mainly refers to Pueraria lobata (Willd.) Ohwi or Pueraria thomsonii Benth. They are a perennial deciduous vine that often grows in the hillside, roadside and relatively damp places. They can be up to 10 meters in length and covered with brown shag hair. Their fleshy roots are cylindrical-, semi-cylindrical-, or spindle-shaped, 4 to 8cm in diameter, and 12 to 15 in length.
Kudzu root nutritional value
Its main ingredient is starch, in addition to about 12% of flavonoids (daidzein, puerarin, daidzin, etc), daucosterol, amino acids, coumarin, proteins, sugars, iron, calcium, copper, selenium and other minerals.
Kudzu root health benefits
1. Dilation of blood vessels. Its total flavonoids and puerarin can improve myocardial oxygen metabolism, produce beneficial effects on myocardial metabolism, dilate blood vessels, improve microcirculation, and reduce vascular resistance to increase blood flow. As a result, it can be used in the prevention of myocardial ischemia, myocardial infarction, arrhythmia, hypertension, atherosclerosis and other diseases.
2. Fever relief. Its extract by using acetone can make your body return to a normal temperature since it makes sense in a variety of fevers. This is why traditionally it is often used for fever, thirst, irritability, anxiety and other symptoms.
3. Control of blood glucose and lipids. It is known for lowering glucose levels. In addition, since its flavonoids have lipid-lowering effects, it helps reduce serum cholesterol and triglyceride. So, it can be used for the treatment of hyperglycemia and high blood lipid. Clinically, puerarin is often combined with aspirin to achieve the desired result.
4. Improving brain function. Some studies have shown that it has an obvious therapeutic effect on learning and memory impairment. And its ethanol extract can significantly improve the hyoscine-induced memory impairment. So, it works for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and age-associated mental retardation and poor memory.
5. Treating a hangover. It helps with alcohol intoxication and alcohol poisoning by preventing the absorption of alcohol in the stomach and promoting the excretion. So, it can rapidly relieve headache, red face, and other unpleasant reactions after a night of heavy drinking.
6. Repairing damaged skin. It is able to enhance the skin’s resistance to injury. According to the reviews from more than 98% of users, it can make the skin become remarkably delicate, smooth, and shiny. What’s more, it also increases skin elasticity and reduces spots, acne, and wrinkles.
7. Refreshing people. It helps quench your thirst by making your mouth produce more saliva. So, it is ideal for people with dry mouth, dry eyes, too much contemplation, lack of sleep, and too much talking.
8. Boosting male sexual performance. It can promote sexual function and sperm production and help pregnancy by improving semen quality and motility. No wonder Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) often uses it in the treatment for erectile dysfunction, nocturnal emission, low back pain, urinary frequency, and the like.
9. Regulation of endocrine systems. After women have taken kudzu root powder for a while, they tend to have positive changes, such as melasma fading, normalized vaginal discharge, and an acne-free face, thanks to the amazing isoflavones activity on regulating endocrine systems.
10. Breast enhancement and weight loss. Based on user feedback, it helps women with different uneven, small, and saggy breasts. In addition, it is also a super supplement to bust butt fat. The secret of being breast enhancer and booty buster is phytoestrogens, which are plant steroid hormones. Phytoestrogens can mimic the estrogen that is often deficient in post-menopausal women. And the studies have shown that Kudzu extracts might help fight butt fat.
How to use kudzu root?
This herb is known for many magical properties since ancient time. Today, it is available in forms of tea, tincture, extract, capsules, and the like. Also, you can cook it by yourself at home too.
1. Following a traditional recipe. When it comes to Kudzu recipes, the extreme example is probably Ge Gen Tang (Pueraria Combination), a classic Chinese herbal formula from the Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders (Shanghan Zabing Lun). Other ingredients in this famous recipe include Hb. Ephedrae, Ram. Cinnamomi, Rx. Paeoniae Alba, Rz. Zingiberis Recens, Rz. Zingiberis, Fr. Jujube, and Rx. Glycyrrhizae. Today this recipe mainly treats common cold, influenza, measles, diarrhea, joint pain and other syndromes that see the above symptoms.
2. Making tea. Cut the root into thin slices, take 30 grams daily, and allow them to brew for about 15 minutes or the recommended time before pouring. This tea is good for alcoholism and alcohol cravings. Besides, when it is served as a conventional beverage it lowers blood pressure, sugar, and lipids.
3. Soup. When the root is sliced and washed, it can be stewed with steak, chicken, and duck. This refreshing, nutrient-rich soup is perfect for all ages, especially in summer.
4. Porridge. Soak the right amount of corn in water overnight, take them out and drain the next day, mix them well with Kudzu powder, and cook porridge in the conventional way. This porridge is good for patients with cardiovascular disorders, hypertension, diabetes, diarrhea, and dysentery.
Kudzu root side effects, drug interactions and dosage
According to Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it is usually used to make a decoction and the dosage is from 10 to 15 grams. In clinical studies there is no side effects reported so far. So, this herb is considered possibly safe for most people.
However, it may not be right for women during pregnancy and breastfeeding and patients with low blood sugar. So, both of them should stay away from it, just to be safe. Besides, TCM thinks that Kudzu is sweet in taste and cool in nature, it will hurt your stomach when you eat it on an empty stomach. By the way, the best time to eat Kudzu root is at night since it nourishes Yin and regulates endocrine, according to TCM practitioners.