More and more medical research is advancing looking for new alternatives with the use of plant extracts. This link between traditional medicine and modern medicine means that there are still centennial plants that are still used today.
This is the case of Pueraria mirifica, or a plant of Asian origin that grows abundantly in Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia.
Although scientifically it is known as Pueraria mirifica, it is known in many Asian areas as Kwao Krua.
In traditional medicine (more than 100 years ago), the roots of this plant were used to rejuvenate the appearance of the skin and to treat the symptoms of menopause.
However, the latest scientific research has found interesting uses of this plant. Therefore, we wanted to collect them in this article and tell you about the benefits of P. mirifies.
Proven benefits of Pueraria mirifica
Possesses antioxidant activity
Component analysis in the plant has revealed the presence of interesting antioxidants related to isoflavonoids.
Among them, those found in greater quantity are puerarin and daidzein, which have the ability to reduce the presence of free radicals and oxidative stress at the cellular level. [See study]
Studies carried out on animals (mice), have proven how Pueraria mirifica significantly increased the levels of antioxidant substances compared to the group that took synthetic estrogen. [investigation]
However, since there are currently no studies endorsed in humans, it is still too early to confirm its potential as an antioxidant plant compared to others that already offer improvements in this field and have been endorsed in our body.
Promotes bone health
There is a clear relationship between estrogen production and bone density. In fact, a loss of bone mass is common when the female sex goes through menopause.
Research carried out in animals supplemented with Pueraria mirifica concluded interesting benefits on bone density when estrogen-like activity compounds were introduced into the diet.
A study conducted on mice with low estrogen levels concluded a positive effect of the plant Pueraria mirifica in the prevention of osteoporosis. [See study scientific]
This study has also been replicated in monkeys, with equal efficacy.
Both animal studies support that the Kwao Krua plant may play an important role in the prevention of osteoporosis. However, truthful applied research in humans is needed.
May improve vaginal health
With menopause you can suffer alterations at the vaginal level, such as pH modification, dryness, change in skin color, etc.
The use of the plant Pueraria mirifica it can promote the health of vaginal tissue and treat vaginal dryness, as proven in human and animal studies.
A 1-month trial conducted in postmenopausal monkeys evaluated the effectiveness of a gel at 1% concentration of Pueraria mirifica, applied to vaginal tissue. At one month of continuous application, improvements in the pH and skin tone of the vaginal tissue were obtained. [See study]
Another study, this time conducted on women, tested the efficacy of the plant extract in postmenopausals, with significant benefits compared to other estrogenic creams on the market. [See study]
Specifically, the advantages obtained were related to less vaginal dryness and relief of irritation. However, other studies have shown less efficacy, in general, with current estrogenic creams.
Relieves menopausal symptoms
Menopause symptoms in women are related to hot flashes, bleeding, irritability or headache, and is based on a reduction in estrogen hormone levels.
This steroid hormone is related to many functions of your body. In women, the main function it performs is the development of sexual characteristics, the menstrual cycle and the regulation of mood.
The potential of plants containing phytoestrogens has been investigated, as they are plant compounds that can mimic behavior.iento of these estrogens.
This is the case of the plant Pueraria mirifica, that due to its phytoestrogen content can be used successfully for the purpose of relieving the symptoms of menopause.
Currently, small studies have been carried out in humans, obtaining positive results in terms of reducing vaginal dryness, irritability, regulating menstrual periods and reducing hot flashes. [See study]
However, other studies have not obtained conclusive results, but in general it has been attributed to the lack of scientific rigor and standardization of doses used.
In any case, it is necessary to move forward with more tests in this aspect, since there is a lack of greater breadth of documentation.
May have anticancer effects
Several scientific studies have linked the activity of certain phytoestrogens in inhibiting various types of breast cancer. [See study]
In general Pueraria mirifica it may have activity to delay the development of MCF-7 cells, due to its estrogenic effect on their growth.
However, these studies have been carried out in a test tube, so there is still a long way to go to apply in sick patients.
To preventive level, an interesting compound known as miroestrol, which may have a protective effect. [See study]
In any case, all natural products related to the prevention or protection against cancer must be rigorously analyzed, since there is a great lack of scientific information about it.
May promote cardiovascular health
There is a direct link between estrogen hormone levels and your risk of heart attack during menopause.
This is because estrogen is involved in the metabolism of sugars and fats in the body. A reduced level of this hormone can negatively influence factors related to cardiovascular health. Among them, an increase in cholesterol, weight gain and inflammation. [See study]
A 3-month study conducted on rabbits with low estrogen production, found that the plant Pueraria mirifica had activity on arterial volume, increasing its diameter and endothelial function. [See study]
Read more: differences between good and bad cholesterol.
A 2-month study in 19 postmenopausal women concluded that taking supplements from Pueraria mirifica increased HDL cholesterol by 34% and reduced LDL cholesterol by 17% (19 Trusted Source)
Pueraria mirifica can activate the nervous system
Again related to the concentration of estrogen in the body, this hormone is involved in the maintenance of brain activity.
Therefore, in menopause you can suffer alternations and mental deterioration along with an increase in oxidative stress within the brain tissue.
The use of plants that contain phytoestrogens, such as Pueraria mirifica, it can reduce cognitive decline of the nervous system when it is related to estrogen hormone concentration levels.
These studies have only been able to be endorsed in mice with estrogen deficiency, where the compound known as miroestrol acts in the reduction of mental deterioration and brain tissue. [See effect]
Finally, more research and repetition in humans is needed to draw sufficient conclusions from these effects.
Where to buy extract from Pueraria
Currently, we can find root extract from both Pueraria mirifica as of kudzu (Pueraria lobata), both in the form of supplements and applied to the skin.
For application on the skin:
Possible side effects of Pueraria mirifica
A greater number of trials are currently needed to have a thorough control of doses and possible side effects.
In any case, due to the content of plant phytoestrogens, it can produce some mild effects in women, although many cases have not been documented.
Consumption of between 25 mg to 100 mg of plant concentrate is considered a safe dose.
In fact, very few negative side effects have been documented, but that doesn’t mean that taking the supplement is risk-free.