We discovered a new plant, known as kuzu or Kudzu, belonging to traditional Chinese medicine. It has usually been used in ancient times for a multitude of stomach ailments. However, today it has been analyzed in several clinical trials for its content in insoflavones, earning the interest of the scientific community.
Our interest has been to gather these main contrasted effects and show them to you in this article.
Let’s analyze the nutritional properties offered by kuzu, its medicinal effects (based on the active ingredients) and some documented contraindications. Finally, we leave you the option of being able to buy it and the recommended doses to achieve its potential effect.
As a curiosity, the entrance of kuzu (Pueraria lobata) in the Western world was through the United States, in 1876. It was used as herbaceous to reduce the erosion of soils that were exposed and subjected to the action of the wind, as today the mustard plant is used, among others.
What is kuzu?
The kuzu or kudzu is a herbaceous species with dark green leaves and emits violet flowers. Its scientific name is Pueraria montana var. lobata and belongs to the Fabaceae family (Fabaceae).
This characteristic plant family has the ability to associate with microorganisms that fix atmospheric nitrogen, an interesting quality to improve the characteristics of a soil.
The Fabaceae family has well-known members such as lentils, soybeans, beans, etc.
The root of the plant has interesting properties for gastronomy and is widely used in Japan.
Properties of kuzu
Nutritionally kuzu has a very good valuation in Japanese cuisine, where it is taken in combination with Umeboshi, a pickled fruit.
However, something that has aroused the interest of the scientific community is its content in isoflavones such as puerarina.
Clinical trials grant it antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties (due to the presence of daidzein and daidzine).
Some of its compounds have activity on neurotransmitters and, specifically, on serotonin and glutamate, so it opens a range of interesting research to fight against diseases of cognitive degeneration, such as Alzheimer’s.
1. Antioxidant activity against metabolic syndrome
The metabolic syndrome is a set of conditions of the cardiorespiratory system and type 2 diabetes. Cause high blood pressure, accumulation of triglycerides and high blood glucose levels, among other physiopathies.
Clinical studies have linked the increase in isoflavone consumption with the reduction of the symptoms of the metabolic syndrome, favoring the increase of good cholesterol (HDL), combating high blood pressure and balancing insulin levels in the blood.
However, being a disease that is the source of many variables and different conditions, more scientific research is needed to find serious conclusions.
2. May relieve menopausal symptoms
The symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and hot flashes, can be relieved with the increase in isoflavones of plant origin in our body. These substances have a chemical structure similar to estrogens, acting as an antioxidant and reducing the effects of menopause.
Without becoming estrogens Properly speaking, some polyphenols present in kuzu have mild phytoestrogenic capacity, and as selective modulators of estrogen receptors.
3. Can regulate glucose levels
The first clinical trials have obtained positive results from isoflavonoids and triterpenoids, such as puerarin, which accounts for 60% of the total of these substances in the kuzu root.
Most of the medical studies and endocrinology trials have been done from puerarin, obtaining interesting benefits in complications from type II diabetes.
However, further studies are required to define active phytochemical compositions, quality standards and clinical efficacy.
4. Kuzu root as a treatment for alcoholism
The trend line of products for the treatment of alcoholism tend to use plant derivatives with very small side effects and with protective activity of the liver.
Several of these vegetables have been analyzed, finding a positive response in the kudzu roots.
The antioxidant compounds present in this plant, such as puerarin, daidzin, daidzein or analogues have been shown to be effective in the chronic treatment of alcoholism.
However, conclusive results of its effect have not yet been obtained nor are the mechanisms of action on alcohol intake fully understood.
It seems that these compounds have an effect on the modulation of several neural systems involved in the behavior towards alcohol.
5. Reduces inflammation
The daidzine and daidzein are compounds present in the root of kuzu with anti-inflammatory activity.
According to medical research, they are used due to their activity as carriers of signals and defense responses to pathogenic attacks. [See more information]
How to take Kuzu
To use kuzu medicinal purposes, the most comfortable way is to dissolve a tablespoon of coffee from the root extract in a glass of hot water (but without boiling). It moves vigorously until it forms a slightly thick texture and is taken.
It is used in the gastronomy of many countries such as sauce thickener, smoothies or soups. With this extract you get sauces of translucent and shiny appearance, a soft texture and does not provide any characteristic flavor.
In pastry, can be used in the manufacture of jams because of its thickening nature. To use it in this way we need dilute it in cold water, before I warm up
You should also buy in tablets they have pure root extract and natural preservatives.
Clinical studies have revealed the accumulation of a substance known as acetaldehyde which can be harmful to health in significant amounts. Therefore, it is not advisable to take it as a hangover remedy, since there is already an intoxication of this substance.
Due to its estrogenic activity, its consumption is not advised in people sensitive to hormones. Likewise, its consumption in pregnancy and lactation is discouraged.