Kudzu Root: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects

The mixture was poured into 3 equal volume cups and placed on ice until administration. At the appropriate time, participants were instructed to consume one cup at a time over a 15-minute period; participants had 5 minutes to consume the contents of each cup. Placebo drinks consisted of 400 ml of orange juice only, divided into 3 cups.

  • Vitacost is a discounted online retailer for natural supplements, vitamins, and extracts.
  • Rooke et al., (2000) has suggested that puerarin may block biogenic amine metabolic pathways, resulting in an alteration in central reward pathways.
  • The protocol and informed consent were approved by the McLean Hospital Institutional Review Board and individuals were paid for their participation.
  • The 0.7 g/kg dose produced significant differences from the 0.35 g/kg dose on all scales except clumsy and nauseated.
  • Various studies have used single, one-time doses or daily doses for a week without reported adverse effects.

The kudzu plant is a vine that resembles poison ivy and is native to several Asian countries. Some research specifically on the kudzu species Pueraria mirifica suggests that doses of 50–100 mg per day appear to have a low risk of adverse side effects (18). Small studies in people have observed noteworthy improvements in these menopausal symptoms, among others, like vaginal dryness (9, 10).

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A standardized formulation of kudzu extract produced minimal side effects, was well-tolerated, and resulted in a modest reduction in alcohol consumption in young nontreatment-seeking heavy drinkers. Additional studies using treatment-seeking alcohol-dependent persons will be necessary to determine the usefulness of this herbal preparation in reducing alcohol use in other populations. The rates of alcohol drinking during follow-up phase were also reduced compared to baseline in both the kudzu- and placebo-treated groups. We had not expected that any beneficial effects would remain after kudzu extract had cleared the body based on our pharmacokinetic results (Penetar et al., 2006).

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The blood samples were then centrifuged and the plasma separated into a plastic vial. Quantitative analysis of ethanol levels was performed by gas chromatography with flame ionization detection (GC/FID) (Hewlett-Packard model 5890 series II equipped with a model 18593B autosampler) (Penetar et al., 2008). Analysis https://ecosoberhouse.com/ was performed on every 5 minute sample after the commencement of drinking for 75 minutes, and on samples taken at 90, 120, 150, and 180 minutes. Twelve (12) physically and mentally healthy adult volunteers (6 male) with a mean age 27.6±1.89 yrs old signed informed consent to participate in this multi-visit study.

Will kudzu supplement pills make me drink less alcohol?

This latter scenario might very well permit the use of lower doses of prescription medications and thus reduce the incidence of side effects. Furthermore, because kudzu extract exerts its beneficial effects within hours of the first dose, it could be administered along with a prescription medication and provide “coverage” until the other medication begins to work. Subjective and psychomotor effects observed after alcohol consumption are typically attributed to be the direct effects of kudzu extract for alcoholism alcohol on the CNS. There are data to suggest that many of these effects may be due, at least in part, to the primary alcohol metabolite, acetaldehyde (Kim et al., 2009). Daidzin has been shown to inhibit hamster and rat mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH-2) in vitro and is a mixed inhibitor of the human enzyme (Keung et al., 1997). If isoflavones such as daidzin significantly increase acetaldehyde levels in humans in vivo, then this could be a possible mechanism of action.

  • Role of Funding Source Funding for this study was provided by NIAAA grant R01-AA10536 to Dr. Lukas and NCCAM grant P01-AT to Dr. Lee.
  • The real danger may be the possible delay in seeking professional help for the dependence.
  • Placebo drinks consisted of 400 ml of orange juice only, divided into 3 cups.
  • Kudzu may also interact with certain medications, such as disulfiram (Antabuse) and methotrexate.

It is quite likely that the desire to use alcohol in an outpatient setting cannot be captured with a single question; we also observed an absence of an effect on desire for alcohol in our previous study (Lukas et al., 2005). The ability of puerarin and related isoflavones to facilitate alcohol’s entry into the brain has not been systematically studied. For this mechanism to be plausible, the more rapid penetration of alcohol into the brain would have to trigger a satiety mechanism rather quickly such that the desire for the next drink is delayed—thus interrupting a binge episode. This is precisely what was observed in the present study as kudzu’s effects were evident after a single dose within a few hours of administration.

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