Pueraria lobata / Kudzu

Deze woekerende klimplant heeft de naam gekregen van de Zwitserse botanicus Marc Puerari ( 1766 - 1845). U kunt kudzu massaal vinden op duizenden hectaren in het zuidwesten van de Verenigde Staten, waar  het werd geïntroduceerd om bodemerosie tegen te gaan. Het is inheems in Azië waar het al meer dan duizend jaar groeit.  Kudzuwortel was ooit de belangrijkste bron van zetmeel in China en Japan totdat de zoete aardappel werd geïntroduceerd. 
Traditioneel werd het gebruikt ter behandeling van diarree en dysenterie. Het zetmeel wordt algemeen gebruikt als verdikkingsmiddel in commerciele voedingsmiddelen. Hoewel kudzu niet echt populair is, heeft de wetenschap toch enkele zeer interessante geneeskrachtige bestanddelen ontdekt.

Bestanddelen:
Bij een onderzoek met dieren uitgevoerd begin jaren negentig van de 20ste eeuw, bleek dat extracten van de isoflavonen uit de kudzuwortel, in het bijzonder daidzeïne en daidzine, het verlangen naar alcohol afremmen. Mogelijk door het anders afbreken van de alcohol in het lichaam, waardoor minder een gevoel van welbehagen in de hersenen wordt verkregen. Ander onder­zoek heeft aangetoond dat extracten het vermogen van de lever om schade door gifstoffen af te weren versterken en zelfs het orgaan helpen zichzelf te regenere­ren. Van het isoflavon genisteïne wordt herhaaldelijk gemeld dat het leukemie bestrijdt en tumorontwikkeling en -groei afremt. 

Kudzuwortel is klaarblijkelijk rijker aan deze anti-oestrogene stoffen dan sojaboon. Flavonoïd-achtige bestanddelen verbeteren de doorbloeding door de hartslagader, door de aderen en haarvaten. Als gevolg hiervan worden kudzu-extracten ook gebruikt voor de behandeling van angina pectoris en hoge bloeddruk, inclusief symptomen van hoge bloeddruk zoals duizeligheid, hoofdpijn en oorsuizingen.

Therapeutisch gebruik:
Alcoholisme, borstkanker, pijn op de borst, cirrose en andere leverkwalen, hoge bloeddruk, onregelmatig hartritme, leukemie, osteoporose. 
Volksgebruik: Allergieën, longontsteking, verkoudheden, diabetes, diarree, dvsenterie, griep, kater, hoofdpijn, huiduitslag, maagdarmontsteking, maze­len, psoriasis, pijnlijke plekken, zere keel, zwelling.

Alcohol. 2007 Nov;41(7):469-78. Pueraria lobata (Kudzu root) hangover remedies and acetaldehyde-associated neoplasm risk.
McGregor NR. University of Melbourne, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, 9 Auburn Grove, Armadale, Victoria 3143, Australia. NeilM@unimelb.edu.au
Abstract
Recent introduction of several commercial Kudzu root (Pueraria lobata) containing hangover remedies has occurred in western countries. The available data is reviewed to assess if there are any potential concerns in relationship to the development of neoplasm if these products are used chronically. The herb Pueraria has two components that are used as traditional therapies; Pueraria lobata, the root based herb and Pueraria flos, the flower based herb. Both of these herbal components have different traditional claims and constituents. Pueraria flos, which enhances acetaldehyde removal, is the traditional hangover remedy. Conversely, Pueraria lobata is a known inhibitor of mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) and increases acetaldehyde. Pueraria lobata is being investigated for use as an aversion therapy for alcoholics due to these characteristics. Pueraria lobata is not a traditional hangover therapy yet has been accepted as the registered active component in many of these hangover products. The risk of development of acetaldehyde pathology, including neoplasms, is associated with genetic polymorphism with enhanced alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) or reduced ALDH activity leading to increased acetaldehyde levels in the tissues. The chronic usage of Pueraria lobata at times of high ethanol consumption, such as in hangover remedies, may predispose subjects to an increased risk of acetaldehyde-related neoplasm and pathology. The guidelines for Disulfiram, an ALDH2 inhibitor, provide a set of guidelines for use with the herb Pueraria lobata. Pueraria lobata appears to be an inappropriate herb for use in herbal hangover remedies as it is an inhibitor of ALDH2. The recommendations for its use should be similar to those for the ALDH2 inhibitor, Disulfiram.



