Discover the 4 health benefits of kudzu root.
If you’ve ever driven south and looked across fields and wooded areas to notice a vine-like plant resembling a topiary, the plant was likely kudzu.
The health benefits of kudzu root, also known as kudzu, are mainly used as an herb in traditional Chinese medicine.
The Chinese cook it in many dishes for flavor and medicinal purposes, but in the United States, it has a somewhat pesky reputation as an invader who takes over telephone poles, yards, and trees.
It forms massive shapes, hence the all-natural topiary.
It was originally thought to be used as animal fodder and to control soil erosion, but with growth rates of up to a foot per day in the summer, this plant can be a challenge to control, perhaps too much.
It has even been dubbed “mile a minute vine” in traditional folk times.
Regardless, kudzu root, which is part of the kudzu vine, has become a health supplement because it contains quercetin, genistein, and the compounds isoflavone, daidzein, daidzin, tectorigenin, and puerarin, all of which are powerful antioxidants found in plants. phytochemicals.
These phytochemicals can help fight diseases caused by inflammation, treat alcoholism, lower blood pressure, fight the flu, reduce menopausal symptoms, and more.
Health Benefits of kudzu root
1.- It can help treat alcoholism
The health benefits of Kudzu root have been given the honor of helping reduce the painful effects of a hangover, although it appears that if used in excess it could be more harmful than beneficial.
However, studies have shown that it can help reduce alcoholism.
It does this by raising alcohol levels so that the person using it has the effect of alcohol without drinking as much.
One study involved four weeks of treatment of 17 men between the ages of 21-33 years.
These men reported drinking 27.6 ± 6.5 drinks/week with a diagnosis of alcohol abuse and/or alcohol dependence.
They consumed the kudzu extract or the matched placebo daily.
Subjects were asked to report their alcohol consumption and their desire to drink alcohol.
While there was no effect on craving for alcohol, kudzu extract reduced the number of drinks consumed each week by 34 percent to 57 percent and decreased the number of days of heavy drinking.
Additionally, kudzu extract significantly increased the number of days without alcohol, including consecutive days.
Interestingly, the BBC did its study and found that subjects who took the kudzu supplement before drinking were consuming 20 percent less alcohol than usual.
More studies are needed, but kudzu could show promise for those struggling with alcoholism.
This, in turn, could help prevent or treat cirrhosis and other alcohol-related conditions as well.
2.- Fight disease by reducing inflammation
We know that inflammation is a major cause of many diseases and that the immediate treatment is a synthetic over-the-counter drug.
However, kudzu can be an alternative option. According to research, subjects were given kudzu root, also known as Pueraria tuberose, to see if it reduced inflammation.
The findings concluded that it not only reduced inflammation but also displayed antioxidant properties, making it a possible alternative to commercial medication.
3.- Relieves an upset stomach
Certain specialists suggest the health benefits of kudzu root as a remedy for an upset stomach caused by digestive problems.
Kudzu helps improve bowel movements and can facilitate digestion.
The PMC suggests that combining kudzu with umeboshi plum is best because umeboshi plum neutralizes excess acid, a much-needed result as too much acid can cause diarrhea.
Kudzu has a thick, slimy consistency, similar to gastric mucus, which lines the stomach and protects it from excess hydrochloric acid.
Umeboshi plum, which is strongly alkaline, neutralizes the harmful effects of excess stomach acid.
Together, they benefit the digestive system, even offering relief from stomach ulcers and heartburn.
The fiber in kuzu, in combination with the anti-inflammatory effects of umeboshi, helps alleviate the symptoms of acute diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
This combination can also alleviate leaky gut syndrome.
4.- It can stop hot flashes and night sweats
It is believed that the health benefits of Kudzu root help treat the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause, such as hot flashes and night sweats due to its characteristics similar to estrogen.
Although the research on kudzu for menopausal symptoms has been conflicting, some studies suggest that taking kudzu by mouth can reduce hot flashes and improve vaginal dryness in women going through menopause.
In addition, it could help improve the mental capacities of postmenopausal women.
For example, the roots of Pueraria Mirifica (also known as Thai kudzu), which has been consumed by the native Thai for generations for the relief of postmenopausal symptoms, is believed to work due to its phytoestrogen contents, including isoflavones, deoxymyrostrol, and megestrol.
Pueraria Mirifica is found as an ingredient in some foods or in dietary supplements to improve hot flashes and night sweats in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women while lowering blood lipids.
Kudzu root risks
There are some known risks of kudzu root that you should know before consuming.
Birth control pills can interact with kudzu as kudzu also contains estrogen-like effects.
Taking kudzu along with birth control pills can decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. Kudzu can slow blood clotting.
If you take medications that slow blood clotting, consult your doctor first before consuming kudzu in any form, as it can cause bruising and bleeding.
Taking kudzu along with diabetes medicine could make your blood sugar drop too low.
By affecting estrogen in the body, kudzu can decrease the effectiveness of some drugs. Regardless, if you take any medications, be sure to check with your doctor.
Where to buy kudzu root and how to cook kudzu root?
While you can find kudzu almost anywhere in the South by taking a country lane, kudzu root is probably the most popular by way of a supplement or kudzu root tea that can be found in most health food stores.
However, look closely at the label to make sure you know how much kudzu it contains.
Some have reported that the labels are misleading and claim that there is more kudzu content than exists.
Kudzu is often found in southern foods eaten raw, sautéed, fried, baked, and in jelly, but if you have to harvest kudzu, you must do so carefully.
Be sure to identify it as it looks like poison ivy, and avoid kudzu that has been sprayed with pesticides or chemicals.
How much of the kudzu is edible?
In addition to the kudzu root, the leaves and tips of the vine are edible.
The kudzu plant produces fragrant purple flowers, which are made into jellies, syrups, and candies.
When it comes to the root, you can cook kudzu roots like potatoes, or dry and grind them into a powder, which makes a great breading for fried foods or a thickener for sauces.
Final thoughts on Kudzu root
Kudzu is a unique plant that may offer health benefits, but keep in mind that more research is needed to better understand the benefits of kudzu root and this climbing plant in general.
However, there are numerous indications that it can help someone with alcoholism.
Also, eliminating hot flashes and night sweats, an upset stomach, and inflammation are all benefits you can find from eating kudzu root or taking it as a supplement or tea.
Be sure to learn more about kudzu root and how it can help you. While the benefits are promising, there are also downsides.
For example, kudzu root can interact with certain drugs, and the plant itself is an invader that is difficult to control.
Be sure to speak with your healthcare provider before using this ancient remedy.