The Kudzu root (Pueraria lobata) is a creeping vine that is native to Japan, throughout most of China and the southeastern United States. In Traditional Chinese Medicine where it is known as “Ge Gen“, kudzu is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs. Kudzu contains isoflavones like puerarin, genistein, daidzin and daidzein. The aggregate isoflavone content varies from 1.77–12 percent, with puerarin in the highest concentration, followed by daidzein and daidzin.
The isoflavones in kudzu extract may alleviate alcohol intake and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 38 people diagnosed with alcoholism were assigned to receive either kudzu extract 1.2 g twice daily or a matching placebo. No statistically significance difference in craving and sobriety scores were noted after 1 month between kudzu and placebo. In a study Clinical and Experimental Research, reported in the May 2005 edition, people who took kudzu drank an average of 1.8 beers per session, compared with 3.5 beers consumed by those who took a placebo.
Kudzu root extract generally reduced alcohol cravings within a week, and in over 80 % of cases, alcohol cravings were completely gone within 2 to 4 weeks of therapy. Scientists have discovered 2 compounds in kudzu that alter the enzymes that break down alcohol in the liver. Therefore, an alcohol byproduct called acetaldehyde builds up. As a result, a byproduct known as acetaldehyde will build up in the system causing nausea, stomach upset, and an discomfort in the body. According to a study reported in the November 2009 edition of Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research demonstrated that daidzin inhibits a liver enzyme called ALDH-2. (aldehyde dehydrogenase-2).
Several research suggests that puerarin, might alleviating signs and symptoms of chest pain when given by intravenously or mouth. This plant has a long history of use in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders, including angina, acute myocardial infarction, and heart failure. An intravenous form of puerarin, has been used in China to treat patients with ischemic stroke, the type of stroke that is caused by a blood clot.
“The University of Alabama at Birmingham” scientists have examined kudzu root extract. Their studies, shows kudzu alleviating a important proportion of the blood pressure rise that occurs in rats placed on a high salt diet. In addition, kudzu root extract has been demonstrated to decrease blood glucose, insulin and leptin in animal model of insulin resistance. Kudzu “may provide a dietary supplement that significantly decreases the risk and severity of stroke and cardiovascular disease in at-risk people,” the scientists say in a statement.
For alcoholism 2.4 g kudzu root extract daily. Standardised root extracts are used to treat angina pectoris. Practitioners of “Traditional Chinese Medicine” recommend a daily dosage of 30 mg to 120 mg of kudzu to treat cardiovascular complaints.