Beschreibung "Kudzu-Wein"

Eine chinesische Heilpflanze und Nahrungspflanze mit unglaublicher Wuchskraft: Diese Rankepflanze schafft es sagenhafte 30 cm pro Tag zu wachsen! Dabei wird sie über 10 Meter hoch, in ihrer Heimat auch bis zu 30 Meter. Wenn sie nichts zum Klettern findet, kriecht sie einfach auf dem Boden, und bewurzelt sich an den Blattknoten wieder.
Diese Pflanze ist ein Ausbund an Vitalität, und wurde in den Südstaaten der USA deswegen schon zu einem ernsten Problem. Kudzu kann bis zwei Meter tief in die Erde wurzeln und sich enorm schnell ausbreiten. Im Staate Georgia heißt die Pflanze auch „the weed that ate Georgia“, denn Kudzu-Ranken haben innerhalb weniger Jahre große Teile des Landes überwuchert. Dieses Problem haben wir hier in Deutschland zum Glück nicht, da die Vegetationszeit hier wesentlich kürzer ist.

Kudzu hat in der chinesischen Medizin eine sehr lange Tradition und gehört zu den 50 wichtigsten Heilpflanzen der TCM. Bemerkenswert ist die Wirkung bei Alkoholsucht. Zwei Isoflavone aus der Wurzel, das Daidzin und Daidzein sollen tatsächlich fähig sein, das Verlangen nach Alkohol zu vermindern. Außerdem sagt man von Kudzuwurzel, dass es hilft, Gewebe zu regenerieren, welches durch Toxine beschädigt wurde. 
Die gesamte Kudzupflanze ist sehr proteinreich. Allgemein wirkt Kudzuwein als starkes Antioxidans, Tonikum, harntreibend, verdauungsfördernd und entspannend. Die Hauptwirkstoffe in Kudzu sind die sogenannten Puerarinisoflavone. Eines davon, das Puerarin, soll serotonergene (=wie Serotonin) Wirkung haben, und den Endorphinspiegel im Blut erhöhen. Kudzu hat noch viele andere Heilwirkungen, die ich hier nicht alle aufzählen kann, es gibt sogar ein Buch nur über Kudzu („The Book of Kudzu“). Verwendet wird meist das Mehl oder die gemahlene Wurzel. In der Küche wird es vor allem bei makrobiotischen Köchen geschätzt, aber auch in der tratitionellen japanischen Küche. Generell wird das leicht quellende Pulver zum Andicken von Soßen und Suppen eingesetzt. Junge Wurzeln, Blätter und Schösslinge werden gedünstet, roh oder gebraten verzehrt. Die frischen Schösslinge schmecken bohnenartig, was verständlich ist, denn die Pflanzen sind als Schmetterlingsblütler (Fabaceae) tatsächlich mit Bohnen verwandt. Auch die köstlich vanilleduftenden, violetten Blüten werden kulinarisch verwendet. Geerntet wird die Wurzel im Herbst.

Vermehren kann man Kudzu ganz einfach durch Stecklinge, mittels Aussaat oder auch durch Absenker. Im Winter zieht die Pflanze ein, das heißt sie verliert sämtliche Blätter, um im Frühling wieder erneut auszutreiben. Im ersten Jahr sollte man Kudzu frostfrei überwintern, danach kann man sie auspflanzen und mit etwas Winterschutz (Reisig und Laub) ist sie auch in Deutschland winterhart.



Wong KH, Li GQ, Li KM, Razmovski-Naumovski V, Chan K 
Kudzu root: traditional uses and potential medicinal benefits in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. [JOURNAL ARTICLE] J Ethnopharmacol 2011 Feb 9.

Kudzu root (Gegen in Chinese) is the dried root of Pueraria lobata (Willd.) Ohwi, a semi-woody, perennial and leguminous vine native to South East Asia. It is often used interchangeably in traditional Chinese medicine with thomson kudzu root (Fengen in Chinese), the dried root of P. thomsonii, although the Chinese Pharmacopoeia has separated them into two monographs since the 2005 edition. For more than 2000 years, kudzu root has been used as a herbal medicine for the treatment of fever, acute dysentery, diarrhoea, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Both English and Chinese literatures on the traditional applications, phytochemistry, pharmacological activities, toxicology, quality control and potential interactions with conventional drugs of both species have been included in the present review. Over seventy phytochemicals have been identified in kudzu root, with isoflavonoids and triterpenoids as the major constituents. Isoflavonoids, in particular puerarin, have been used in most pharmacological studies. Animal and cellular studies have provided support for the traditional uses of kudzu root on cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and endocrine systems, including diabetes and its complications. Further studies to define the active phytochemical compositions, quality standards and clinical efficacy are warranted. Strong interdisciplinary collaboration to bridge the gap between traditional medicine and modern biomedical medicine is therefore needed for the development of kudzu root as an effective medicine for the management of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.


