Latin name: Radix puerariae, puraria lobata (Willd.) Ohwi
Chinese name: ge gen
Other names: Japanese arrowroot, kudzu root, pueraria

What is Kudzu?
Kudzu is a flowering plant native to Japan and China. The root of the plant is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine.

What are the health benefits of Kudzu?
Kudzu has cooling properties that clear heat, alleviate thirst, vent measles, improve diarrhea and treat symptoms associated with high blood pressure. Kudzu is used to treat fever, headache, muscle pain, and stiffness in the neck and upper back. Studies have shown that kudzu root affects neurotransmitters (including serotonin, GABA, and glutamate) and thus is being used to treat migraines. For patients with measles, it is prescribed to speed recovery once the rash has erupted. Additionally, it is used for dysentery and hot type diarrhea, with burning sensations and exceptionally foul odor. Recently, kudzu has been used to treat headaches, dizziness, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and the numbness that can accompany hypertension, though it has no significant effect on the blood pressure itself.

Kudzu is currently been used and studied for battling alcoholism and alcohol poisoning. Researchers are looking at the possibility that kudzu increases blood alcohol levels so that lower levels of alcohol satisfy a drinker and take away their desire for more drinks. It can be used alone or in combination with chrysanthemum to treat drunkenness or hangovers.

How do I prepare Kudzu to get the health benefits?
Use 12 to 20 grams of kudzu and boil in 2 cups of water for 25 minutes. Good quality kudzu is solid, white, and powdery without much fibrous material.

Where can I find Kudzu?
Kudzu can be found in health food or vitamin stores, at some Asian markets, online, and at the offices of Chinese medical practitioners.

You can find this herb combined with other herbs in the Traditions of Tao formulas:
Allergy Tamer, which provides temporary relief from nasal congestion, sneezing, itchiness, and watery eyes.
Cold & Flu, which supports the body’s ability to fight infections.

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This entry was posted in Herbs, Natural Health Dictionary.