Name: Pueraria lobata
Names: Kudzu, Ge-gen, kuzu, pueraria
Kudzu root is high in isoflavones, such as daidzein, as well as isoflavone glycosides, such as daidzin and puerarin. Depending on its growing conditions, the total isoflavone content varies from 1.77-12.0%, with puerarin in the highest concentration, followed by daidzin and daidzein.
Kudzu root has been known for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine as ge-gen. The first written mention of the plant as a medicine is in the ancient herbal text of Shen Nong (circa A.D.100). In traditional Chinese medicine, kudzu root is used in prescriptions for the treatment of wei, or “superficial,” syndrome (a disease that manifests just under the surface—mild, but with fever), thirst, headache, and stiff neck with pain due to high blood pressure. It is also recommended for allergies, migraine headaches, inadequate measles eruptions in children, and diarrhea It is also used in modern Chinese medicine as a treatment for angina pectoris.
Diaphoretic, antispasmodic, muscle relaxant, antipyretic
• alcohol withdrawal support
• high blood pressure
Clears wind heat; relieves muscular tension and spasms, especially of the neck and shoulders; vents eruptive skin diseases, such as measles. It is used for fevers caused by heat in colds and influenza and for stiff neck and shoulders. It has some demulcent properties, making it useful for thirst and dryness. It can also be used for many other diverse conditions, ranging from hypertension, dysentery, and colitis to sudden nerve deafness. The flowers have been shown to be effective in lessening the desire for alcohol and thus are used in the treatment of alcoholism.
Kudzu is a coarse, high-climbing, twining, trailing, perennial vine. The huge root, which can grow to the size of a human body, is the source of medicinal preparations used in traditional Chinese medicine and modern herbal products. Kudzu grows in most shaded areas in mountains, fields, along roadsides, thickets, and thin forests, throughout most of China. The root of another Asian species of kudzu, Pueraria thomsonii, is also used for herbal products.
9-15 grams per day of kudzu root.
In China, tablets of the standardized root (10 mg of weight per tablet equivalent to 1.5 grams of the crude root) are used for angina pectoris. This would equate to 30-120 mg two to three times per day. Kudzu tincture can be used in the amount of 1-2 ml taken three to five times per day.
Pueraria should not be used by those with cold in the stomach and excessive sweating. At the dosages recommended above, there have been no reports of kudzu toxicity in humans.
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