Pueraria lobata
Pueraria Lobata (Kudzu) is a root plant that appears to have traditional usage in alleviating migraines and hangovers.
This page features 32 references to scientific papers.

3. Neurology
3.1. Cognition
A study in menopausal women given 100mg of Kudzu isoflavones daily noted that both Kudzu treatment and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT; 0.625mg CEE and 5mg MPA) noted an improvement on the scores on the MMSE rating scale.[1]
Delayed recall was improved in HRT and not in control, and Kudzu was intermediate to these two conditions yet not significantly different from either.[1] Attention span, Motor speed, and flexible thinking were noted to be increased with Kudzu.[1]
 May have some cognitive enhancing properties in menopausal women

3.2. Menopause
Kudzu has been tested for its interactions with menopausal symptoms using a supplement standardized for 100mg Isoflavones for a period of 3 months, but has failed to demonstrate a reduction of symptoms (although in this study hormone replacement therapy with 0.625mg CEE/5mg MPA also failed, the authors suspected that the low baseline symptoms were to blame).[1]
 Has once failed to reduce menopausal symptoms
 It should be noted that the related herb, Pueraria mirifica, is more commonly touted to be catered to menopause rather than Kudzu

Edit4. Cardiovascular Health

4.1. Cardiac Tissue
In vitro, Puerarin has been noted to have beta-adrenoreceptor antagonistic properties at 0.1-3umol/L concentrations and has shown these effects following intravenous administration of 100mg/kg isolated Puerarin (cat) and inhibited the effects of beta-adrenergic agonists (Ephedrine and isoproterenol) on cardic tissue.[12]

4.2. Lipids and Cholesterol
In obese mice given 0.2% of the diet as Kudzu root for 8 months, Kudzu root failed to significantly modify triglycerides or total cholesterol relative to control.[11]
A study using 100mg Kudzu isoflavones daily for 3 months in menopausal women (otherwise health) noted that there was no change in a lipid panel (cholesterol, triglycerides, or Apolipoproteins) that was significantly different than placebo;[1] the active control of Hormone Replacement Therapy exerted benefit.

Edit5. Interactions with Glucose Metabolism

5.1. Interventions
0.2% of Kudzu root in the diet of obese mice for 8 months is associated with a decrease in fasting glucose (from 183+/-14 to 148+/-11mg/dl; 19% decrease) and improvements in both glucose tolerance (oral glucose tolerance test) as well as insulin tolerance (indicative of insulin sensitivity).[11] Lean mice fed Kudzu in a similar manner experience improvements in glucose tolerance to a smaller magnitude (not statistically significant) with no improvement to insulin tolerance.[11]

Edit6. Skeletal Mass and Bone Metabolism
6.1. Interventions
In ovariectomized mice given 5-20% of the diet as Pueraria Lobata root for 4 weeks, bone mineral density (of the femur) was increased with 20% Kuduz in the diet being as effective as the active control of 17β-estradiol[3] with another study replicating 20% and 17β-estradiol being equally effective with both increased bone mass beyond baseline and 10% of the diet appearing to normalize bone losses relative to control.[3] 5mg/kg of Puerarin in isolation also appears to exert anti-osteroporotic effects in ovarectomized mice over 8 weeks of feeding,[13] suggesting that this is the active component.
At multiple times, interventions which note improvements in bone mass and serum biomarkers of bone metabolism have failed to find increases of uterine weight (indicative of estrogenicity) either with the Kudzu plant[3] or isolated Puerarin.[13]
 Appears to increase bone mineral density, although at least one study suggests that this is distinct from estrogenic effects

Edit7. Interactions with Fat Mass

7.1. Adipokines
0.2% of the diet as Kudzu root for 8 months in obese mice was associaed with an attenuation of the rise of adiponectin seen in the obese control, which brought serum concentrations to a level similar to lean control.[11] This study did not note any alterations in food intake nor body weight associated with Kudzu.[11]

