Herbs-Treat and Taste is about herbs and spices and their uses in medicine and cookery.We give recipes and information which enable people to have a healthier diet which can prevent certain illnesses and alleviate symptoms such as a cough, sore throat etc.There is information on different herbs,their history ,what other people think or thought about them and what we think.
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Monday, February 28, 2011
PUERARIA OR KUDZU ROOT: MEDICINAL BENEFITS AND USES OF PUERARIA ROOT
PUERARIA OR KUDZU ROOT, PUERARIA LOBATA OR RADIX PUERARIA
The pueraria root has been used since at least the 6th century BC in China to relieve various ailments. It is a vine and a member of the bean and pea family, Leguminosae, and is native to China, Japan and Fiji. In China the flowers are used as a tisane to prevent inebriation from alcohol, but although there was one study in 1993 on rats which showed that kudzu root could reduce the cravings for alcohol and so might help alcoholics, subsequent studies in humans have so far shown that it does not have this effect. A better natural treatment for alcoholism would be dandelions combined with milk thistle (Silybum marianum), a remedy which has been used for liver-related problems for centuries could be more effective in stopping cravings for alcohol.
Pueraria root field
Analyses of kudzu root have shown that it contains many amino acids including lysine and methionine and isoflavones and bioflavonoidssuch as genisten and daidzein which have been shown to have various benefits to the human body. It also containsminerals including zinc, manganese and selenium.
Isoflavones are found in soybeans and are a family of Phytoestrogens currently under investigation for their preventive uses for heart disease, cancer, lowering cholesterol levels, relieving symptoms of the menopause and osteoporosis. Apart from being found in soybeans and pueraria root they are also found in red clover. They are known to have potent antioxidant properties and may help in the treatment of a number of diseases.
Genisten and daidzein are rich in antioxidant properties and in estrogens and are being investigated for their efficacy as protective agents as it is believed that they may reduce the risk of heart diseases and prostate and breast cancer in particular.
The kudzu root can grow as big as the human body and in china it is harvested in spring and autumn, then sliced and dried in the sun. In traditional medicine a tisane of the flower is given to bring out the spots which are associated with the measles virus, as well as to stop diarrhoea, while the root is used for relief of migraines, as well as to relieve muscle pains, dizziness, to regulate high blood pressure. The root can also be eaten, raw or roasted. The Chinese also believe the root is beneficial to the stomach and spleen and tisanes of the flower are said to improve appetite and aid digestion.
Studies have also shown that pueraria root could increase the flow of blood to the brain which is needed in cases of arteriosclerosis.
It was introduced into the States in the 19th century and planted to stop soil erosion. Since then it has become and invasive weed in southern parts of the US. However this is another weed which has potentially great benefits.