kudzu

Kudzu Root

Essential Facts about Kudzu Root

Names

  • Botanical: Pueraria tuberosa
  • Sanskrit and Hindi: Bhukushmandi, Vidarikand
  • Other names: Indian kudzu, Kudzu root, Japanese arrowroot

Energetics

  • Rasa (taste): Sweet
  • Guna (qualities): Heavy, slimy
  • Virya (action): Cooling
  • Vipaka (post-digestive effects): Sweet
  • Dosha (constitution): Pacifies pitta and vata, aggravates kapha

Habitat

Kudzu is native to India, China, and Japan.

Plant Description

Kudzu is a perennial climbing vine with large tuberous roots and purple flowers.

Parts Used

In Ayurvedic medicine, it is generally the dried, tuberous roots that are used, but sometimes the flowers, stem and bark are used.

Nutrients

Kudzu is rich in isoflavonoids, including puerarin, genistein, daidzein and tuberosin. It’s tuberous roots also have a high starch content.

Medicinal Uses of Kudzu

In Ayurveda, this plant is used as a restorative tonic, antiaging, spermatogenic and immune booster and has been recommended for the treatment of fever, fertility disorders, menopausal syndrome. However, it is particularly effective at improving cardiovascular health by boosting circulation.

To better understand why boosting circulation is key to your health (and how kudzu root aids circulation), consider the following points.

The cells in your body need oxygen and other key nutrients to be as healthy as possible. Your blood delivers those nutrients. If you’re blood isn’t circulating thoroughly and easily throughout your body, you can develop a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms and health conditions, including:

Cognitive Difficulties

People with relatively poor circulation are often at a greater risk than others of developing cognitive difficulties. When blood isn’t flowing to the brain in sufficient amounts, you may struggle with memory loss, and you may find it difficult to concentrate. In some situations, such as work, that can hinder your performance. In others, such as driving, it can be very dangerous.

Poor Digestion

Your digestive system also needs a steady supply of blood in order to function properly. Thus, people with poor circulation often notice symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, among others.

Fatigue

The nutrients and oxygen in your blood provide your body with energy. That means, when blood isn’t flowing as it should be, you may be more prone to feelings of fatigue.

Alcoholism

Although this isn’t a symptom of poor circulation, it’s interesting to note that kudzu root has long been used to treat problems such as alcoholism because it helps with circulation.

Researchers who’ve studied the effects of kudzu root on alcoholism have found that it likely works by increasing blood flow. This results in people feeling the effects of alcoholic beverages earlier than they otherwise would. When the effects hit them earlier (and stronger) than usual, they are able to stop drinking, as they no longer crave the effects.

This indicates that kudzu root can help in many capacities where increased circulation delivers health benefits. Additionally, kudzu root aids circulation without unwanted side effects, making it a healthy and safe treatment.

Usage and Dosage of Kudzu Root

Kudzu powder is often mixed with a carrier, like milk or honey, to take the nutrients deeper into the body. An Ayurvedic expert can help determine the amount you need based on your condition and constitution. You can also take a pre-formulated rasayana or tonic that contains Kudzu root. For example, Chyawanprash is an ancient recipe that was created to deliver optimal dosages of its ingredients to boost overall health and wellness.

 

Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)