7.2. Interventions
In ovariectomized rats given 100mg/kg of Pueraria Lobata flavones (exact molecules not stated, 'flavone' in this study treated as one entity) daily for 5 weeks noted that the weight gain associated with ovariectomy (research model for menopause) was attenuated, although not to the degree as the active control of 1mg/kg estrogen.[14] Similar results have been noted in obese ovariectomized mice given 80mg or Pueraria Lobata daily, where weight gain assocaited with menopause was attenuated with comparable potency to 0.25mg estradiol.[15]

Edit8. Inflammation and Immunology

8.1. Immunostimulation
A polysaccharide from Pueraria Lobata (PLP) has been reported to increased nitric oxide release from macrophages and increase MHC-II expression from dendritic cells, although with minimal efficacy in increasin splenic cell proliferation.[7] This polysaccharide appears to activate monocytic, but not lymphatic, immune cells and concentration-dependently stimulated up to 300ug/mL although never exceeding the active control of LPS.[7]

When looking at the mechanisms, it was noted that PLP-stimulated dendritic cells were characterized by increased nF-kB translocation and increased expression of all MAPKs (p38, JNK, and ERK).[7]

Edit9. Interactions with Hormones

9.1. Estrogen
In a study on ovariectomized mice, Pueraria Lobata can induce a dose-dependent activation of Estrogenic activity mediated via ERα, with activation at 1mcg/mL increasing up to 6-fold at maximal activation at 25mcg/mL;[15] it was noted that Pueraria Lobata, as well as Licorice, were both simply agonists and not Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) in this study, and that the EC50 of Pueraria Lobata (5.5µg/mL) was greater than that of licorice (EC50 16µg/mL).[15]

Puerarin (daidzein-8-C glucoside) up to 100uM does not bind to either subset of the estrogen receptor.[13] As daidzein itself has affinity, it appear the 8C glucoside prevents binding via steric hindrance.[13]

 In vitro, Pueraria Lobata is estrogenic with affinity for the alpha subset (ERα)
In a study assessing the estrogenicity of Pueraria Lobata against three strains of Pueraria mirifica, 10-1000mg/kg oral ingestion for these herbs resulted in a failure of Kudzu to induce vaginal cornification (indicative of biologically relevant estrogenicity); Pueraria Mirifica as well as injections of estrogen were both successful in inducing vaginal cornification while 1mg/kg Genistein (one of the two Soy Isoflavones) also failed.[16] In mice given up to 20% the diet as Kuduz for 4 weeks, there was no noticeable increase in uterine weight when compared to control[3] and a lack of uterine/vaginal effects were replicated with 80mg of the herb extract daily in ovarectomized mice.[15]

When investigating breast tissue, oral ingestion of 40-320mg of Pueraria Lobata in mice bearing breast cancer tumors (MCF-7) failed to find any evidence of Pueraria Lobata stimulating tumor growth, which usually occurs with ERα activation (and occurred in the positive control group of estradiol).[15]

One study has hypothesized that estrogenic effects are localized to adipose (or at least, not female sex organs) as some genetic biomarkers downstream of estrogen activation (downregulation of CD8B and CD79B, upregulation of GPX3 and MUP; estrogen but not Pueraria Lobata influenced Leptin and LCN2) were noted to be upregulated by Pueraria Lobata in the same mice where no uterine effects were noted.[15]

 A lack of estrogenic effect has been noted on female sex organs including mammary tissue, which is thought to be either due to a lack of estrogenicity overall (and some bioactives merely mimicking it by chance) or localized estrogenicity that does not occur in sex organs

Edit10. Interactions with Organ Systems
10.1. Intestines
In chronically Alcohol treated rats, the levels of a tight-junction protein known as ZO-1 appear to be suppressed; 90-180mg/kg Puerarin acts to attenuate the decline when taken alongside ethanol in the diet;[17] this study is duplicated in Medline.[18]

10.2. Liver
90 or 180mg/kg isolated Puerarin alongside a chronically high Alcohol containing diet (36% of calories) noted that while Puerarin failed to modify the (increased with ethanol) weights of the liver Puerarin was associated with less fatty liver buildup, inflammation, and serum liver enzymes.[17]
Protective effects have been noted with Puerarin in regards to toxin and alcohol-induced liver fibrosis,[19] and 200-800mg/kg of Puerarin in rats fed CCL4 (hepatotoxin) noted dose-dependent protective effects and reduced oxidation and inflammation as assessed by liver histology.[20]

Edit11. Nutrient-Nutrient Interactions
11.1. Alcohol
The leaves of Pueraria Lobata (sometimes termed Pueraria flos) are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for the purposes of hangover prevention and commonly used alongside Ginseng radix, Amomi Fructus rotundus, and Citri reticulatae Pericarpium.[21]
The leaves of Pueraria Lobata (sometimes termed Pueraria flos) appear to enhance the rate of acetaldehyde clearance from the body[22] and may protect against ethanol-induced neuronal injury.[23]
The root extract, which is not traditionally used, appears to inhibit the Aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) enzyme[24][25] (similar to the pharmaceutical Disulfiram) which is thought to reduce tolerance and create an aversion to Alcohol from a build-up of acetaldehyde.[26] Reduced activity of the ALDH enzyme (Homozygote ALDH2*2) occurs to a greater degree in Asian populations and is known to increase the frequency of intolerance to alcohol consumption.[27][28]
It has been noted in a review[21] that the ALDH inhibitor Disulfiram has been linked to both alcohol aversion (as intended) and euphora from alcohol[29] and cocaine;[30] studies investigating the interactions of Pueraria flos and euphoria from alcohol are lacking.
 The leaf extract of Kudzu appears to enhance acetaldehyde clearance from the body and possibly aid in the reduction of hangovers (in accordance with traditional claims) while the root extract may confer the opposite effects and increase insensitivity to alcohol by inhibiting the enzyme that degrades acetaldehyde

References
Woo J, et al. Comparison of Pueraria lobata with hormone replacement therapy in treating the adverse health consequences of menopause. Menopause. (2003)
Cheung DW, et al. A herbal formula containing roots of Salvia miltiorrhiza (Danshen) and Pueraria lobata (Gegen) inhibits inflammatory mediators in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages through inhibition of nuclear factor κB (NFκB) pathway. J Ethnopharmacol. (2013)
Wang X, et al. Puerariae radix prevents bone loss in ovariectomized mice. J Bone Miner Metab. (2003)
Wu CT, et al. Prescription profile of Chinese herbal products containing coumestrol, genestein, and/or daidzein among female users: an analysis of national health insurance data in Taiwan between 1997 and 2007. Chin Med. (2012)
Liu CF, et al. In vivo metabolites and plasma exposure of TongMai Keli analyzed by UHPLC/DAD/qTOF-MS and LC/MS/MS. J Ethnopharmacol. (2013)
Zhang D, et al. Kakkalide ameliorates endothelial insulin resistance by suppression of reactive oxygen species (ROS)-associated inflammation. J Diabetes. (2012)
Kim HS, et al. A polysaccharide isolated from Pueraria lobata enhances maturation of murine dendritic cells. Int J Biol Macromol. (2013)
Liang XL, et al. Transport properties of puerarin and effect of Radix Angelicae Dahuricae extract on the transport of puerarin in Caco-2 cell model. J Ethnopharmacol. (2012)
Liang X, et al. Intestinal absorption effect of Angelica dahurica extract on puerarin of puerariae Lobatae Radix. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. (2012)
Wang Y, et al. Simultaneous determination of puerarin, daidzein, baicalin, wogonoside and liquiritin of GegenQinlian decoction in rat plasma by ultra-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. (2009)
Prasain JK, et al. The Chinese Pueraria root extract (Pueraria lobata) ameliorates impaired glucose and lipid metabolism in obese mice. Phytomedicine. (2012)
Lu XR, et al. Blocking effect of puerarin on beta-adrenoceptors of isolated organs and the whole animal. Zhongguo Yao Li Xue Bao. (1986)
Michihara S, et al. Puerarin exerted anti-osteoporotic action independent of estrogen receptor-mediated pathway. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). (2012)
Wang JF, et al. Effects of Radix Puerariae flavones on liver lipid metabolism in ovariectomized rats. World J Gastroenterol. (2004)
Saunier EF, et al. Estrogenic plant extracts reverse weight gain and fat accumulation without causing mammary gland or uterine proliferation. PLoS One. (2011)
Malaivijitnond S, et al. Using vaginal cytology to assess the estrogenic activity of phytoestrogen-rich herb. J Ethnopharmacol. (2006)
Peng J, et al. Puerarin Ameliorates Experimental Alcoholic Liver Injury by Inhibition of Endotoxin Gut-leakage, kupffer Cell Activation and Lipopolysaccharide Receptors Expression. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. (2012)
Peng JH, et al. Effects of Puerariae Radix Extract on Endotoxin Receptors and TNF-α Expression Induced by Gut-Derived Endotoxin in Chronic Alcoholic Liver Injury. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. (2012)
Zhang S, Ji G, Liu J. Reversal of chemical-induced liver fibrosis in Wistar rats by puerarin. J Nutr Biochem. (2006)
Li R, et al. Puerarin mediates hepatoprotection against CCl(4)-induced hepatic fibrosis rats through attenuation of inflammation response and amelioration of metabolic function.Food Chem Toxicol. (2013)
McGregor NR. Pueraria lobata (Kudzu root) hangover remedies and acetaldehyde-associated neoplasm risk. Alcohol. (2007)
Yamazaki T, et al. Pharmacological studies on Puerariae Flos. IV: Effects of Pueraria thomsonii dried flower extracts on blood ethanol and acetaldehyde levels in humans. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res. (2002)
Jang MH, et al. Protective effects of puerariaeflos against ethanol-induced apoptosis on human neuroblastoma cell line SK-N-MC. Jpn J Pharmacol. (2001)
Gao GY, Li DJ, Keung WM. Synthesis of daidzin analogues as potential agents for alcohol abuse. Bioorg Med Chem. (2003)
Gao GY, Li DJ, Keung WM. Synthesis of potential antidipsotropic isoflavones: inhibitors of the mitochondrial monoamine oxidase-aldehyde dehydrogenase pathway. J Med Chem. (2001)
Keung WM, Vallee BL. Kudzu root: an ancient Chinese source of modern antidipsotropic agents. Phytochemistry. (1998)
Yokoyama M, et al. Hangover susceptibility in relation to aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 genotype, alcohol flushing, and mean corpuscular volume in Japanese workers. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. (2005)
Yokoyama A, Omori T, Yokoyama T. Alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase polymorphisms and a new strategy for prevention and screening for cancer in the upper aerodigestive tract in East Asians. Keio J Med. (2010)
Brown ZW, et al. Alcohol-induced euphoria enhanced by disulfiram and calcium carbimide. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. (1983)
Hameedi FA, et al. Behavioral, physiological, and pharmacological interaction of cocaine and disulfiram in humans. Biol Psychiatry. (1995)
Wing-Shing Cheung D, et al. The roots of Salvia miltiorrhiza (Danshen) and Pueraria lobata (Gegen) inhibit atherogenic events: a study of the combination effects of the 2-herb formula. J Ethnopharmacol. (2012)



Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) monograph

Background
Kudzu originated in China and was brought to the United States from Japan in the late 1800s. It is distributed throughout much of the eastern United States and is most common in the southern part of the continent.
Kudzu has traditionally been used in China to treat alcoholism, diabetes (high blood sugar), stomach flu, and deafness. Research indicates that puerarin (an ingredient in kudzu) may increase blood flow to the heart and brain which helps explain certain traditional uses.
Evidence suggests that kudzu may improve chest pain as well as help with symptoms of diabetes and menopause. However, most studies regarding kudzu were small and had weak designs. Further research is necessary to draw conclusions.

Scientific Evidence
Uses


Alcoholism
Early research showed mixed results for the usefulness of kudzu in alcoholism. Additional study is needed to draw a conclusion. C

Deafness
In limited research, kudzu has shown benefit for sudden deafness. Additional evidence is needed to confirm these results. C

Diabetes
It has been suggested that kudzu may lower blood sugar and decrease inflammation. Early evidence shows that kudzu may improve insulin resistance in diabetes. Insulin resistance is when the body starts needing higher levels of insulin to be able to control blood sugar levels. Additional study is needed before a firm conclusion can be made. C

Diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease
Limited evidence suggests that kudzu may be useful for diabetic eye disease. Additional study is needed before a firm conclusion can be made. C

Diabetic retinopathy (eye disease)
Early evidence suggests that kudzu injections may have positive effects in diabetic eye disease. Further research is needed to confirm these results. C

Exercise performance
Early research showed that kudzu in combination with other supplements has benefits in exercise performance. Additional study of kudzu alone is needed before a conclusion can be made. C

Glaucoma (eye disease)
In China, kudzu is the main herbal treatment for glaucoma, a disease from increased blood pressure in the eye. Early evidence shows that adding kudzu to standard medicine for glaucoma yields favorable results. Additional research is needed to draw conclusions. C

Heart disease
Kudzu has a long history of use for heart disorders, including chest pain, heart attack, and heart failure. Early evidence suggests that kudzu may reduce the frequency of chest pain. More research is needed in this area. C

Heart protection during surgery
Early evidence suggests that kudzu injections may have heart protective effects during surgery. Further research is needed to confirm these results. C

High cholesterol
Evidence is mixed regarding benefit in using kudzu for high cholesterol. Further research is needed before a conclusion may be made. C

Low back pain
Early study suggested that kudzu injections may decrease low back pain. Further research is needed before a conclusion may be made. C

Menopause
There is conflicting evidence regarding the effects of kudzu on menopausal symptoms. Additional study is needed to clarify these results. C

Sleep
Early research showed that kudzu lacked an effect on sleep. Additional study is needed to draw a conclusion. C

Stroke
There is conflicting evidence for the benefits of kudzu in people with stroke. Further research is needed before a conclusion may be made. C

Weight loss
Early research showed that kudzu helps with weight loss. Additional study is needed to draw a conclusion. C

*Key to grades:
A: Strong scientific evidence for this use;
B: Good scientific evidence for this use;
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use;
D: Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work);
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).

Tradition
Abortion inducing, aging, allergic nasal symptoms, Alzheimer's disease, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, blood clot prevention, bone loss, cancer, circulation, colds, diarrhea, dysentery (bloody diarrhea), elimination of toxins, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), estrogenic effects (female hormone effects), fever, flu, gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining), gastroenteritis (stomach flu), hangovers, headaches, high blood pressure, irregular menstrual cycles, itching, leukemia (cancer of blood), liver disease, liver protection, lung blood clots, macular degeneration (eye disease), measles, metabolic syndrome, migraine, muscle pain, neck stiffness, pain, Parkinson's disease, psoriasis (inflammatory skin condition), rash, reperfusion injury (damage to heart due to lack of oxygen), ringing in the ears, sinusitis (inflammation of sinuses), sweat stimulation, trauma, vascular disorders (blood vessel problems), vasorelaxant (reduces tension of blood vessel walls).

Dosing
Adults (over 18 years old)

For alcoholism, 0.6-1.2 grams of kudzu root extract has been taken by mouth twice or three times daily for seven days to one month.

For heart disease, 400 milligrams of puerarin has been taken by mouth daily for ten days; 200 milliliters of puerarin has been injected into the vein once daily, beginning one week prior to surgery and continuing until the day before surgery; 300-600 milligrams of puerarin in 250 milliliters of 5% dextrose has been injected into the vein daily for 7-20 days.

For diabetic kidney disease, 250 milligrams of puerarin has been taken by mouth three times daily in addition to standard diabetes treatment for 12 weeks.

For high cholesterol, 20-50 milligrams of Pueraria mirifica has been taken by mouth once daily for 24 weeks; four 200 milligram tablets (containing 25 milligrams of dried Pueraria mirifica root powder) have been taken by mouth daily (two tablets every morning and afternoon) for two months.

For menopause, 20-100 milligrams of Pueraria mirifica has been taken by mouth once daily for six months; kudzu powder (containing 100 milligrams of isoflavones) dissolved in water has been taken by mouth once daily for three months; four 200 milligram tablets (containing 25 milligrams of dried Pueraria mirifica root powder) have been taken by mouth daily (two every morning and afternoon) for two months.

For sleep, two 500 milligram kudzu root capsules have been taken by mouth three times daily for nine days.

For weight loss, 200-300 milligrams of Pueraria thomsonii flower extract has been taken with dinner for 12 weeks.

For deafness, 400 milligrams of puerarin in 500 milliliters of 5% glucose was injected into the vein once daily for 10 days.

For diabetes, 500 milligrams of puerarin in 250 milliliters of normal saline was injected into the vein once daily for three weeks in addition to standard therapy for diabetes.

For diabetic eye disease, 400 milligrams of puerarin was injected into the vein daily for six weeks.

For heart protection during surgery, 500 milligrams of puerarin was injected into the vein over 30 minutes beginning at one hour before standard anesthesia.

For stroke, 200-500 milligrams of puerarin in 250 milliliters of fluid was injected into the vein once daily for 14-15 days in combination with routine stroke therapy.
Children (under 18 years old)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for kudzu in children.

References
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